It’s a thrill and privilege to be involved in what will be a hugely significant event, both to the Raploch community and to the whole of the UK. Watching Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra playing in the shadow of Stirling Castle will be a wonderful experience for everyone."Kirsty Wark
Date: 29.05.2012 Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.11
Top Scottish broadcaster Kirsty Wark is to present a spectacular outdoors concert live from Raploch in Stirling, marking the start of the London 2012 Festival on Thursday 21 June.
Featuring one of the most exciting conductors and orchestras in the world, Simón Bolívar Orchestra - Live from Stirling will broadcast on BBC Four, Radio Scotland and on 22 outdoor screens at key sites across the UK.
Kirsty says: “It’s a real thrill and privilege to be involved in what will be a hugely significant event, both to the Raploch community and to the whole of the UK marking the start of the London 2012 Festival.
"Watching Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra playing in the shadow of Stirling Castle will be a wonderful experience for everyone there and also for audiences enjoying our coverage around the country. It will be something that everyone involved, and especially the youngsters of Big Noise, will remember for the rest of their lives.”
Eileen Herlihy, Head of Entertainment and Events at BBC Scotland, says: "It is fantastic news for BBC Scotland to be covering this very special event. It promises to be an amazing night of great performance celebrating the work of Big Noise in Stirling and of course the start of the London 2012 Festival. It's great to be able to relay this event from the very heart of Scotland to the whole of the UK."
This unique concert will be the official start of the London 2012 Festival across the UK and will be one of the largest outdoor classical music events ever held in Scotland.
Taking place in the heart of Raploch and in the shadow of Stirling Castle, a specially built stage will accommodate almost 300 musicians, performing to an audience of thousands drawn from the local community, across the UK and the world.
Richard Holloway, Chairman of Sistema Scotland, the charity behind Big Noise, adds: "There is no clearer indicator that Raploch has arrived as a major force on the cultural map, than to have a classical concert of this magnitude broadcast live by the BBC. This wee housing estate in Stirling has joined the ranks of the Royal Albert Hall, Usher hall and Royal Festival Hall. Who could ever have predicted that? BBC Scotland has been a partner in this work from our first fact-finding visit to Venezuela. They have helped make Big Noise happen, so it is appropriate they should be here for our finest moment so far."
As well as a full performance by The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, The Big Concert will also feature a special guest appearance by the children of Big Noise.
The London 2012 Festival will be a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.
Ruth Mackenzie, London 2012 Festival Director, says: “Sistema Scotland sums up beautifully the values of the London 2012 Festival – world class excellence combining the talent of local young people with their hero Gustavo Dudamel and his amazing orchestra from Venezula. I cannot think of a better opening concert for the London 2012 Festival, and I am so pleased that at last Gustavo Dudamel will see for himself the outstanding talent of Raploch.”
Since 2008 the children of Raploch have been learning to play together in Big Noise - inspired by and partnered with Venezuela's Fundación Musical Simón Bolívar, commonly known as El Sistema. World-famous Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel is Patron of Big Noise, the youngsters are also mentored by players from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
The BBC coverage will feature fantastic classical music performance but will also tell the story behind the Big Noise programme and speak to some of the local children sharing the stage and performing with one of the world's leading conductors and orchestras.
As well as live coverage on the night of the event, there will be a chance to enjoy highlights of the concert on BBC Scotland later in the year when it is shown in conjunction with a new Artworks documentary all about Big Noise.
Notes to Editors
Transmissions on BBC on Thursday, June 21, 2012 (times tbc)
BBC Four 9pm-10.30pm
BBC Radio Scotland 7.30pm-10.30pm
BBC 2012 Live sites 7.30pm-10.30pm
BBC Scotland-Autumn 2012
• London 2012 Live Sites will feature sites in 22 towns and cities across the UK for communities to come together to enjoy an unprecedented summer of events. Details at www.bbc.co.uk/bigscreens
• As host nation broadcaster for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the BBC hold exclusive TV, radio, online, mobile and iPlayer rights in the UK. The flagship Olympic channels will be BBC One and BBC Three, as well as BBC Two (when BBC One switches to news), BBC HD and BBC One HD. These channels will cover all of the key live action and top stories from the Games, as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Coverage of every Olympic sport from every venue will also be available via BBC Red Button and bbc.co.uk/2012
• During the Olympic Games up to 500,000 people per day are expected to celebrate the Games at Live Sites throughout the country. In addition to live BBC coverage on screen, many Live Sites will also feature 'have a go' sessions for Olympic sports.
• In October 2009 BBC Scotland broadcast Big Noise In A Wee Place, charting the first year of Big Noise on the Raploch estate in Stirling. This followed the progress of the primary school children, who received an intensive introduction to the world of classical music and the playing of string instruments, and the challenges faced by the six musicians leading the project.
• Big Noise is an ongoing social change programme which aims to transform the lives and aspirations of young people across Scotland using music and adapting the techniques of El Sistema, the music education project that has been so successful in Venezuela over the last 35 years.
• Top Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti has become 'Big Sister' to Big Noise. A group of children have performed at the Scottish Parliament and recently BBC Scotland filmed a joint concert between some of the children and the BBC SSO in Glasgow's City Halls.
• The Big Concert is presented by Sistema Scotland in association with Creative Scotland, Event Scotland, The Year of Creative Scotland 2012,The London 2012 Festival and Stirling Council
About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.
The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummers Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012. The London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor.
For more details on the programme, to download the London 2012 Festival official guide and to sign up for information visit www.london2012.com/festival