Trusting the Ensemble - Nottelmann Music Company
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Trusting the Ensemble

Trusting the Ensemble

Curated from – Technology, Entertainment, and Design –

Conductor Charles Hazlewood talks about the role of trust in musical leadership — then shows how it works, as he conducts the Scottish Ensemble onstage. He also shares clips from two musical projects: the opera “U-Carmen eKhayelitsha” and the ParaOrchestra.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.
Charles Hazlewood dusts off and invigorates classical music, adding a youthful energy and modern twists to centuries-old masterworks. At TEDGlobal, he conducts the Scottish Ensemble.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by their editors on the home page.

Why you should listen

Charles Hazlewood’s fresh presentations of classical music shake up the traditional settings of the form — in one performance he’ll engage in a conversation with the audience, while in another he’ll blend film or sculpture into a piece — but his goal is always the same: exposing the deep, always-modern joy of the classics. He’s a familiar face on British TV, notably in the 2009 series The Birth of British Music on BBC2. He conducts the BBC Orchestras and guest-conducts orchestras around the world.

Together with Mark Dornford-May, he founded a lyric-theatre company in South Africa called Dimpho Di Kopane (which means “combined talents”) after auditioning in the townships and villages of South Africa. Of the 40 members, only three had professional training. They debuted with Bizet’s Carmen, which was later transposed into a movie version called U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, spoken and sung in Xhosa, that was honored at the Berlin Flim Festival. He regularly involves children in his projects and curates his own music festival, Play the Field, on his farm in Somerset. His latest project: the ParaOrchestra.

He says: “I have loads of issues with the way classical music is presented. It has been too reverential, too ‘high art’ — if you’re not in the club, they’re not going to let you join. It’s like The Turin Shroud: don’t touch it because it might fall apart.”

What others say

“Hazlewood’s musical interests are engagingly diverse. When he’s not conducting prestigious orchestras, he can be found promoting new music festivals on his farm in Somerset, or collaborating with the rapper Kanye West.” — Telegraph