David Le Page, Artistic Director for the Swan, tells us what’s in store for The Swan’s new season.
More Than Just a Museum Piece
During the last three years, Orchestra of the Swan has painstakingly examined what it means to be an orchestra in the 21st century and has asked itself some difficult questions. Why do we need orchestras? Are they more than just museum pieces? Can an orchestra truly beneﬁt the communities in which it works? How can an orchestra engage with a broader and more diverse audience?
Ironically, the events of 2020 have given us the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the concerns these questions have raised and The Swan is at the forefront of organisations in the orchestral sector who have been seeking answers. Lockdown also provided us with the chance to refresh our branding and design resulting in the creation of an excellent new website and a stunning logo that perfectly underscores our exciting strategic direction.
Our unique approach to programming is at the heart of this vision of a 21st century orchestra, with concerts that are carefully designed not only to be accessible and inviting but also to be challenging and thought provoking. Our core programmes offer surprising and delightful juxtapositions of repertoire combined with superb soloists and conductors.
As well as being passionate about presenting new work, the orchestra enjoys blurring the boundaries between genres in music by working with artists from the worlds of folk, jazz, rock, electronica and beyond, and combining these hybrid soundscapes with a variety of works from the vast classical canon.
Trish Clowes, New Associate Artist
We are delighted that saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes has agreed to be our Associate Artist this season. Trish will be taking part in several performances with the orchestra, as well as premiering her new work for saxophone and orchestra in April.
In January 2021 we released Timelapse, a concept album which features carefully chosen individual tracks linked by an overarching theme of musical time travel. As well as being ‘Album of the Week’ on Classic FM and Scala Radio, the recording has been streamed more than 2.2 million times throughout the world, making it by far our most successful recording to date. A follow-up, Labyrinths, was recorded in April this year and will be released in November on the Signum label.
Enviable Model For Others To Emulate
The ground-breaking work instigated by our creative and forward-thinking Learning and Participation department focuses on our specially trained players working in the community with SEND schools and people living with dementia, and has established an enviable model for others to emulate.
An orchestra in the 21st century has to be about much more than just performing in the concert hall. Orchestra of the Swan reaches out to its audiences through its innovative programming, accessible recordings and invaluable work with vulnerable people. Our mission is to entertain, to educate and to engage in a way that makes us a truly indispensable part of the community.