British Paraorchestra: What Does a Dream Sound Like?


September 8, 2012 Blog Leave a comment

The Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games 2012 is yet to take place tomorrow on Sunday in London. One of the most compelling stories the event has entailed is the “fairly impossible and implausible dream” of the British conductor Charles Hazlewood.

Those were the words Charles passed only a year ago at TED Global 2011 while sharing his vision of a globally united orchestra that would integrate the world’s disabled musical talents. Tomorrow will be a historical night as Charles conducts the 17-person British Paraorchestra to an estimated audience of half a billion Paralympics spectators.

“I have loads of issues with the way classical music is presented. It has been too reverential, too ‘high art’ — if you’re not in the club, they’re not going to let you join. It’s like The Turin Shroud: don’t touch it because it might fall apart.” – Charles Hazlewood

A stunning debut performance of four members representing the British Paraorchestra can be watched here along with Charles’ talk on Music of the Future at TEDxBrussels.

Charles has been actively reshaping the culture and impressions around classical music. His inspiration to change the conventional views was derived from his own daughter Eliza who was born with cerebral palsy and has shown a remarkable singing ability. Paralympic Games has changed the world’s perception of disability and athletes, and Charles Hazlewood is determined to do the same with classical music.

Year of vigorous campaigning for the British Paraorchestra will finally pay off tomorrow as the group gathers on stage for a unique world-class performance alongside Coldplay.

Be sure to tune in for Channel 4 on Sunday 9 September, 5.25pm for a documentary The Great British Paraorchestra, and of course, the Paralympics Closing Ceremony starting at 7.30pm!

Johanna Peltola

Johanna is a TEDxSalford blogger from Tampere, Finland.

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