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The Bickershaw Programme:
| By Denae Brook.
means revived or modernized classical sound. Free translation: new
classical music . This is a new orchestra, composed mainly of under
twenty five year old graduates from the Royal Academy
Of Music . the Royal College and Guildhall,
whose extraordinarily young age range is 16 to 28.
Formed only two months ago, it
is the brainchild of American businessman Michael
Jaffe. Jaffe's father was opera critic for the Journal
American, the leading New York arts magazine , so he has been fed
classical music since the age of six. Recent involvement with Londonís
now extinct Rainbow Theatre brought him in
contact with young audiences . His aim is to bring classical music to the
public without inundating them with endlessly played front parlour classics.
ě The concept is that we play live symphony
orchestra music to places that never normally get to hear symphony orchestrasî
Several months ago he met Royal College graduate Guy
Martin , who also wanted to form his own orchestra. Together they
have have collected a pool of well over 250 people from whom they draw
for different performances.
The two conductors are in their
early thirties , the oldest members of the group. Each has had experience
with long established orchestras before joining the Neophonic . Both have
conducted with the BBC Symphony Orchestra
: Roger Norrington has worked with the Royal
Scottish, the Irish National and the
French National Symphony orchestras, Michael
Hamm , once Professor of Conducting at the Guildhall, has twice
conducted Requiem Mass at the Albert
Hall for the Queen .
Within the orchestra is a Bach
quartet , a trumpet quartet and
a chamber orchestra. Eighty is the required
number of musicians required for a concert and for the last two months
they have been rehearsing with a light show.
Cheech and Chong
Pacific Gas and Electric
Sam Apple Pie
They plan to tour English provincial
towns , playing at small halls, churches and out of doors with Joe's
Lights , ex -resident light show of the
Fillmore East and Rainbow Theatre ,
thus adding a visual dimension new to classical music.The programme for
Bickershaw will include pieces by Dvorak,
Hindfermyuth and Kussivinsky
. A Bach trio for cello, viola and violin
has been re-orchestrated for a quartet , by cellist Babette
Choice of material is prompted
by the desire to promote lesser known composers to a wider audience
of young people who might otherwise never hear such music. It is a brave
experiment as there is not much money to be made from symphony orchestras
, most of which are subsidized. The Neophonic is financed entirely by Martin
and Jaffe , who had to put up 2000 pounds
before it could start. Salaries for individual performances run to around
ten pounds per musician . Hiring music for rehearsals and performacnes
costs about 35 pounds for two months , so they have to build their own
library. Bickershaw will probabaly just cover expenses , so next on the
schedule after the proposed tour of urban England, is the score for a horror
If you have any info regarding
the festival please get in touch Contact
Updated May 2023
- Film Stills still taken from an 8mm film shot by a local May 2023
- The Rouchon Collection : a wonderful, large collection of images from the festival from start to finish and which covers most aspects of the festival.
Grateful Dead : Photos, setlist,tapes, transcript, eye witness reviews. Updated April 2023
own Bickershaw saga. Updated June 2021
from the mud :More eyewitness accounts from intrepid Bickershaw veterans. Updated with new photos June 2021
French Review new June 2021
intended programme and the artistic dropouts
Express- Bickershaw edition,includes site map New!
photographs from Roger Hutchinson -New!
festival publicity handout
Festival Runs at a Loss
of tickets . New Sept 22nd 2001
stills from BC'S 8mm footage of Bickershaw !
Adverts in the press
of all artists who performed at the festival . Band personnel , known tapes
and setlists . Updated Jan 2011
photos : Wishbone Ash, Kinks, Family, Captain Beyond, New Riders, Country
site photographs updated Nov 2004
Beefheart : Setlist, tapes, reviews, photos
encounter with Captain Beefheart at Bickershaw:
by Charles Gee
of Captain Beyond at Bickershaw
to the main Archive.