He was Music Director of English National Opera from 1997 until 2005. He has worked with London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and far too many others to mention around the world. He’s conducted the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 1998 he received a Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera and was awarded the CBE in the 2000 Honours List.
He’s now preparing for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s 2012 season and he joined me today on the Morning Café on 98.5 Sonshine FM. We talked about the very wide range of performances planned for the new year. Audiences are set to be taken on an incredible musical voyage.
Some people may think of classical music as pieces that were written hundreds of years ago, but WASO continues to premiere new works and be extremely innovative in taking their extraordinary talents to a wider audience.
The West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) is Western Australia’s largest and busiest performing arts company. Established in 1928, WASO is the state’s only professional orchestra, playing a central role in the cultural life of Western Australia.
WASO’s vision is to touch souls and enrich lives through music. Each year the Orchestra reaches out into the community and gives people across Western Australia and beyond the opportunity to experience the magic of classical music through concert performances, touring, education programs, and other initiatives.
The Orchestra performs over 140 concerts each year with some of the world’s finest conductors and soloists to an audience in excess of 200,000. In addition to its own concerts, WASO regularly performs with the West Australian Opera and West Australian Ballet.
You can hear our conversation by clicking the play button on the audio player below.
I’ve never really been a big Glen Campbell fan but many of his songs have helped fill out the soundtrack of my life. I was asked by WASO if I’d like the opportunity to interview Glen’s daughter Debby on 98five Sonshine FM just before Christmas. Debby travels and sings with her dad on some of his tours.
I enjoyed chatting to Debby (You can hear the interview by using the audio player at the bottom of this post.) and when I was asked if I’d like to go to the show I was more than happy to accept.
Having WASO involved always meant that it would be a spectacular show but it was even more impressive than I could have hoped.
Glen Campbell took to the stage and opened with Gentle On My Mind then Galveston and then continued to roll out hit after hit. His voice was in fine form but his guitar playing is extraordinary. Seeing him play the William Tell Overture on his 12 string electric guitar was breath taking. When he perched the guitar on top of his head and continued playing at lightning speed I just thought to myself that a guy of his age really shouldn’t be able to do that. The guy is 71 years of age but apparently no one has told his fingers that.
When Debby was introduced I was ready for a change of pace and possibly some good vocals. She blew me away. She has a magnificent voice and it amazes me that she isn’t recording and performing full time. As well as doing a few songs on her own she joined her father for a number of duets. Brilliant.
The song I was really wanting to hear was the first one after intermission. As soon as the orchestra started playing I knew that Witcheta Lineman was on the way. It’s a song I love and the performance didn’t dissapoint.
Towards the end of the evening Glen Campbell walked on with some bagpipes which he says are the most temperamental instrument he’s ever tried to master. He used the bagpipes to great effect during a moving rendition of Amazing Grace.
The evening was completed with a fantastic version of McArthur Park. It’s an incredible piece of music and the orchestra really got the opportunity to show just how good they are by performing faultlessly.
Oh … and about me saying that I’ve never really been a big Glen Campbell fan … I sure am now. I’ll be grabbing a greatest hits CD as soon as I can.
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