Calling all classical virgins

A “classical virgins” scheme has been launched to attract more people to SeaChange Arts' second international concert series at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus.

A CLASSICAL virgins scheme has been launched to attract more people to SeaChange Arts' second international concert series at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus.

The aim of SeaChange Arts' chief executive Joe Mackintosh is to encourage attendance from both complete novices and people who enjoy a little classical music, but who have never ventured to a live performance.

He said: “Live orchestral music is extraordinarily powerful. The musicians provide a tremendous spectacle, bringing to the fore their passion, skill and collaboration, while the music can be intimate or epic, evoking great emotion from tranquillity to huge excitement.”

However, he said classical music continued to suffer from a stuffy image with elitist perceptions of wealthy, intellectual audiences, stiff etiquette and fear of complex, inaccessible music.

“The image doesn't really reflect the reality,” said Mr Mackintosh. “A wide variety of people enjoy classical music and 5.5 million people listen to Classic FM each week.

“We want to turn more people on to live performance. Staging the series at the Hippodrome provides a superb, intimate and relaxed venue and we're bringing some of Europe's top musicians to perform some of the most recognisable and evocative classical music.”

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The scheme offers first time classical music attenders seats at �12, and a range of benefits to introduce them both to the music and the concert going experience.

Participants will receive a 'bluffers guide' to classical music and will be invited to a complimentary pre-show drink and introductory talk with former Radio Norfolk presenter Tony Mallion. They will also receive a free concert programme and a voucher to bring a friend for free to the next concert in the series.

The next concert in the series is on Thursday, February 4 when the Czech National Symphony Orchestra visits the Hippodrome. The concert features Dvorak's New World Symphony, and Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, consistently voted the favourite piece of classical music in Classic FM's Hall of Fame.

Anyone interested in signing up for the Classical Virgins scheme should visit seachangearts.org.uk or call SeaChange Arts on 01493 846550.