21 by Dirk Brossé

The fact that the present health crisis has rendered a classical New Year’s concert impossible is not necessarily a bad thing. The Belgian National Orchestra and BOZAR have been working with Dirk Brossé on an alternative that will ultimately be far more exciting than the planned New Year’s concert. ‘21 by Dirk Brossé’ is a livestream that combines an interactive classical music medley with an ode to the Swedish DJ and music producer Avicii.

The medley consists of 21 sections, and each is based on a familiar classical work. There is also an overarching dramaturgy that ensures the composition is a complete work in its own right, separate from any references. A slow introduction moves into an exposition with a fast section and then a slower one. At the end, there is a cadenza and a coda. And of course, there are plenty of references, wordplay and suchlike. For example, the nineteenth theme is one long melody that consists of ten different pieces: a ‘circle of solidarity’ in response to the COVID-19 virus.

Following the classical medley, Dirk Brossé will also conduct his own composition, ‘The Pulse of Joy - Tribute to Avicii’. This piece has been inspired by the EDM scene, which he became acquainted with as a conductor at Tomorrowland. He describes Avicii as “a master of playing with the beat”.