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Multi-Story Orchestra turns Ipswich car park into concert hall

The Multi-Story Orchestra returns to Ipswich this June. Photo: Ambra Vernuccio

The Multi-Story Orchestra returns to Ipswich this June. Photo: Ambra Vernuccio

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The Multi-Story Orchestra returns to Ipswich this June, turning the Blackfriars NCP car park into a classical music concert hall with two contrasting performances.

The Blackfriars NCP multi-story car park in Foundation Street, Ipswich. Photo: Lucy TaylorThe Blackfriars NCP multi-story car park in Foundation Street, Ipswich. Photo: Lucy Taylor

Part of this year’s Aldeburgh Festival, both take place on June 24 and will be conducted by orchestra co-founder Christopher Stark.

The first, at 2pm, sees members joined by pupils from Hillside and Sidegate Primary Schools for a performance of I am I say written by fellow founder Kate Whitley.

The orchestra, which began life in a Peckham car park, will also be joined by soprano Raphaela Papadakis and bass-baritone Andrew Rupp for a performance of two works by Handel - Piangero and The Trumpet Shall Sound.

In the second, at 4pm, the orchestra will perform Mozart’s the Jupiter Symphony.

The Multi-Story Orchestra made its Aldeburgh Festival debut at Ipswich in 2015. Photo: Sam Murray-SuttonThe Multi-Story Orchestra made its Aldeburgh Festival debut at Ipswich in 2015. Photo: Sam Murray-Sutton

The concert opens with a specially created half-hour introduction, taking advantage of the Foundation Street site. The players disperse to all corners of the car park to present a living programme note ending with a full performance of the symphony.

Multi-Story made its Aldeburgh Festival debut at Ipswich’s Endeavour House car park in 2015.

Performing orchestral and chamber concerts across the summer as well as running workshops, it’s known for playing in unexpected settings and last year won a Royal Philharmonic Society award.

Kate and Chris said: “We are delighted to return to Ipswich and especially to work with the schools again - it’s a great chance to explore a new space as well as continuing to build relationships in the area.”

This year’s Aldeburgh Festival runs from June 9-25. It celebrates 50 years since the opening of Snape Maltings Concert Hall.

Highlights include a new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Netia Jones, the first ever Snape Maltings performance of Billy Budd with Roderick Williams singing the title role, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla who makes her festival debut; plus 13 world premieres including a new work for soprano and ensemble by Oliver Knussen.


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