LPO FUNharmonics family entertainment at Southbank Centre
The prestigious London Philharmonic Orchestra, resident at the London Festival Hall, is host to LPO FUNharmonics, a series of family fun days and concerts, presented by CBeebies’ Chris Jarvis and offering a child-friendly introduction to classical music and the orchestra.
Alongside their regular concerts spanning the classical repertoire, LPO are famously recognised for their take on games software tunes and popular television themes, including covers of the Final Fantasy IV soundtrack and the classic Tetris theme. They are perhaps best known, however, for performing the soundtrack to the Lord of the Rings film series.
Part of Southbank Centre’s Classical Season 2012/13, and an on-going phenomenon, FUNharmonics encourages families to engage in playing orchestral instruments in their “Have-a-go” sessions, where children are provided with instruments and allowed to perform and compose freely. If playing an instrument isn’t for you, there’s the opportunity to try your hand at the Human Orchestra workshops, as well as face painting and a circus skills training school. To top off the event there is a mini-concert, where families can listen to the orchestra doing what they do best.
Sunday’s event was entitled The Roaring Twenties, with a jazzy concert program incorporating music from the 1920s, and a “roaring” young brass section joining the orchestra. Conducted by Stuart Stratford, the LPO also performed recreations of contemporary tunes such as cult game Angry Birds and a version of the Super Mario Bros theme, as well as giving a taste of their usual more serious repertoire with Janáček, Shostakovich and Respighi (among others). Cleverly selected musical covers allowed families to recognise and appreciate the music in an enjoyable, relatable manner, and the traditional segments offered young people and the unindoctrinated an accessible insight into classical music.
Fun, educational and family-friendly, LPO FUNharmonics successfully gets families excited about music, in a modern, interactive way. With ticket prices ranging from £10-£20, the day is an affordable introduction to the culture of classical music.
LPO FUNharmonics returns to the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre on 11th May 2013, and continues next year as part of the Southbank Centre Classical Season 2013/14. For further information or to book visit the venue’s website here.