UK: VIOLINIST NIGEL KENNEDY PERFORMS DURING THE WORLD'S LARGEST INSTORE LIVE SET AT LONDON'S MEGASTORERecord ID: 387325
- Title: UK: VIOLINIST NIGEL KENNEDY PERFORMS DURING THE WORLD'S LARGEST INSTORE LIVE SET AT LONDON'S MEGASTORE
- Date: 18th November 1997
- Summary: KENNEDY GETTING OFF BUS/ WALKING INTO STORE WHILE PLAYING HIS VIOLIN KENNEDY ARRIVES IN HALL TO APPLAUSE KENNEDY TALKING TO AUDIENCE AND HIS MUSICIANS
- Reuters ID: LVA3B23VVVA17G4EV2ST6E7Y9BS6
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Duration: 00:01:00
- Topics: Entertainment
- Story Text: Christmas shoppers in downtown London got a classical music surprise on Monday (November 17) night when violinist Kennedy took a ride on an open-top bus to publicise his new album.
Celebrating his first classical release in five years, Kennedy played excerpts of Elgar to people on Oxford Street from aboard his red double-decker, before arriving at Virgin Megastore for a live performance.
Hundreds of people packed the store's basement floor to listen to Kennedy and the Oxford University Chamber Orchestra perform the Elgar Violin Concerto. Virgin billed the event as the world's largest instore live performance.
After the Elgar, people were treated to his Kennedy's interpretation of Vivaldi's four seasons, which has already sold over two million copies, and another favourite, "Honeysuckle Rose".
The violinist, still widely described as a "punk musician" and noted for his bright waistcoats and spikey hair, has released a new recording of Elgar's Violin Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
It's his first classical release in five years following his "retirement" from the classical scene.
But changes have been made - in his recent professional name change from "Nigel Kennedy" to simply "Kennedy". The violinist says he never liked his first name, but at 40 years of age he appears to be making an effort to be known as a "serious" rather than "alternative" musician.
Kennedy explains his dissapearance from the classical music scene as a desire to expand his personal creativity - taking time to compose his own music. But his return was inevitable, he said.
"I started missing that amazing energy I get from all these musicians on stage and playing these wonderful composers", he said.
Kennedy has recorded 12 albums, including Elgar's Violin Concerto once before in the 1980's with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. That recording won him a BRIT award for Classical record of the Year. Kennedy feels although he is very familar with the music, he has a fresh approach to it in the new album.
"My views have changed and maybe I hoped deepened a little bit ad so I thought it was worth working with a great conductor like Simon Rattle. Anyway, it is always going to be worthwhile, and a great orchestra like the Birmingham Orchestra with whom I was lucky enough to record it anyway. So it was going to have something different about it," he said.
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