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World's Biggest Orchestra: Queensland Festival's James Morrison Conducts Record-Breaking Band in Brisbane

By Classicalite Newsdesk on Dec 13, 2013 11:41 PM EST

As in Buffalo, New York, they're breaking records in Queensland, Australia! Well one, anyway, but it is, by definition, a biggie.

The good people of the Queensland Music Festival are now the proud holders of the record for World's Biggest Orchestra. This summer, the festival's artistic director James Morrison conducted--wait for it--an ensemble of 7,244 musicians.

Put that in perspective. The very largest classical works don't come close. Mahler's Symphony No. 8, for instance, the so-called "Symphony of a Thousand," and Schoenberg's titanic Gurre-Lieder both use under 200 players.

Morrison, who led the orchestra at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, played part of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, as well as, umm, Queen's "We Will Rock You" (probably should have been renamed 'We Will Shock You' with the sheer volume 7,244 musicians must have produced).

They smashed the previous holders, a Vancouver group in 2000 who comprised a relatively paltry 6,452 players. The new record will be included in the 2015 book of the Guinness World Records.

If they stayed together, of course, they would face the interesting quandary of what one can possibly play with that scale of band. We might suggest they go for something counter-intuitive. How about something delicate, like Monteverdi? Just to hear what it would sound like with more than 7,000 players.

Now that would be a unique MEDIA ALERT!

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TagsQueensland Music Festival, Guinness World Records, world's largest orchestra, James Morrison, Queen, We Will Rock You, Ode To Joy, Beethoven

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