CONCERTO FOR TURNTABLES
NO. 1 & 2

Composed by Gabriel Prokofiev
Performed by DJ Mr Switch

Gabriel Prokofiev is a London-based composer, producer, known for his fusion of electronic and classical music. Prokofiev has written a wide range of orchestral pieces, chamber music, vocal works, film scores and ballets, all marked with his unique and distinctive stamp; blurring styles, pushing boundaries and creating moments of musical magic. Prokofiev’s compositions both embrace and challenge typical classical traditions, and as a result he has emerged at the forefront of a new approach to classical music in the UK and throughout the world.

Prokofiev wrote Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra No. 1 in 2006 during a time when he was wrestling with his creative loyalties between classical and electronic music. According to Prokofiev, a promoter asked him to write a concerto for a DJ using turntables, with the aim of bringing classical music to new places and new people. At first he didn’t like the idea at all – thinking it might just turn out to sound terrible – but then he had an epiphany. What if the turntable player used the sounds created by the orchestra and manipulated them? It would be like a battle of sounds. And so Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra was born.

The piece shook up what was expected of classical music, but when it was performed at the BBC Proms in 2011 with world champion DJ Mr Switch as soloist, it met great critical acclaim, spawning a tour of over 40 performances across a dozen countries, and further Prokofiev commissions, written specifically for Mr Switch as soloist: Concerto For Trumpet, Percussion, Turntables & Orchestra was first performed in France in 2014, and Concerto For Turntables No. 2 premiered in Portugal in July 2016.

Concerto for Turntables No. 1 can be performed with a large orchestra, a chamber orchestra, or on 3 turntables by DJ Mr Switch with no orchestra.

With all the samples coming from the orchestra, the DJ is an organic part of the ensemble, whether supporting it or subverting it. Relishing his role as concerto soloist, DJ Switch’s takes on the classical show-off cadenza were breathtaking in their dexterity
— The Guardian

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ABOUT GABRIEL PROKOFIEV

Gabriel Prokofiev creates music that both embraces and challenges western classical traditions. A London-based composer, producer, DJ, and founder of the NONCLASSICAL record label and club night, he has emerged at the forefront of a new approach to classical music in the UK, recognized by Financial Times as being “in the vanguard of redefining classical music conventions.” Prokofiev’s distinctive sound is informed by his background as a producer of hip-hop, grime, and electro records, as well as his earlier involvement in electroacoustic music at York and Birmingham Universities, where he won a Residency prize at the prestigious Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition in 1998.

Prokofiev’s Concerto for Turntables was performed at the BBC Proms in August 2011 to critical acclaim, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski with world champion DJ Switch as soloist, and broadcast on BBC2 television. Other recent works include a poly-stylistic ‘orchestral remix’ of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony commissioned by John Axelrod and the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, France, performed sold-out concert halls in Angers and Nantes in June 2011; a 3rd String Quartet premiered by the Ruysdael Kwartet at the Wigmore Hall in 2010; ‘import/export/ a percussion suite’ for Global Junk, toured in UK & USA by Joby Burgess’s Powerplant; and a book for Solo Piano recorded by Russian virtuoso GéNIA.

Latest projects include new music for a ballet production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with choreographer Cathy Marston for Bern Ballet’s winter season in Switzerland, and a Concerto for Bass Drum & Orchestra which was premiered by Princeton Symphony and in the UK with the LCO @ The Roundhouse in 2012. His current album, ‘Selected Classical Works 2003-2012,’ was released in Fall 2014. Most recent Orchestral commissions were: a groundbreaking Concerto for Trumpet, Percussion, Turntables and Orchestra premiered by Orchestre de Pau Pays de Béarn in February 2014, a Hip-hop inspired Symphonic Work: ‘Dial 1-900 Mix-A-Lot’ for Seattle Symphony, premiered in June 2014, and a Violin Concerto, premiered by Daniel Hope, Sascha Goetzel and Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic at the BBC Proms in July 2014 to great acclaim, and then toured by Vladimir Jurowski with the Svetlanov Symphony in Russia in September 2014.

Prokofiev recently completed a new saxophone concerto for Branford Marsalis, commissioned by Naples Philharmonic and Detroit Symphony as well as Concerto for Turntables No. 2.

For more information about Gabriel Prokofiev, please click here.


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ABOUT DJ MR SWITCH

Mr Switch aka Anthony Culverwell is one of the most talented & successful DJs to come out of the UK – noted worldwide for his versatility, party rocking abilities & scratch skills. Having made his name & reputation on the DJ battle circuit, Switch’s efforts led him to take the ultimate prize and become the reigning DMC WORLD CHAMPION in 2014, winning the longest standing DJ competition in the world. This is his 4th world title, following his back-to-back wins in the ‘Battle For World Supremacy’, 3 years in a row.

Under his previous guise of DJ Switch, Anthony performed as soloist in Gabriel Prokofiev’s “Concerto For Turntables” alongside the National Youth Orchestra in 2011, becoming the first DJ in history to perform on the BBC Proms, the UK’s largest classical music festival. His other previous credits include closing DJ sets at festivals such as Glastonbury & Bestival; guest mixes for Radio 1, 1Xtra, Kiss FM & BBC Asian Network, and features on TV shows such as BBC Breakfast & Blue Peter. Mr Switch defines himself through his versatility – having performed across the world, he is able to take any challenge thrown at him. Whether he’s dropping a hip hop skills showcase, an electro swing throwback through time, or a multi-genre mash-up, he performs with the same energy, skill & sheer enjoyment of his craft.