The Queen Symphony
The beautiful town of Sibenik celebrates 950 years of historical existence, bringing the renowned musical The Queen Symphony to Sveti Mihovil Fort. The performance will be held by vocal talents of Kolo art society and official orchestra of Croatian military.
Toga Kashif spent two years composing the Queen Symphony. He conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in its debut on Wednesday 6 November 2002. It was performed in the Royal Festival Hall and broadcast on ABC TV to a wide European audience. That night, it received a standing ovation from over two thousand people. This concert was attended by Jer Bulsara (Freddie Mercury’s mother), drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May. They “very much enjoyed it” and they said it was “very moving indeed”. Queen Symphony was nominated Album of the Year in the 2003 Classical Brit Awards. In 2003 Kashif directed the Northern Sinfonia in UK tours with Lesley Garrett. He conducted the Turkish première of Queen Symphony at the International Izmir Festival. He also directed the piece in Australia in two sold-out performances at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. These were broadcast on ABC Classic FM. He also conducted a UK tour in 2007.
In 1974, Freddie Mercury said that he would “like people to put their own interpretation” on his own songs, and Kashif did just that. It is a work comprising six movements – Adagio Misterioso, Allegretto, Adagio, Allegro Vivo, Andante Doloroso and Andante Sostenuto. It is based on around a dozen well-known melodies from the rock band Queen. These include “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You”, “We Are the Champions” and “Who Wants to Live Forever”, the latter including a performance by Nicola Loud. Some critics have compared the overall effect with the work of John Williams, notably his Star Wars score. Others have considered the choral elements of the Queen Symphony to be a nod to the rock band’s own lavish tendencies, in addition to Kashif’s spell as musical director of the London Amadeus Choir. The piece has been performed regularly and in 2004 received US and Dutch premières.
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