Bongo Fury at Derby Cathedral

Bongo Fury at Derby Cathedral

Internationally renowned musicians O Duo will bring their unique and energetic percussion performance to Derby Cathedral for the first time on Friday February 10 as part of the Twilights concert series.

Musicians Oliver Cox and Owen Gunnell will perform a special one-hour concert starting at 6pm entitled ‘Bongo Fury’.

The programme is an eclectic collection of classical and contemporary music re-arranged for percussion as well as their own compositions using a variety of different instruments from the lyrical marimba and glockenspiel to a vibraphone and a selection of drums.

The concert has been curated by East Midlands orchestra Sinfonia Viva and Derby Cathedral as part of the Twilights series of drive-time and evening concerts, which is a key element in the Cathedral’s two-year cultural audience development programme that has been supported with a £80,000 Arts Council England grant.

Sinfonia Viva first worked with O Duo in 2013 as part of their unique collaboration with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with world premieres of composer Fraser Trainer’s new percussion concerto at Derby Assembly Rooms and then in Australia.

O Duo made their Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut in 2002 with ‘Bongo Fury’ – the opening number at the Derby concert. They have since performed it more than 25 times to sell-out crowds around the world and much critical acclaim.

Since then, O Duo has gone from strength to strength – giving recitals all over the world, performing both chamber music and concertos in many of the country’s top concert halls and playing in Hyde Park for the iconic ‘Last Night of the Proms’.

Owen Gunnell who formed O Duo with Oliver Cox in 2000 while studying at the Royal College of Music, said they were both relishing the chance to return to Derby.

“We have a great relationship with Sinfonia Viva and my brother is a percussion player with the Orchestra.  He is always telling him how great the real ale is in Derby so we are looking forward to the post-concert get together.

“We were delighted when Viva invited us to perform at Derby Cathedral as part of the Twilights series.

“The last time we were here, we performed alongside the Orchestra at the Assembly Rooms but will be flying solo this time – although I hope that many of the Viva players will come to see us.

“The programme that we have selected is very diverse with something for everyone with music from 300 years ago to pieces which are brand new.

“It’s hard to translate into words the atmosphere of our concerts except to say that it is pretty unique with loads of energy, humour and even a spot of audience participation which is always great fun.

“A large part of our ‘day job’ involves working with children and young people and the invitation always goes out at the end of the gig for anyone, but particularly younger members of the audience, to come up on stage and try out the instruments for themselves.”

Sinfonia Viva Chief Executive Peter Helps continued: “The Twilights series is a key element of our partnership with Derby Cathedral and the mesmerising acoustics there are perfect for O Duo’s fantastic percussion repertoire.

“Owen and Oliver create some of the most exciting sounds I have ever heard and the audience on February 10 is in for a real treat with a high energy and brilliantly visual concert experience.”

Derby Cathedral Chapter Steward Rachel Morris concluded: “Our aim with the Twilights series is to keep high quality and professional classical music alive in the city and fill the gap left by the closure of the Assembly Rooms.

“The diversity of music in the four-concert programme and the different timings of the concerts has already been well received by audiences.  It has also encouraged a far broader range of people to the concerts and is cementing Derby Cathedral as the home of classical music in the city.”

Tickets for ‘Bongo Fury’ on Friday February 10, 6pm start from £6 and are available from Sinfonia Viva’s website; by telephone 0333 666 3366 or in person from the Derby LIVE box office in the Market Place.

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