Rhinegold Photo credit: Nikolaj Schubert

Melissa Bradshaw

Philharmonia’s Hear and Now dementia initiative celebrates 10th anniversary

3:35, 22nd October 2019

Hear and Now, the Philharmonia Orchestra’s intergenerational musical dementia project, celebrates its 10th anniversary next month with a new partnership with the University of Bedfordshire.

Co-produced with Orchestras Live, the project is based in Queens Park, Bedford and has seen over 700 people take part since its establishment in 2009. Hear and Now brings together participants with dementia and their carers, from the Tibbs Dementia Foundation’s Music 4 Memory Singing Group, with young musicians from the grassroots Bedford musical initiative Fusion Youth Singing. Together with Philharmonia Orchestra musicians and workshop leaders, participants create and perform their own music across a series of workshops through sharing memories and culture, culminating in a concert performance.

The new partnership with the University of Bedfordshire will include a research project investigating the impact of intergenerational projects on participants’ sense of community and wellbeing, as well as measuring the effect of work in community arts projects on professional artists and musicians. The culmination of this year’s project will take place at the University of Bedfordshire on Sunday 17 November, and will incorporate dance, movement and film alongside the music for the first time.

‘As co-producers of the project with Orchestras Live, it has been inspiring to witness Hear and Now’s participants, workshop leaders and the Philharmonia musicians involved create a lasting initiative that has pioneered a new way of empowering creative expression,’ says Alexandra Brierley, director of education at the Philharmonia Orchestra. ‘As we celebrate our 25th anniversary in residence at Bedford Corn Exchange this year, the continued success of Hear and Now stands out as an artistic highlight – here’s to a bright future.’

Stuart Bruce, senior creative producer at Orchestras Live, comments: ‘Hear and Now has been an incredible journey of creative exploration by the diverse people and organisations involved. It has been a beacon for the power and impact of intergenerational work on transforming people’s perceptions, ambitions and achievements through collaboration with world class musicians and artists.’

Further information can be found here.

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