The Rough with the Smooth

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World premiere of Double Bass Concerto Grosso, composed by Stevie WishartPerformed by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

We are delighted to invite you to the world premiere of Stevie Wishart’s latest and most ambitious composition to date - a concerto for double bass and orchestra in the form of a concerto grosso. The fruit of months of tireless labour based in Cambridge and in residency at FoAM Brussels, this remarkable and unique concerto will finally see its world premiere in London this May. It is a magnificent work and we are very excited and proud to have hosted Stevie through the often gruelling process of its development. Not to be missed!

Specially written for baroque orchestra, composer Stevie Wishart fast-forwards the baroque musical idiom of the concerto grosso into the 21st century in a unique sound experience which plays off the “rough” plucked timbres of the theorbo (bass lute), harpsichord and triple harp with the “smooth” bowed strings.

The piece is performed without a conductor, being led by Transylvanian-born violinist Kati Debretzeni who features as a soloist, alongside the principal double bass soloist Chi-chi Nwanoku, to create a musical sound-world rooted in the 18th century’s passion for improvisation and hypnotic harmonic loops.

“The piece is all about resonance, overtones and sympathetic vibration. The entire orchestra play only open strings and harmonics so that melodies only surface through a barrage of ‘sound-clouds’ and gentle noise.”
– Stevie Wishart

OAE Extras:

  • 5.45pm: Queen Elizabeth Hall auditorium, free admission. Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE and Stevie Wishart introduce tonight’s world premiere.
  • The Aftershow: Join artists after the concert for an informal discussion and Q&A.


Queen Elizabeth Concert Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX London, United Kingdom
Get directions: Google maps