Getting to know the man behind Aurora

Aurora Orchestra conductor Nick Collon
Aurora Orchestra conductor Nick Collon
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As Aurora Orchestra prepare to return to the Bury St Edmunds Festival in May, conductor Nick Collon takes time out of his busy schedule to give us an insight into the man who helped found the group.

Q. Where do you call home?

London.

Q. What can audience members expect from your upcoming show?

A whole orchestra playing Beethoven’s 5th symphony from memory.

Q. What has been your most memorable concert and why does that one stick in your mind?

Actually probably one that I played in as a member of the National Youth orchestra. Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique conducted by Sir Roger Norrington in the BBC Proms.

Q. How do you keep in tip-tip condition?

I’m not sure you could describe me as being in tip-top condition.

Q. What’s your favourite piece of art... why?

Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights.’ It’s extraordinarily ahead of its time, and whenever I look at it there’s more to see.

Q. Do you have a favourite pet?

I’m not a pet man. I’ve never had one!

Q. What are your future plans?

Hop around the world conducting orchestras!

Q. If you could perform at any venue in the world what would it be?

Berlin Philharmonie. I’m lucky enough to have been there - an amazing hall.

Q. Is there anyone you dream of performing with?

Many people within the field of classical music of course. But it would be great to be on stage with Stevie Wonder!

Q. What instruments do you play?

Viola, piano and organ, but hardly much at all these days.

* Aurora recently became the only orchestra in the world to perform whole symphonies from memory – a revelatory experience which breaks down the physical barrier between performers and audience.

When they return to the Bury Festival on May 27, they will give what are thought to be the first-ever memorised performances of Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 5.

The concert will also feature BBC Radio 3’s Tom Service, who will discuss the musical content of one of the greatest symphonies ever penned, and talk to conductor Nick Collon and the Aurora players about preparing a performance without printed scores.

Tickets can be booked online at www.buryfestival.co.uk, by calling the festival box office on 01284 758000 or in person at The Apex, in Charter Square, Bury.