Berlioz 150

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of Berlioz

A year-long celebration in 2019 to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Berlioz. As well as honouring the composer through a series of events and initiatives to mark the occasion, Berlioz 150 will have a wider brief to raise awareness of and enthusiasm for classical music, especially among younger audiences.

Along with many inspiring performances will be the centrepiece concert for Berlioz 150 – assembling the largest ever children’s choir in the United Kingdom, involving up to 10,000 children, to recreate the impact of the Charity Children’s Concert which Berlioz attended in St Paul’s Cathedral in June 1851. Berlioz described the concert, with 6,500 children singing in unison, as ‘the most extraordinary thing I have seen and heard in the whole of my existence’. This centre-piece Berlioz 150 historic concert will include works from the 1851 performance, specially-commissioned new works, and one of Berlioz’s own large-scale compositions.

One of the primary goals of Berlioz 150 is to give several thousand children, from a diverse range of backgrounds and geographical areas around the United Kingdom, an unforgettable musical and singing experience, and to inspire in them–and their families and friends – a continuing love of music and singing.

Berlioz 150 will also benefit from the many ways the digital world can enhance the enjoyment of music. Among various digital initiatives, Cooper Digital Publishing will create the Berlioz 150 digital platform, in the form of a free-access website, featuring films and soundtracks from major performances, specially written and accessible brief articles on the composer and his world, engaging educational material for students and teachers to download and enjoy, interviews with internationally recognised conductors and performers, and key lists of Berlioz and related performances celebrating the anniversary year.