Nicholas Collon and Aurora Orchestra return to the Royal Festival Hall on 24 September 2017 for Why Birds Sing, a concert exploring birdsong and humanity’s relationship with the natural world. Featuring musical performance interwoven with animation, audio storytelling, birdsong recordings, and an installation of 1,000 origami cranes, the concert is part of Aurora’s Orchestral Theatre: The Claus Moser Series, which brings orchestral music to life in adventurous ways.
The programme opens with Messiaen Oiseaux exotiques, for which Nicholas and the orchestra are joined by pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard. This is followed by Brett Dean Pastoral Symphony, which Nicholas and the Aurora Orchestra premiered at the BBC Proms in 2015. Dean’s symphony incorporates recordings of butcherbirds from the Australian outback alongside the violent, man-made noises of axes, a lift falling, and a helicopter chopper to illustrate humanity’s impact on nature.
Following a performance of Ligeti Poème symphonique for 100 metronomes, they close the concert with a signature memorised performance of Beethoven Symphony No.6 ‘Pastoral’. Watch their performance of ‘Pastoral’ at the BBC Proms in 2015: