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Joby Burgess - Concerto for Bass Drum and OrchestraWhile a concerto for solo percussion, marimba, and even drumset, is common place within the orchestral world, a concerto written solo concert bass drum ... uhmmmm ... not so much. Gabriel Prokofiev, grandson to the legendary composer Sergei Prokofiev, has taken percussive works to a new high with one of the lowest sounding instruments in the percussion family.

Concerto for Bass Drum and Orchestra, featuring British percussionist Joby Burgess and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (Rossen Milanov, conductor), saw its world premiere performance on February 9, 2012, at Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University.

The composition was originally planned to be a concerto for percussion with solo bass drum featured in just one of the movements, however, composer Gabriel Prokofiev was so intrigued with the range of sounds the instrument could produce that he wrote his concerto for the concert bass drum alone. As Burgess demonstrates, by employing an assortment of techniques the bass drum is capable of a wide variety of sounds, including a "lion's roar," as well as a mixture of textures by using rattling chains, thimbles on the wooden sides of the drum, and drumming with bundles of bamboo.

Burgess studied percussion at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, and is founder of Powerplant, a multimedia collective that performs improvisations, commissions, and experimental works. Prokofiev is a London-based composer and producer, and founder of the NONCLASSICAL record label and "club nights."

This performance in Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University, was part of the Onegin Project — a unique collaboration between scholars and students in the Music Department and Slavic Languages and Literature Departments.