BBC to broadcast The Big Concert live, to open the London 2012 Festival

The Big Concert, part of the London 2012 Festival

The small housing estate of Raploch in Stirling is to join the ranks of the Royal Albert Hall and Usher hall in hosting a major symphony concert to be broadcast live from the BBC on Thursday, June 21.

BBC Scotland will broadcast a spectacular outdoors concert live from the heart of Scotland marking the start of the London 2012 Festival 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.

Eileen Herlihy, Head of Entertainment and Events at BBC Scotland said today: "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."

Richard Holloway, Chairman of Sistema Scotland, the charity behind Big Noise added: "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."

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 three hundred musicians performing to an audience of thousands drawn from the local community, across the UK and the world.

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.

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.

The Big Concert is a highlight in the Year of Creative Scotland.

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