Special Tony recipient and co-creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch John Cameron Mitchell will guest star in a two-night, world premiere concert of Blackstar Symphony, The Music of David Bowie. The event, a collaboration between Blackstar Symphony Artistic Director Donny McCaslin and The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, led by Conductor Tim Davies, will be held September 16–17 as part of the inaugural Charlotte International Arts Festival.
McCaslin, Bowie’s musical partner and saxophone player on the original Blackstar recording, conceived the idea for the piece, re-imagining Bowie’s work for full symphonic orchestra, performing along with his jazz quartet and two vocalists (Gail Ann Dorsey and David Poe). The first act of the concert will premiere the first ever live performance of the entire Blackstar album featuring a 65-piece orchestra, with the second half showcasing highlights from Bowie's catalogue. Contributing music arrangers include Jules Buckley, Tim Davies, Vince Mendoza, Maria Schneider, Jamshied Sharifi, Tony Visconti, Michael Dudley Jr., and Vellu Halkosalmi.
“I love this music, and it is close to my heart,” said McCaslin. “David refused to stay in one musical ‘lane’ during his long career, playing with different musical styles and creating a musical language all his own. That principle is at work in this program.”
A world tour of Blackstar Symphony is planned in 2023–2024. The Charlotte International Arts Festival runs September 16–October 2. For more information, visit CharlotteArtsFest.com.