Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ukuleles to play Beethoven at the "proms"

The unlikely sound of ukuleles will take over one of Britain's largest classical musical festivals this summer, with an orchestra of the mini guitars performing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" in a play-along special.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, sporting tuxedos and brandishing "bonsai guitars," will perform on a stage usually reserved for the world's greatest symphony musicians.

They are calling on other 'uke' players to come to the concert and play along in a performance likely to be more reminiscent of George Formby than Beethoven.

The audience can look forward to "an astonishing revelation of the rich palette of orchestration afforded by ukuleles and singing (and a bit of whistling)".

The performance on August 18 will be part of the BBC proms season at the Royal Albert Hall. Music and online lessons for the piece can be found here.

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