Rick sets off on a new journey

Rick Wakeman
Rick Wakeman

Rick Wakeman will be performing his album Journey To The Centre Of The Earth at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall May 2.

The tour around the UK has been extended and will mark the 40th anniversary of Rick Wakeman’s classic album and 150th anniversary of Jules Verne’s much-loved book.

Based on the novel by Jules Verne, the album is one of the rock era’s landmark achievements, a record that sold 15 million copies and rewrote the rules.

Rick Wakeman and The New World Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by The English Chamber Choir and the English Rock Ensemble, will celebrate this anniversary with a state of the art, dramatic, live presentation of this epochal, classical-rock crossover work.

The Journey To The Centre Of The Earth tour has already grown from five to seven dates and now, due to popular demand, embarks on an expanded Journey with 14 more shows.

“This is the start of a new Journey,” said Rick Wakeman. “The original score for the album had been lost for so many years, making any new performances impossible, but after it turned up without warning, we managed to restore it and add previously missing music that was not included in the original performances.

“It has taken another half decade to develop it into this tour, but I can’t wait to take Jules Verne’s magnificent story on tour again.”

Presented in two parts, the first half will be Rick telling the story of the original album - from the inspiration to the trials and tribulations that made the record and tour almost as challenging as the adventure the story depicts.

Based on his acclaimed Edinburgh Festival show this year, Rick and his piano bring the often hilarious and unlikely tale to life in his own irrepressible style.

Then, the second half will relive the thrill for the millions who grew up with the original album and the many film and TV adaptations of the novel, and introduce Wakeman to a new generation of concert-goers.

For ticket details, call the box office on 0115 9895555.

n The City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will provide the first classical performance of the year in the Nottingham Classics season on Thursday, January 23.

The orchestra will be conducted by John Wilson, one of the star names in British classical music.

He has made a name for himself at the Proms for arranging and conducting some classic music from the golden age of musicals and Hollywood, with his own hand-picked orchestra, to great acclaim.

But he is also renowned for his conducting work within the field of British classical music. This concert will feature works by three of the leading English composers of the 20th century.

First up will be three of Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance Marches.

The composer wrote five of them with a unfinished sixth completed after his death.

Number one needs no introduction and number four is also familiar, but the others are worth exploring, as you will find out in this concert.

William Walton’s Cello Concerto is also to be performed by the CBSO, with star soloist Paul Watkins.

It is an expressive work, combining bittersweet lyricism with rhythmic agility.

The concert concludes with Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony, the second in his cycle of nine symphonic works.

It is a highly evocative musical portrait of the city in its many moods.

Ticket details are available by calling the box office on 0115 9895555.