With kind permission :

4th September
A combination of classical music with rock, dredgers and cranes in the city of iron, Ferropolis.

A rock-legend in classical outfit -
Ian Gillan and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra are to give a concert.

From: Ulf Rostalsky

Rocklegend Ian Gillan of Deep Purple talking to
Thies Schröder in Ferropolis. (FOTO: THOMAS KLITZSCH)

Gräfenhainichen/MZ. Deep Purple and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra: two worlds collide. Here one of the hardrock-bands par excellence. There the representatives of classical music. Among dredgers in the city of iron there is supposed to accrue anything but a confrontation. Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan and the orchestra from the Czech capital are practising a closing of ranks. In Ferropolis on September 4th they are going to stand on stage together.

Michael Wagener, executive of tour-organiser Lux concert.events, sees in that a special experience in one of the most spectacular German venues. The idea of combining rock and classical music was certainly not ordinary. But the demand for tickets for the experiment was quite big already.

Ferropolis-boss Thies Schröder is used in quite some things in the city of iron, which happens to be venue for almost every genre. From techno to pop, from hardrock to classical music there have been many events on stage. "Crossover" is for Schröder the standard by which all others are measured, with Ian Gillan and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra he sees that approach combined on stage for the first time.

"Music is music", Ian Gillan comments what's going on. Notwithstanding the fact that a performance together with the orchestra is truly not an every day's affair. The idea of the conductor, Friedemann Riehle, had inspired him, says Deep Purple's singer.

After all, Riehle does not merely rely on the British band's big songs. Gillan's voice will be the defining factor. In contrary to many attempts by classical orchestras in playing modern music, not only the instruments of 70 musicians are bound to speak. Gillan is going to sing, the orchestra's music will be the background.

"Smoke On The Water" is to be played among dredgers. Contemporary witnesses made of steel play a decisive role in the rock-classical closing of ranks. "We will involve them into the show, illuminate them, maybe even ignite some fireworks", explains Lux-executive Michael Wagener. Strictly speaking, the fireworks is bound to ignite on stage, the spark to ignite the audience as well. For Friedemann Riehle the success of the venture is a certainty. Right because the approach to the concert was so special. "Classical orchestras are relying in general since 150 years on the very same repertoire. In the meantime music has changed." Deep Purple had become classics too, to which the orchestra attended gladly.

They are talking about fun with music, about passion on stage. The gig among dredgers is supposed to last one and a half hours. "At least", says the promoter. Encores are already planned for the very promising concert. Gigs with classical orchestras are not completely new for Ian Gillan. He had done such things already in Thessaloniki and Palermo, he told us last Friday in the city of iron.