De Montfort University Orchestra

De Montfort University logo

De Montfort University Orchestra

DMU Orchestra hit the right note at historic Leicester Prison Concert

Prisoners have been inspired by the beauty of live classical music, thanks to a special De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) String Orchestra concert.

The historic performance took place within the walls of Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Leicester and it is believed to be one of the first concerts of this kind to be performed in the UK.

The event was made possible thanks to a partnership between the prison and the university’s #DMUlocal scheme, which brings university skills and experience into the community.

Featuring classical numbers from composers such as Mozart and Corelli, the bill also featured special rock renditions of Sweet Child of Mine, Don’t Look Back in Anger, and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody with the iconic Match of the Day theme tune even making an appearance.

Musicians from DMU’s String Orchestra were joined by members of the Philharmonia Orchestra for the event as a result of the recently signed partnership the university has with the internationally renowned orchestra. The partnership will see them collaborate on a number of further projects over the next two years.

The concert was conducted by DMU Orchestra Musical Director and Philharmonia Violist Samuel Burstin, who teamed up with Adrian Varela and Gijs Kramers, also of the Philharmonia to arrange pieces for the one off concert.

Adrian a conductor and composer, said: “It was such an amazing moment at the end of the concert to be approached by the inmates and say how much they enjoyed our work.

“They felt comfortable enough to tell us their life story and said they would consider playing an instrument because of our performance. It was deeply moving.

“It was great to perform for them, you feel a connection with the music, you feel the energy coming from the inmates and it is extremely rewarding. DMU have done a great job to ensure that this event could go ahead.”