Glastonbury’s spectacular celebration of David Bowie coming to Colston Hall in December

Charles Hazlewood’s unique celebration of David Bowie, which amazed the crowds at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, is coming to Bristol’s Colston Hall on December 10th.

Sixteen years after Bowie played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, his iconic Heroes album was reborn at this year’s festival with Philip Glass’s Heroes Symphony, which he composed in 1996 to express his admiration for the late musical star. It played to a packed Park field and was broadcast live to a national TV audience.

Hazlewood has worked with his talented cohort of musicians to present the celebration, including his Army of Generals and members of The British Paraorchestra, the world’s first large-scale professional ensemble for musicians with disabilities.

Alongside the Heroes Symphony, Hazlewood will also present Philip Glass’ take on Bowie’s seminal 1977 album Low, also part of the Berlin Trilogy on which he collaborated with Brian Eno to push the boundaries and definitions of rock and roll. Both symphonies will be performed by the 42 piece orchestra.


Photo credit: Lily Holman

Tickets for the performance at Colston Hall on December 10th will go on sale on Thursday 30th June to Colston Hall members and Friday 1st July to the general public.

Todd Wills, Head of Programme at Colston Hall said: “We are thrilled to be giving Bristol audiences the chance to celebrate the music of Bowie with these iconic pieces of music. I was lucky enough to see the rapturous reception the concert received by the 20,000 strong Glastonbury Festival crowd, so it’s very special to be able to bring the music and musicians to the Hall.”

Charles Hazlewood said: “Speaking personally, Bowie was a cornerstone of my life, a fundamental, as important as Mozart, and for me, that’s saying a lot.

In wondering how to come to terms with it – and as a musician, what music I might play which reflected both my agonised numbness at his passing, and the sheer lust-for-life joy his music has always given me – I realised that we must play Philip Glass’s Heroes Symphony. Here is a wonderfully intense symphonic journey, which takes the musical essence of Bowie’s Heroes, and re-expresses it through Glass’s un-mistakable and hypnotic brand of alchemy.

Anyone who loves Bowie will regularly listen to Low and Heroes back to back – the two major fruits of his Berlin period and collaboration with Eno – and so it makes perfect sense to view Glass’s extraordinary re-imaginings of these two iconic works as one great symphonic journey. From the Low Symphony’s dark beginnings to the white-hot finale of Heroes, this is remarkable testimony to Bowie’s indefatigable spirit, and Glass’s equally mesmerising gift of reinvention and reinvigoration: Low and Heroes re-expressed through the unique and kaleidoscopic colour-prism which is the orchestra.”


Photo credit: Lily Holman

Award-winning conductor Charles Hazlewood regularly conducts some of the world’s greatest orchestras and his collaborations have covered a wide range of genres over the years, from those with classical star Nigel Kennedy to drum n’ bass pioneer Goldie.

The Army of Generals is made up of some of Britain’s finest musicians and was created by Charles Hazlewood to work with him on his many landmark TV films on music and his award-winning BBC Radio 2 and Radio 3 shows.

Philip Glass wrote The Heroes and Low Symphonies as part of a mutual musical admiration, as Bowie credited Glass as being one of his major influences.

Tickets go on general sale on Friday 1st July at 10am from www.colstonhall.org or calling the Box Office on 0844 887 1500.

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