Tour de Brass! is off to the Commonwealth Games

17 July 2014

Since March, when Onyx kicked off their Tour de Brass! by giving the world première of David Sawer’s Bronze and Iron on the steps of the Royal Concert Halls in Glasgow, they’ve been invigorating audiences by bringing their music out of the concert hall and into community space. The tour of the UK’s top bandstands coincides with a renaissance of bandstands that was featured in BBC Music Magazine in April. In addition to the great reviews these free outdoor performances have been getting, Onyx’s formal concerts on this tour are likewise being hailed, with Jane Shuttleworth of Bachtrack praising Onyx’s ability to show off “the mellow warmth that brass instruments produce so beautifully” and describing their Durham performance of Copland’s Hoedown from Rodeo as “like a party I really wanted to go to.”

On July 5th, at one of the biggest stops yet of the Tour de Brass!, Onyx gave four performances over an action-packed first day of the New Music Biennial Weekend at the Southbank Centre in London. After ringing in the start of the weekend with some exhilarating fanfares, they gave a full performance in the Love Shack, a temporary installation for the Festival of Love, managing to escape the rain that put pay to the original plans of playing in the Jubilee Gardens in front of the London Eye.

Once the weather cleared up a bit, they set up elsewhere on the riverside and performed the centrepiece of the tour, Bronze and Iron, — twice! — with some public discussion of the piece in between. As with the rest of the tour, it was great that people who were just wandering by joined festival-goers in listening to the music and interacting with the quintet between performances.

With this big project having gone so well so far, we’re particularly looking forward to Onyx’s return to Glasgow on August 2nd, during the Commonwealth Games. They will be performing Bronze and Iron again, this time both inside and outside the Royal Concert Hall! They’ll be joining 19 other participants in the PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music Biennial showcase of all the commissioned works. Both Onyx’s 1:15pm outdoor performance and the 2:30pm Lomond Foyer concert will not be ticketed and will be free to attend, as will the other performances of the showcase, so come by and hear some exciting new music. For more details on all the concerts, see the PRS for Music Foundation’s website.

In September, Onyx continues with the Tour by heading to Liverpool, Widnes, Chester, and Colchester. You can read exactly where and when to catch Onyx by checking out their tour schedule page.