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Aurora Orchestra

Aurora Orchestra was founded to captivate new audiences with exquisitely-performed music unconstrained by the boundaries of genre. Aurora’s work is driven by a dynamic new generation of British instrumentalists who form uniquely powerful force for the development of new audiences for orchestral music in the UK.

Aurora seek to realise the potential of the chamber orchestra for innovative, flexible music that re-appraises the format of music in which boundaries of musical style have become more porous. The Orchestra actively embraces partnerships within the arts, to shatter outdated preconceptions of how, where, and to whom ‘classical’ music should be presented.

Adhering to the principle of making live music accessible to all, especially young people, Aurora seeks to present innovative music beyond the concert hall; and as a young orchestra, Aurora recognises its responsibility to help deliver arts for young people and provide direction for the future of orchestral music.

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £60,000
  • 2013-2014: £62,220
  • 2014-2015: £64,522

Video feed

Rehearsal of Michael Gordon's 'Timber'

Aurora's percussion section teams up with players from the Royal College of Music for a performance of Michael Gordon's 'Timber'. Performances take place on Sunday 14 September (8.45pm at Kings Place), Saturday 22 November (2pm at Huddersfield Town Hall), and Friday 28 November (6pm at the Royal College of Music). More information at www.auroraorchestra.com

Rehearsal of Michael Gordon's 'Timber'

Aurora's percussion section team up with percussionists from the Royal College of Music for a performance of Michael Gordon's Timber. Performances take place on Sunday 14 September (8.45pm at Kings Place), Saturday 22 November (2pm at Huddersfield Town Hall), and Friday 28 November (6pm at the Royal College of Music). More information www.auroraorchestra.com

Rehearsing Mozart 40

Aurora rehearses Mozart's Symphony No. 40 – from memory – at Baden Powell House in London in preparation for an appearance at the 2014 BBC Proms. Nicholas Collon conducts.

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Aurora Orchestra in Brazil

Aurora Orchestra visited Brazil under the auspices of the British Council's Transform Programme. As part of the tour, Aurora staged a series of workshops with composer John Barber for local music students in São Paulo and Belo Horizonte. For more details of this and other Aurora projects, visit www.auroraorchestra.com.

Aurora Orchestra - How Pure The Sky - Thursday 1 May 2014

Internationally-acclaimed countertenor Iestyn Davies joins us as we look heavenwards for a programme which contemplates virtue, peace, and celestial heights. Bach's meditation on purity and the resistance of sin Widerstehe doch der Sünde is performed alongside Gluck's ravishing depiction of the wonder of Elysium from the opera Orfeo ed Euridice, and works by two of the brightest stars in the firmament of living composers, Thomas Adès and Nico Muhly (including an arrangement of Herbert Howells' King David created by Muhly specially for this concert). Schubert's effervescent fifth symphony -- written before the composer's twentieth birthday and filled with optimism and vitality -- completes a sparkling programme.

Aurora Orchestra - KlezMahler, Brighton Dome, 19 May 2014

What happens when you combine Aurora with a group hailed by Songlines as 'Britain's best Klezmer and Balkan music band'? Come and find out on Friday 14 March at St George's Bristol, when we meet She'Koyokh for a unique collaboration. Mahler's monumental Symphony No. 1 (in a new arrangement for chamber orchestra by Iain Farrington) is paired with klezmer and eastern european folk music in new orchestral versions, for a project inspired by Mahler's own love of folk music and its prominence in his first symphony.

Aurora Orchestra 2014 Season Trailer

A kaleidoscope of great music, inspiring collaborations and richly eclectic programming, Aurora's 2014 calendar is a concert season like no other. Enriched with swing dance, storytelling, and video design, the season features music from Rameau to Adès via Mahler, Shostakovich and Gershwin. Under the compelling artistic direction of Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, Aurora's uniquely versatile and dynamic team of players continue to expand the horizons of orchestral performance.

Memento: Trailer 1

Aurora's New Moves series continues with MEMENTO, a programme including Charles Ives' mysterious 'Three Places in New England'. Evoking the sound and soul of three landscapes from the composer's homeland, we are excited to be performing this beautiful piece alongside a new film from award-winning Australian photographer and film-maker Jon Frank. Here is a little teaser to whet your appetite... NEW MOVES: MEMENTO Sunday 30 June; 7.30pm -- St George's Hall, Deal Sunday 7 July; 7pm -- LSO St Luke's Debussy Syrinx Boulez Mémoriale Ives Three Places in New England Beethoven Symphony No. 7 Featuring Jane Mitchell (flute) Jon Frank (film-maker) Nicholas Collon (conductor) Part of: Deal Festival of Music and the Arts City of London Festival With thanks to BBC NOW for allowing us permission to use their live recording of 'Three Places in New England', conducted by Nicholas Collon, in this soundtrack.

Why? And for what? Aurora Orchestra at Southbank Centre

Aurora continues its Zeitgeist series at Southbank Centre, plunging the audience into the post-war imaginations on opposing sides of the Atlantic. At the heart of an immersive hour-long programme is Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 3, performed here in Barshai's electrifying arrangement for chamber orchestra. Enriched with film by Stanton Media, the programme also features Stravinsky's Concerto in D for String Orchestra, written in Hollywood in 1946 after the composer's naturalisation as a US citizen.

Aurora Orchestra: Insomnia

Aurora Barbiturate (100mg) Uses: - Haunting musical experience for application during the darkness of a troubled night. - Particularly effective when taken in a venue marking its 10th anniversary. Active ingredients: - 1 award-winning tenor, Allan Clayton - 22 minutes of James MacMillan's A Deep but Dazzling Darkness (formula first discovered at LSO St Luke's in 2003) - 7 instrumental soloists in Britten's Nocturne - 100 metronomes (Ligeti's Poème Symphonique) - 1 new Beatles arrangement. When using this product: - Excitability may occur - Swelling of euphoria possible - Operating machinery inside concert hall not advised. Directions: - 1 performance (recommended dose) before sleep. Warning: - May not induce drowsiness - Keep within the reach of children. For the first in its 2013 New Moves series, Aurora collaborates with tenor Allan Clayton to produce a unique and haunting theatrical concert built around Britten's Nocturne. The programme charts a course through the darkness of a troubled night, with other repertoire including Vivaldi's La Notte ('The Night') and James MacMillan's Deep but Dazzling Darkness (with solo violinist Thomas Gould).

Maxamorphosis: Spring 2013

"How many orchestras could field their principal viola player as a virtuoso break dancer? Probably only Aurora. There seems to be no end to what this young ensemble is willing, hungry and able to do." (Hilary Finch, The Times, July 2012) Aurora Orchestra tours its critically-acclaimed 'Battle' programme to venues in Norwich, Bury St Edmunds and Ashford in May 2013. Building on a first break dance ('breaking') collaboration for the 2010 BBC Proms, Aurora joins forces with choreographer Mickael 'Marso' Riviere and breakers from his dance companies, Bboy's Attic and Company Decalage. A typically eclectic playlist ranges from the baroque fireworks of Biber's Battalia to Barshai's orchestral scoring of Shostakovich's war-themed String Quartet No. 3, and a new breakbeat arrangement of Holst's Mars by Chris Willis. At the heart of the programme is Maxamorphosis, a major new work composed by Julian Philips and choreographed by Marso for chamber orchestra, dancers, and solo viola. Created especially for Aurora's Principal Viola Max Baillie - a trained dancer as well as an instrumentalist -- this is a concerto like no other. We are hugely grateful to all those who have made this project possible, particularly the RPS Drummond Fund and the PRS Foundation for commissioning grants in support of Maxamorphosis, and Aurora patrons Thomas Ponsonby and Eduardo Tamraz for supporting the development of the choreography. We are also grateful to our New Moves series sponsors, including the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Arts Council England, GML, the Elias Fawcett Trust, and the Mercers' Company. Maxamorphosis Aurora Orchestra Music by Julian Philips Choreography by Mickaël 'Marso' Rivière Max Baillie (viola) Sarita Piotrowski (dancer)

Zeitgeist: Dance of the Machines (Paris, 1926)

Aurora Orchestra's series of short, immersive concerts as part of Southbank Centre's 'The Rest is Noise' continues with an adventure into Paris of the 1920s, the crucible for George Antheil's astonishing Ballet mécanique -- a visceral rollercoaster for pianola, pianos and a barrage of percussion including aircraft propellers and electric bells. In addition to this rarely-heard work, the programme features other contrasting Parisian music of the period, including an excerpt from Stravinsky's pianola arrangement of The Rite of Spring, and new arrangements of Josephine Baker's irresistible cabaret songs performed by french jazz singer Gabrielle Ducomble. Specially-commissioned film from Stanton Media completes a programme evoking the rich colour and extraordinary juxtapositions of Antheil's city. (Concert duration: 1 hour.)

Aurora Orchestra's Adventures 2013

Bursting with virtuosity, eclecticism and intrepid collaboration, Aurora's 2013 season offers a truly exhilarating array of new projects. Under the inspirational artistic direction of Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, the orchestra presents its busiest and most diverse calendar of events to date, guided as ever by a commitment to thrill new audiences with great music, brilliantly performed. Visit auroraorchestra.com to browse the season brochure online.

Aurora Orchestra: KlezMahler

What happens when you combine Aurora with a group hailed by Songlines as 'Britain's best Klezmer and Balkan music band'? Come and find out on Sunday 18 November at LSO St Luke's, when we meet She'Koyokh for a unique collaboration. Mahler's monumental Symphony No. 1 (in a new arrangement for chamber orchestra by Iain Farrington) is paired with klezmer and eastern european folk music in new orchestral versions, for a project inspired by Mahler's own love of folk music and its prominence in his first symphony.

Maxamorphosis

Maxamorphosis Aurora Orchestra Music by Julian Philips Choreography by Mickaël 'Marso' Rivière Max Baillie (viola) Sarita Piotrowski (dancer) Building on a first break dance ('breaking') collaboration for the 2010 BBC Proms, Aurora joins forces with choreographer Mickael 'Marso' Riviere and breakers from his dance companies, Bboy's Attic and Company Decalage. A typically eclectic playlist ranges from the baroque fireworks of Biber's Battalia to Barshai's orchestral scoring of Shostakovich's war-themed String Quartet No. 3, and a new breakbeat arrangement of Holst's Mars by Chris Willis. At the heart of the programme is Maxamorphosis, a major new work composed by Julian Philips and choreographed by Marso for chamber orchestra, dancers, and solo viola. Created especially for Aurora's Principal Viola Max Baillie - a trained dancer as well as an instrumentalist -- this is a concerto like no other. We are hugely grateful to all those who have made this project possible, particularly the RPS Drummond Fund and the PRS Foundation for commissioning grants in support of Maxamorphosis, and Aurora patrons Thomas Ponsonby and Eduardo Tamraz for supporting the development of the choreography. We are also grateful to our New Moves series sponsors, including the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Arts Council England, GML, the Elias Fawcett Trust, and the Mercers' Company.

Aurora Orchestra: Love Song for the City Credits

A video credits roll for Aurora's 2012 debut appearance at Camden's Roundhouse. Sam Swallow joins the orchestra for a performance of Gershwin's 'Foggy Day in London Town', arranged by Iain Farrington. Visuals by Jim Jefferies-Hinson, Stanton Media.

Love Song for the City - Aurora Orchestra at Reverb 2012

Aurora Orchestra debuts at Camden's iconic Roundhouse as part of the Reverb Festival on Saturday 25 February 2012. Tickets from £10 at www.roundhouse.org.uk, or watch online at www.auroraorchestra.com. Aurora's debut appearance at Camden's legendary Roundhouse, Love Song for the City journeys from violence and destruction to rebirth and the vibrancy of urban life. The desolate post-war German cities of Strauss' Metamorphosen give way to the dizzying growth of modern New York as imagined by Michael Gordon in Gotham, with breathtaking black-and-white film by Bill Morrison. Iain Farrington's virtuosic chamber orchestra arrangement of the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story completes a visceral paean to the city in all its guises. This performance will be streamed live on the Guardian website and to audiences at Alnwick Playhouse, Gala Theatre Durham, and Berwick Maltings.

Aurora Orchestra: New Moves 2012 series trailer

Aurora's pioneering cross-arts 'New Moves' series was launched at LSO St Luke's in 2010. The series aims to celebrate young talent, ignite dialogue between art forms, and reach new audiences for classical music. Re-inventing the orchestral concert for an era in which the boundaries of musical style and artistic disciplines have become ever more porous, the 2012 series has attracted critical acclaim, with a recent Times review noting: "In a city suffocating with musical activity, Nicholas Collon's Aurora Orchestra lets in more fresh air than most. The aim is to make an audience hear anew, not by sugaring any pills, not by didactic explanation, not by light-shows, but by context... I was gripped from start to finish. And the music was performed to exquisite perfection." 2012 New Moves events include: LOVE SONG FOR THE CITY Roundhouse, 25 February Strauss / Gordon / Bernstein with film by Bill Morrison FAR, FAR AWAY LSO St Luke's, 13 March Wagner / Anderson / Copland With five-piece folk band Harry Oakwood BATTLE LSO St Luke's, 13 July Biber / Holst / Shostakovich / Philips With breakdance from Bboy's Attic and Company Decalage KLEZMAHLER LSO St Luke's, 18 November Mahler / Klezmer With special klezmer guests to be announced

Aurora Orchestra

"To launch a new orchestra in the cut-throat musical marketplace that is London requires courage and conviction. To sustain it through five seasons, during which you programme everything from the Baroque sounds of Gabrieli and Lully to the avant-garde scores of Berio and Adams, shows brilliance as well as bravado." (The Times, 2011) Since its creation in 2005, Aurora Orchestra has established itself as the most significant new British chamber orchestra in a generation. With flourishing London residencies at LSO St Luke's and Kings Place, a busy regional touring calendar, and an ambitious programme of work beyond the concert hall, Aurora has developed a reputation for virtuosic live performance, innovative programming and adventurous cross-arts collaboration, engaging new audiences in London and beyond. Recent and current season highlights include concerts as part of the Kings Place Mozart Unwrapped series (alongside guest artists including Rosemary Joshua, Samuel West, and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge); a touring production of Alexander Goehr's Promised End with English Touring Opera; and performances at the Royal Albert Hall for the 2010 and 2011 BBC Proms. Aurora's New Moves series at LSO St Luke's has continued to reinvent the classical concert format with eclectic cross-arts programming, fusing orchestral music with film, theatre and dance. As part of its commitment to broadening access to music, the orchestra has worked in scores of schools within and outside London, brought reduced arrangements of symphonic works to audiences with no regular access to orchestral music, and staged family concerts at venues including the Wigmore Hall and Snape Maltings Concert Hall. June 2011 saw the release of Aurora's debut recording for Decca Classics: a recording of Nico Muhly's music for chamber orchestra. Future engagements include an appearance alongside Angelika Kirchschlager at the Wigmore Hall, première performances of Orlando Gough's Imago with Glyndebourne Community Opera, and New Moves projects fusing orchestral music with klezmer, break dance and jazz.

Nico Muhly: Seeing is Believing

Aurora Orchestra and Decca Classics present 'Seeing is Believing', Nico Muhly's music for chamber orchestra.

Aurora Orchestra: Mozart's Linz Symphony at Kings Place

The final movement from Mozart's Symphony No. 36 ('Linz'), recorded live at Kings Place on 6 January 2011. Aurora Orchestra is conducted by Nicholas Collon and led by Thomas Gould. For more information see www.auroraorchestra.com

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Contact details

http://www.auroraorchestra.com

The Music Base, Kings Place, 90
York Way
London
N1 9AG

51.533909, -0.12035

  • 51.533909 -0.12035

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