A 12-piece chamber orchestra of Viva players will travel to Bahrain on Friday (October 9) and then perform a family concert at the Cultural Hall on Monday, October 12, as part of the festival which includes musicians from across the world.
Viva will perform at the 24th annual festival alongside renowned percussionist Alasdair Malloy who has worked with the orchestra on several family-friendly concert projects including the long-running Beanbag Proms at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall and at Derby Comedy Festival last year.
The concert, starting at 6pm, is entitled Fantastic Creatures with music inspired by the curious creatures from the Harry Potter books and films including Hedwig the owl, house elves, trolls, cats and merfolk.
It will be a mixture of pieces for the young audience to listen to, participation pieces with audience members joining in with actions, sounds, songs and dancing and even one lucky young person being invited on stage to play percussion alongside the orchestra.
Sinfonia Viva chief executive Peter Helps explained: “We are extremely honoured to be invited to perform at this prestigious festival which is a highlight of the annual programme of events devised by The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA).
“Now in its 24th year, the festival brings together acclaimed musical innovators from around the world and attracts audiences from Bahrain and abroad. We have a long association with Alasdair who was approached by BACA and invited us to work with him to develop the programme and then perform at the festival.
“Viva has a national reputation for education and community work and particularly for our family-friendly concerts which combine high quality music with participation in an informal setting that makes classical music accessible and fun for young children and their families.
“I am a member of the UK’s National Family Arts Festival Board and when we get back from Bahrain, we will be preparing for family concerts in Chelmsford and Derby as part of this year’s festival.
“We are also in discussions with organisers of a family festival in China to perform there and hope to announce dates for that in the near future.”
As well as his work with family concerts, Alasdair is one of only a handful of Glass Harmonica specialists which has taken him to festivals and concerts around the world as well as recordings with diverse artists including Icelandic pop star Björk. He has also composed and played for a number of film soundtracks – including the haunting melodies for the box office hit Gravity.
He has had a richly varied and diverse musical life. Having trained as a percussionist at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, he has now been Principal Percussion with the BBC Concert Orchestra for over 20 years.