There will be a special tribute to David Bowie tonight (July 29) at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The event dubbed the ‘David Bowie Prom’ will feature a wide variety of artists and musicians playing new arrangements of some of Bowies most beloved hits.
The event is set to feature both a live classical orchestra as well as unplugged segments. The orchestra will be comprised of Berlin collective ‘Stargaze’. Stargaze are a group of classically trained musicians, who are known to incorporate elements of pop and electronic music into their pieces to create what they call ‘classical-contemporary’ music. They were recently requisitioned to re-imagine the Bowie catalogue into fresh classical compositions.
Needless to say, don’t be expecting direct cover versions of ‘Heroes’ and ‘Rebel Rebel’, but rather pieces that represent the essence of Bowie.
A number of popular singers will front the orchestra including life long Bowie fan and Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond, friend and contemporary of Bowie; John Cale (of the Velvet Underground), British soul singer Laura Mvula and double Mercury Award nominated singer Anna Calvi.
Stargaze conductor Andre De Ridder has a special affiliation with Bowie, and saw the singer perform in front of the Reichstag in 1987, during Bowie’s time as a Berlin inhabitant. De Ridder said of his first time seeing the artist: “That was a legendary concert… only yards away was the Berlin Wall, and the people of East Germany gathered by the wall to listen to the concert. He sang ‘Heroes’, which was obviously very poignant.”
De Ridder went on to say that tonight’s performances may well include a degree of spontaneity on the part of the musicians stating: “It is made up of people who have extreme flexibility and the ability to improvise – I think Bowie himself would have appreciated it.”