Watch: BRUCE DICKINSON Performs JON LORD's 'Concerto For Group And Orchestra' In Zagreb
March 31, 2023
IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson is taking part in a performance of Jon Lord's "Concerto For Group And Orchestra" on nearly a dozen dates in March and April. The concerts are being performed by a symphony orchestra consisting of more than 80 instrumentalists conducted by Paul Mann, a close friend of Jon's, and assembled especially for the occasion with members of OSESP (Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo) and some of the country's main symphony groups. They are appearing alongside Kaitner Z Doka (JON LORD, IAN PAICE, DON AIREY) on guitar, Bernhard Welz (JON LORD, DON AIREY) on drums, John O'Hara (JETHRO TULL) on keyboards, Tanya O'Callaghan (WHITESNAKE) on bass and Mario Argandonia (SCORPIONS) on percussion.
Fan-filmed video of Dickinson's March 24 concert at KC Dražen Petrović in Zagreb, Croatia can be seen below.
In a video announcing the "Concerto For Group And Orchestra" shows, Dickinson said: "So I'm really excited to be doing this Concerto For Group And Orchestra all around the place — around Europe and in Brazil.
"Well, what is it exactly? Well, it's about a 45-minute piece of classical music that was written by Jon Lord from DEEP PURPLE involving a group; in this case, it was DEEP PURPLE," he explained. "And it's like a meeting of minds between a rock and roll band and an orchestra, and they play slightly separately, they play together. I'm basically just the singer in the part of the Concerto that is the singing part; that's basically part one of the show. Part two, we kind of really let our hair down a bit. There's a couple of more classical interactions between the band that's more instrumental, and then we do five PURPLE songs with the orchestra and the band, so 'Perfect Strangers', 'When A Blind Man Cries', obviously, 'Smoke On The Water', 'Hush' and 'Pictures Of Home', which is a rarity and it's amazing with the orchestra. And then we're also gonna do something a little bit special. We've done an orchestral arrangement of my version of 'Jerusalem' and also 'Tears Of The Dragon' with the orchestra and the band. So, those two are gonna be in there at end — no particular order at the moment. So it's a really good, amazing evening of fantastic playing by incredible musicians. And that's what it is — it's music."
Remaining dates are as follows:
April 02 - Hala University Palacheho, Olomouc, Czech Republic April 15 - Vibra, Sao Paulo, Brazil April 19 - Teatro Positiva, Curitiba, Brazil April 21 - Vivo Rio, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil April 25 - Auditorio Araujo Vianna, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Bruce previously performed "Concerto For Group And Orchestra" in November 2021 in Győr, Hungary with DEEP PURPLE bassist Roger Glover and the Győr Symphony Orchestra. Prior to that, he performed at the 50th-anniversary celebration of "Concerto For Group And Orchestra" in November 2019 at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
When the Quebec City concert was first announced, Dickinson said: "As many people know, DEEP PURPLE have been a major, ongoing influence in my life since I was a teenager, and down the years, I have been fortunate enough to become good friends with all of the band, most especially in my collaborations with Jon Lord."
Added Mann: "My long collaboration with Jon Lord, and in particular his innovative, genre-defying 'Concerto', has been one of the greatest joys of my musical life. Jon's spirit will definitely be with us."
During a September 2018 spoken-word gig in Copenhagen, Denmark, Dickinson talked about his friendship with Lord. He said: "Jon Lord was a wonderful gentleman, and we were close friends. And he sadly died of… He had pancreatic cancer, but he survived for a year and a half — much against what everybody had said would happen. And actually, at the end, he didn't die of pancreatic cancer — he died, unfortunately, of some terrible blood collapse that happened with him, possibly as a result of treatment. But we had all kinds of crazy plans, including me going out on tour with him, singing DEEP PURPLE songs with an orchestra, which he was planning to do; that was one of the things we were planning to do. But it all got interrupted and canceled, and [it was] obviously very sad. He was a wonderful man."
Lord died on July 16, 2012 at age 71 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Lord, who was known for his keyboard virtuosity and his reinvention of the Hammond B-3 organ sound, co-wrote such PURPLE classics as "Smoke On The Water" and "Child In Time", among others. Lord and drummer Ian Paice were the only original members to last through the band's initial run from 1968 to 1976. He was on board for their 1984 reunion and stayed on through to his 2002 retirement from the band, after which he worked primarily in the classical field.
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