CLASSICAL LIGHT Inspiring, popular classical greats played by this thrilling orchestra
Directed by: Michael Bochmann MBE (violin)
together with Helen Roberts, Nicky Akeroyd (violas) Peter Adams (cello)
and the Water City Music Bluecoat School Choir.
Corelli – Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 4
Vivaldi – Spring from the Seasons
Bach –Brandenburg Concerto No. 6
Ode to Joy – Beethoven
Fire – Jonathan Dove
Saint-Saëns – Allegro Appassionato for cello and strings
Grieg – Holberg Suite
Orchestra Pro Anima was formed by him in 2017. OPA specialises in giving concerts that are personal, introduced by the players and in which the soloists come from the group itself. Although OPA was formed in 2017 many of the players have been performing together for many years.
This format of concert is without conductor and it is a form of music making it has developed itself, and often includes children in a piece during the concert. However, it also enjoys playing with conductor and performs regularly with the Coventry Cathedral Chorus and their conductor Paul Leddington Wright.
Michael has played a key role, as Director of Music, in setting up and running the Water City Festival, an initiative in East London to connect those who live, work and play in the Host Boroughs to the Olympics through music and art.
In 2016 this developed in the Water City Music charity, which has now run 5 Festivals at the Tower of London for professionals and children to perform together. This is organised in partnership with the Tower and takes place at 3 different stages. The central one is at the White Tower where children sing to the public as they queue to see the Crown Jewels. In 2016, 1360 children took part and in 2017, 1400.
This has led to a series of Oasis concerts at St George the Martyr Southwark and Charlton House, Greenwich. These are professional public concerts in which children also take part in specially arranged pieces. The concerts also often include the teachers as performers. This gives the children an opportunity to hear not only outside professionals but also their own teachers in concert. Senior Conservatoire students take part in the concerts on a regular basis. This brings them the opportunity to interact with children and learn how to inspire them. The children also like to learn from young players often only 10 years older than themselves. The concerts are multifaceted and collaborative.
ABOUT MICHAEL BOCHMAN MBE
Michael is a violinist and music education entrepreneur. In 2019 as well as his many performances he headed a music project in Iraq with the Yazidi people and through Water City Music headed a children’s music festival at the Tower of London. He is committed to music diversity in all its forms.
Since the early 1970s, Michael has made a significant contribution to the world of classical music through performances, media and education. In recognition of his services to music, he was awarded an MBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday honours list.
He made his first broadcasts for the BBC at the age of 19 and numerous recordings thereafter. Aged 18, he was a prize winner in the Carl Flesch (London) and Jacques Thibaud (Paris) international violin competitions. The Bochmann String Quartet, which he formed soon after this, was in the spotlights for 25 years.
Michael’s many associations with Yehudi Menuhin began with a BBC2 masterclass broadcast. They later performed the Bach Double Concerto together including during a tour of 16 concerts in the US.
For a short time Michael played with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and later led the English String Orchestra for 25 years. He now directs Orchestra Pro Anima.
He has always had a strong interest in education and inspiring young people, regularly involving them in his concerts. In 2009 he formed Water City Music in partnership with Lord Mawson of Bromley-By-Bow. In its first year it put on 15 events in East London. Forming the Water City Orchestra he was part of the BBC1 series following 15 lives to the 2012 Olympics. In 2013 he worked in partnership with the Tower of London to create “Water City Music at the Tower”. By 2019 it had gained such momentum that 1800 children performed at the Tower in a single week. In the same year, WCM initiated the musical wing of the “Tall Ships Adventure Festival” at the Gloucester Docks, in partnership with Gloucester Marketing and Gloucester Academy of Music.
Alongside these events is the development of “Oasis Concerts” in Southwark and Greenwich.