Squarepusher meets Strauss at Orchestival 2014

Classical is set to collide with acid house at a new UK event this summer.

Taking place at Bath and West showground, Orchestival will feature a programme of genre-bending performances and creative workshops which organisers hope will shift perceptions of classical music.

Read: Four ways to revive classical music

The Philharmonia Orchestra will act as the festival’s ‘house band’, accompanying Squarepusher (known for his experimental electronic music), Mercury-nominated folk duo The Unthanks (who will be singing for the first time with a full orchestra), and The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble (of Goldfrapp and Tears for Fears) performing music by JS Bach.


Classic gaming soundtracks, including Sonic the Hedgehog and Call of Duty, will also be brought to life by the orchestra.

Founded by the award-winning conductor Charles Hazlewood, the programme will open with a reimagining of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, in collaboration with Kneehigh theatre company.

Event organisers are inviting local and online communities to submit artwork and stories for use in the performance.


The British Paraorchestra, the world’s first orchestra entirely made up of disabled musicians, will also take to the stage with its work Other.

Hazlewood said: ‘In my mind there is no other festival with this breadth of music…Music is the most universal language we have, it lifts us up and it unites us. Given the horrendous experiences of so many in the Somerset community with the recent flooding, I see Orchestival as a wonderful piece of good news, a weekend of jaw-dropping music to bind us all together.’

Orchestival takes place from 19-20 July. More details on the line-up can be found here.

By Alex Romaine