Preview: Peter Erskine debuts Erskine




Drummer Pete Erskine will join the BBC Philharmonic for the UK premiere of Erskine, the concerto written especially for him by composer Mark-Anthony Turnage

On Friday 20 November Pete Erskine (pictured right) will join the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by John Storgårds, at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester to perform Mark-Anthony Turnage's Erskine - Concerto For Drumset And Orchestra.

This will be the UK debut of the work, which Turnage wrote especially for Erskine. The composer and the drummer have collaborated on other works including Blood On The Floor, whose 1996 debut performance featured Erskine and guitarist John Scofield. Erskine - Concerto For Drumset And Orchestra debuted in Bonn in 2013, where Erskine joined the Beethoven Orchester Bonn for the performance.

The piece, part of the Philharmonic's 2015-16 American Adventure season, is 30 minutes long and evolves with each performance. As part of this development the final movement is now much more funkily accented than it was originally. During the concert Erskine will be positioned at the back of the orchestra - his typical position in a big-band set up - rather than at the front as is traditional for soloists in a classical performance.

Erskine's career spans more than five decades. He has appeared on over 600 albums and film scores, including 50 albums released under his own name or as co-leader. He's a 10-times winner of Modern Drummer's Jazz Drummer Of The Year award and he also has two Grammy Awards. He has an extensive career outside jazz, having worked with acts including Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kate Bush. He's performed as a soloist with the London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Frankfurt Radio, Oslo and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras.

Erskine was also the subject of a cover feature in Jazz Journal, February 2015, including many historic photographs of Erskine from his own collection.

This fusion of jazz and classical music is a first for the BBC Philharmonic, which is supported by Salford City Council, this season. The evening's programme will also feature John McCabe’s Joybox, three pieces by Stravinsky, Ives’ Unanswered Question and Antheil’s Symphony No. 5, Joyous. The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

The concert will begin at 7.30pm on Friday 20 November.

Tickets cost from £12.00 to £38. Tickets can be purchased online from the Bridgewater Hall website or by calling the box office on 0161 9079000.

Bruce Lindsay


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