The BBC National Orchestra of Wales will perform a series of free concerts in Cardiff on February 26 and 27, which aim to make orchestral music accessible to deaf and hard of hearing adults and children. Led by music workshop specialist Andy Pidcock and conductor Grant Llewellyn, the performances will be presented by Dr Paul Whittaker, artistic director of Music and the Deaf.
The events will feature sign language and live subtitles, and will allow audience members to sit within the orchestra, in order to feel the vibrations from instruments as the musicians play. The five concerts will demonstrate concepts including pitch, tempo and dynamics through music including 'Hoe-Down' from Copland's Rodeo, 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' from Grieg's Peer Gynt and the theme tune to Doctor Who. Four of the concerts will be aimed at students from primary and specialist schools, and adults in care homes and day centres. The fifth concert will be open to the public, allowing deaf and hard of hearing children and adults to take part alongside friends and family.
The concerts follow a successful pilot event, which took place at BBC Hoddinott Hall in October 2012. 'These concerts are a really important addition to our outreach programme, and we’re looking forward to offering these events to a new audience,’ said BBC NOW education and community outreach manager Suzanne Hay. ‘We hope that these concerts will also help to raise deaf awareness amongst the hearing audience, and above all, be entertaining events for everyone.’