By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – April 4th, 2019, marked 25 years since the tragic suicide of Nirvana front man and nineties musical icon Kurt Cobain.
This Thursday, April 25th, sees one of the most innovative classical groups in the city, Johann Sebastian Rio, pay homage to the genius of the late singer-songwriter with a symphonic rendition of Nirvana’s most enduring works.
“People think that orchestra music is restricted to a certain era in the long-distant past, and we’re trying to demystify it.” comments violinist and leader of Johann Sebastian Rio, Felipe Prazeres.
The violinist, who is considered by Brazilian conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky as one of the greatest talents of his generation, continues to explain the orchestra’s decision to tackle the notoriously uncompromising songs of Nirvana.
“Nirvana was the milestone for a generation of music, not just for grunge or rock, and we are excited and having fun arranging these versions.”
With songs such as ‘About A Girl,’ ‘Come As You Are,’ ‘All Apologies,’ and ‘In Bloom,’ Nirvana and Kurt Cobain demonstrated a melodic, lyrical and compositional ingenuity that put them among the greatest rock bands of the late twentieth century.
Their 1994 MTV Unplugged in New York performance laid testament to this, presenting the songs as stripped-back versions that will serve as the inspiration for both the sonic and visual style of Thursday’s concert.
Fronted by Prazeres, the Johann Sebastian Rio Orchestra is made up of 16 musicians from the major symphonic orchestras in Rio, formed with the objective of revitalizing and broadening the public image of classical music.
“We want to use the orchestra to play what the audience likes and wants to hear, in order to bring concert music closer to people’s daily lives,” Prazeres concludes.
What: Nirvana in Concert – Orquestra Johann Sebastian Rio
When: Thursday, April 25th; 9PM
Where: Vivo Rio, Avenida Infante Dom Henrique 85, Centro
Entrance: Tickets from R$100, available here