RAPLOCH TO HOST BIGGEST OLYMPIC PARTY IN SCOTLAND

On midsummer night 2012 Gustavo Dudamel and The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela will perform a spectacular outdoor concert in the heart of a Scottish community transforming itself through their “El Sistema” philosophy.

Since 2008, the children of Raploch, Stirling have been learning to play together in Big Noise – inspired by and partnered with Venezuela’s Fundación Musical Simón Bolívar, commonly known as El Sistema. World-famous Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel is Patron of Big Noise.

The Big Concert on June 21 comes at the end of The Big Visit - a four-day residency in which the Venezuelans will work with the children, leaving an enormous artistic legacy to the community.
The Big Concert features a full performance by The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra with a special guest appearance by Big Noise.

This unique outdoor performance marks the opening of the London 2012 Festival in Scotland and will be one of the Cultural Olympiad highlights UK-wide. It is set to be one of the most thrilling concert experiences of the year and a joyful celebration of social hope and artistic beauty.

The concert is being staged by Sistema Scotland in association with Creative Scotland, London 2012 Festival, Stirling Council, EventScotland, and the Southbank Centre.

Led by Managing Director Pete Irvine, Unique Events, Scotland’s leading independent Events Company is working with Sistema Scotland  to produce The Big Concert. A spectacular outdoor venue and stage will be created, accommodating hundreds of musicians and thousands of spectators.  Set against the backdrop of Stirling Castle, the venue has sweeping views of the Ochil Hills and Wallace Monument.  Laid out for mostly informal picnic attendance, the concert will be family-friendly with tickets at exceptional value for-money prices. Tickets are now available from the Tolbooth in Stirling, Hub Tickets in Edinburgh, and Ticketweb. Most adult tickets cost just £12 with tickets for those aged 16 and under costing just £5. A limited number of tickets are available in a tiered seating area, all at £25.

Gustavo Dudamel said: "I've watched over the years as the programme in Raploch has grown, as teachers from Venezuela have travelled to Scotland to help support this tremendous project. I've attended beautiful events - even in Downing Street - to help support this initiative and it was after a visit by my wife in 2009, hearing her enthusiasm, when I realized that we must find a way to bring the magic of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela to Raploch, but ALSO to share the excitement of what they are building in Raploch with my orchestra, and the world.  Life is about experience - and I think this concert, in this setting, is going to be a BIG experience!"

Richard Holloway, chairman of the charity Sistema Scotland that runs Big Noise said: “Join us at midsummer in Raploch and be uplifted by beautiful music and the hope it can inspire. I am excited that the visionary genius behind this wonderful movement, Maestro José Antonio Abreu, will also be with us. We’ve longed for the day when he might come to see how we have applied his ideas here at the heart of Scotland. For him to join Gustavo Dudamel in bringing this astonishing orchestra to Raploch, with the eyes of the world upon us, is a thrilling prospect.  It will be a highly-charged moment when Venezuela’s finest sons and daughters meet Scottish children who are embarking on the same wonderful musical journey.”

Councillor Graham Houston, Leader of Stirling Council said: "Stirling is proud of Big Noise and honoured to welcome these illustrious guests from Venezuela, who have given so much to us already. We also guarantee a warm welcome to an audience we hope will come from far and wide. We have many historic attractions and beautiful surrounding countryside, with the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park nearby. The Big Concert would make a wonderful climax to a few days in the area."

Paul Bush, CEO of EventScotland, the National Events Agency said: “EventScotland is delighted to be supporting The Big Concert, Scotland’s contribution to the launch of the London 2012 Festival.  It promises to be a spectacular event, showcasing international talent and celebrating Sistema Scotland’s inspirational work all set against the dramatic backdrop of Stirling Castle.   It’s sure to be a defining, unmissable moment in 2012 - our Year of Creative Scotland.”

Following The Big Visit, the first part of the Venezuelan’s UK residency, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra will be resident at Southbank Centre in London from 22 to 26 June. The London residency, Sounds Venezuela, is part of the London 2012 Festival and Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World, and includes concerts in the Royal Festival Hall, live screenings and pop up performances around the site. 

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