Spandau Balletís Tony Hadley Encourages Tinkling on the Streets of London: 50 Golden Street Pianos Rolled Out as Part of the City of London Festivalís Golden Jubilee (24 June Ė 27 July 2012)
- 300 free piano lessons to launch Festival programme (24 June)
- Spandau Ballet legend Tony Hadley one-off performance by Millennium Bridge
- Golden piano roadshow at major London Rail Stations – including St Pancras International, Waterloo and Liverpool Street – in lead-up to Festival (18-23 June)
- Sydney Dance Company present pop-up dance performances at piano locations with Mercury Prize nominee Gwilym Simcock composition (27- 29 June)
- 50 locations unveiled. Vote for your favourite on Twitter (#goldenstreetpianos and follow @CoLFestival on Twitter for live updates)
- Anniversary programme features over 150 performances in 55 locations from 24 June – 27 July. For more information and Box Office: www.colf.org; 0845 120 7502
Press info and images: http://bit.ly/CityofLondon
London’s streets will be resonating to the strains of everything from Chopsticks to Chopin this summer as 50 Golden Street Pianos take up residence across the Square Mile and beyond as part of the City of London Festival’s 50th anniversary celebrations (see below for full list of piano locations).
The pianos, which are free for anyone to play, will also help mark the launch of the Festival; from 18-23 June they will be touring major London commuter hotspots in the lead-up to the Festival (see location dates at end of release) – and on Sunday 24 June they’ll mark the official launch of proceedings as members of the public are offered the chance to have one of 300 free piano lessons by students from London’s leading music conservatories. The 24 June launch event will also be marked by Spandau Ballet legend Tony Hadley, who will perform some memorable hits – including chart-topper ‘Gold’ – accompanied by some of the country’s best young musicians from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, at the piano installed on the north side of Millennium Bridge (12.45pm).
Throughout the Festival the pianos continue to form the focal point of two performance programmes: The Golden Keys to the City programme (26 & 28 June and 3 & 5 July) will see four local schools explore folk, gospel and popular songs from Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, and, of course, London, on a Golden Street Piano Tour where they put into practice what they have been learning over the spring term for the public to enjoy. From 27 - 29 June Sydney Dance Company will present pop-up performances of a dance duet created by Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela especially for the Festival’s 50 Golden Street Pianos. Two dancers will emerge, rendezvous and disappear against a dramatic and ever-changing London backdrop, set to solo piano pieces composed and played by Mercury Prize-nominated Gwilym Simcock.
The 50 pianos will all have unique golden designs created by five emerging London street artists, who will each produce 10 variations of their own distinctive styles.
The Golden Pianos will remain in place for three weeks until 13 July for members of the public to enjoy. To see a map of the piano locations or to organise your own events involving the pianos go to www.streetpianos.co.uk. Follow @CoLFestival on Twitter for live updates on performance dates, locations and times.
Play Me, I’m Yours is devised by artist Luke Jerram.
The Golden Street Pianos are just one part of an intense programme of over 150 world premières, major international performances and intimate recitals, taking place in 55 of the City’s historic, spectacular and iconic locations from 24 June – 27 July.
Piano music forms an integral part of the Festival programme, with unmissable events for piano lovers including the exceptional young Russian pianist Denis Kozhukin, who will make his London debut as a duo with cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan at Merchant Taylors’ Hall (9 July), a solo performance by Christian Ihle Hadland, selected as one of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists (9 July) and violin sensation Tasmin Little performing alongside the internationally acclaimed pianist Martin Roscoe at the Plaisterers’ Hall (11 July).
Full public listings for the City of London Festival Programme can be found at www.colf.org.
Major highlights for the Golden Jubilee programme include:
- The LSO conducted by Sir Colin Davis (celebrating his 85th birthday this year) will perform Berlioz’s colossal work Grande Messe des Morts in St Paul’s Cathedral (25 & 26 June). Broadcast live on BBC Radio 3
- Live music sculptures at Tower Bridge and the Monument, created specifically for these historic structures, by composer Samuel Bordoli. At Tower Bridge guests will watch musicians play along the length of the high-level west walkway, 42m above the Thames. At the Monument, the music is designed to travel up its 311 steps, inviting the audience to experience an aural and actual sense of ascension as they climb to the very top (8 July).
- Reclaim your lunch break and enjoy the beauty of the City with one of 12 free lunchtime concerts in the City’s historic and beautiful churches, performed by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s finest musicians (full listings on www.colf.org)
- Internationally-acclaimed guitarist John Williams who will commemorate the Festival’s Golden Jubilee by giving a recital which echoes the performance he gave at the first City of London Festival in 1962 (10 July, Fishmongers’ Hall).
- English National Ballet will perform two new commissions for the Festival by Antony Dowson and Van Le Ngoc, together with excerpts from the lost treasure of the Ballets Russes, Suite en blanc,at St Paul’s Cathedral (3 July).
- Celebrated British composer Tansy Davies’ new work, Delphic Bee, will be premièred by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at Mansion House (28 June).
- The première of Golden Fanfare by Francisco Coll for the LSO Brass, commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Company, will take place at Goldsmiths’ Hall (27 June).
- Six free concerts in Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, featuring Jamaica’s first lady of Jazz Myrna Hague with Jazz Jamaica, a juxtaposed break-dance and classical music collaboration with the Aurora Orchestra, a drum ‘n’ bass set with a twist and an al fresco celebration of Bastille Day (13 – 15 July).
- The Brodsky Quartet will perform a unique programme with a quirky twist: The Wheel of Four Tunes, with four works selected at random by the spin of a wheel onstage, from 40 choices, celebrating 40 years of the Brodsky Quartet (2 July, Drapers’ Hall).
- A series of eight early evening concerts featuring BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists, all to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (see www.colf.org)
The Festival’s commitment to supporting work for disabled and non-disabled performers continues through the Level Playing Field programme. New work by composer Nigel Osborne will receive its world première by tetraplegic former trumpeter Clarence Adoo on his specially-designed new Headspace instrument which has enabled him to perform once again with fellow professionals. Christian Lindberg’s award-winning Dawn at Galamanta, created and performed by Swedish artists of all physicalities, will receive its UK première at the Guildhall (both 6 July). There will also be a pioneering Symposium on the development of musical opportunities, aesthetics and instrument technology for musicians of all physicalities featuring experts from the worlds of music, arts, education and disability (7 July).
Sustainability remains a core part of the Festival's programme. In 2010 the Festival organisers installed beehives on rooftops across the Square Mile. For the Golden Jubilee the Festival will be promoting and nurturing wildflowers across the Square Mile, providing vital support for the City's population of pollinators. Wildflowers will not only fill iconic spaces such as Broadgate Circle with colour and scent but will be permanently re-planted in locations such as historic churchyards where they once thrived as part of a promenade performance featuring new poetry and music (Where the Wild Flowers Are, 30 June) – and on 1 July Parliament Hill will be the fitting location for a meadow flower giveaway as part of the annual World on the Heath Family Day. At the close of the Festival (27 July) the public will be invited to feast on City honey taken from the Festival’s hives, as well honeys of the world, in Paternoster Square, reflecting the international trading theme of the Festival.
City of London Festival Director Ian Ritchie said: “The Festival was first created to revitalise the cultural life of the City and in 2012, as we celebrate our Golden Jubilee, it is ranked among the finest cultural celebrations in the world. Words about the Festival from Sir Frederick Hoare, the Lord Mayor of London in 1962, and the Festival’s first President, have a powerful resonance today as to the Festival’s purpose:
“Amidst a period of the worship of Mammon, this Festival is trying to show many things that are beautiful and inspired in the arts, in the setting of this our most historic capital, and perhaps by doing so release man for a while and remind him that there are other things than those entirely material.”
“The insight of these words still ring true for the Festival today – 50 years later – and it is in this spirit that our programme for 2012 not only looks back with pride over the achievements of the past half century but also looks forward to the next 50 years.”
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of the City of London, and City of London Festival President, Alderman David Wootton said: “The City of London Festival is a fantastic celebration of the City's arts and culture. We boast one of the most diverse, influential and talented art sectors in the world – at the forefront of music, performance and craftsmanship. The Festival is a showcase of excellence, recognising the finest musicians, composers and performance artists – all thriving in the City of London.
“As Festival President, I look forward to seeing the City celebrated through performances and installations, and I am immensely proud of the Festival's artistic and aesthetic legacy.”
City of London Festival is delighted to continue its partnership with BNY Mellon as the Festival’s principal sponsor for a third year.
Michael Cole-Fontayn, Chairman of Europe, Middle East & Africa at BNY Mellon, said: "We are proud to sponsor the City of London Festival for a third consecutive year. Promoting the arts is an important part of BNY Mellon’s 225-year heritage and we are pleased to support this year’s wide-ranging programme of events, which is one of the highlights of the City of London’s cultural calendar in this Olympic year. As a global company, the diversity, internationalism and entrepreneurial spirit embodied by the Festival are at the heart of what we do and speak to the core values of the City. The theme of this year’s Festival, with its focus on international trade, is an apt symbol of the central role London continues to play on the global stage.”
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Notes to Editors
Golden Street Piano pre-Festival roadshow (18 – 23 June)
Monday 18 June – London St Pancras International
Tuesday 19 June – Liverpool Street Station
Wednesday 20 June – Canary Wharf Reuters Plaza
Thursday 21 June – London Bridge Station
Friday 22 June – Waterloo Station
Saturday 23 June – Cheapside
Golden Street Piano locations (24 June – 13 July):
City of London
- Barts Hospital Courtyard, EC1
- Broadgate, Finsbury Avenue, EC2
- Broadgate Circle, EC2
- Cleary Garden, EC4
- Devonshire Square Estate, EC2
- Fenchurch Street Station, EC3
- Finsbury Circus Gardens, EC2
- The Gherkin, EC3
- Girdlers Gardens, EC2
- Leadenhall Market, EC3
- Liverpool Street Station, EC2
- Millennium Bridge (north side), EC4
- Museum of London, EC2
- New Street Square, EC4
- Old Billingsgate, EC3
- Paternoster Square, EC4
- Royal Exchange Building, EC3
- St Dunstan in the East, EC3
- St Mary-le-Bow Churchyard, EC2
- St Paul's Cathedral Churchyard, EC4
- The Monument, EC3
Other locations in London
- LSO St Lukes, EC1
- St Katharine Docks Piazza, E1
- Thomas More Square, E1
- Tower Bridge (north side), E1
- Bankside Mix, SE1
- Borough Market, SE1
- EDF Energy London Eye, SE1
- More London Place, SE1
- Potters Fields Park, SE1
- Southwark Cathedral, SE1
- Tate Modern, SE1
- Whitehall Gardens, SW1
- Berkeley Square Gardens, W1
- Carnaby Street, W1
- Cavendish Square Gardens, W1
- Chinatown, Gerrard Street, W1
- Hanover Square, W1
- Marble Arch, W1
- Soho Square Garden, W1
- Victoria Embankment Gardens, WC2
- St Mary's Church Garden, N1
- St Pancras International, N1
- Jubilee Park, Canary Wharf, E14
- Reuters Plaza, Canary Wharf, E14
- Wren Landing, Canary Wharf, E14
- Holland Park, W8
- Portobello Road, Westway, W10
- Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath, NW5
- Gillett Square, The Vortex, N16
About City of London Festival
24 June – 27 July 2012, www.colf.org
Since its inauguration in 1962 the Festival has been animating the City, bringing the Square Mile’s monumental architecture, wealth of buildings, outdoor spaces, and ancient streets to life with a rich and extraordinary programme of music, performance, events and installations. Ranked among the world’s leading cultural celebrations, City of London Festival is one of the UK’s most significant and highly regarded artistic platforms featuring a dazzling array of luminaries from across the worlds of music, dance, visual art and street performance. Inspired by the history of the City and its communities it has built a reputation for innovative programming, showcasing newly discovered and world-class artists, championing new work and presenting contemporary collaborations in beautiful surroundings.
For half a century the Festival has connected the communities of the City with the world’s most acclaimed musicians and performers, enlivening the City, its inhabitants and visitors through culture. The alumni of contributing artists over the Festival’s lifetime reads like a Who’s Who of the world’s most accomplished artists. CoLF has also featured the likes of Jacqueline Du Pré, Sir Willard White, Yehudi Menuhin and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf to name only a few. In its 50th year the Festival will continue to add to this outstanding pedigree of performance, as well as building upon its commitment to searching out exceptional emerging talent.
Sponsor: BNY Mellon
BNY Mellon has been a proud sponsor of the City of London Festival for 3 years, connecting with the Festival’s core values of global excellence, quality and community in the City.
BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets. BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team. It has $25.8 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.26 trillion in assets under management, services $11.8 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.5 trillion per day. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Additional information is available on www.bnymellon.com or follow on Twitter @BNYMellon.
Festival Director: Ian Ritchie
Ian Ritchie was born in London of Scottish parents in 1953. Music was in his blood – by the age of 18 he was studying at the Royal College of Music, where he won the Mario Grisi Prize, and was heading towards a solo singing career. Ian took up a choral scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read Law and Music, as well as post-graduate studies at the Guildhall School.
In 1976, Ian decided to redirect his energies to arts management, working as Promotion Manager at Universal Edition. Thus began a new career and a lifelong involvement with composers and artists. In 1979, Ian was invited to run the Richard Hickox Singers & Orchestra, which soon became the City of London Sinfonia, and in 1983 he was appointed Artistic Director of the City of London Festival, a job he undertook in parallel with managing the CLS! In 1984, he was lured to Scotland to run the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and immediately set about reinventing the role of an orchestra as musicians for the community as well as a community of musicians, winning the ABSA/BP Arts Award for making the most imaginative use of sponsorship in 1990 and the Prudential Awards for Music and for the Arts overall in 1991. Since leaving the SCO in 1993, Ian has led numerous arts organisations, including Opera North and St Magnus Festival, Orkney. His wider musical interests and trusteeships inform his festival work, including The Choirbook for The Queen (chairing the Editorial Committee for this recently published collection of 44 contemporary anthems to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee), the Musical Brain (Artistic Director of conferences exploring the frontiers of music, science and medicine) and Musicians without Borders (using music to rebuild communities divided by conflict, both at home and abroad).
In 2005, Ian found himself coming full circle and once again taking up the directorship of the City of London Festival after a gap of more than 20 years.
About Play Me, I’m Yours
Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. Reaching over a two million people worldwide more than 500 pianos have now been installed in cities across the globe, from New York to Sydney, bearing the simple instruction, Play Me, I’m Yours.
Located in public parks, bus shelters and train stations, outside galleries and markets and even on bridges and ferries, the pianos are available for any member of the public to play and enjoy. Who plays them and how long they remain is up to each community. Many pianos are personalised and decorated by artists or the local community. By creating a place of exchange Play Me, I’m Yours invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment.
Luke Jerram is a British artist (born 1974) whose multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects that have excited and inspired people around the globe.
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