Clash: Classical Music With A Modern Touch

By Catarina Wilk

Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frédéric Chopin, Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss, Joseph Haydn, Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski, Antonio Vivaldi… We all know these classical music icons and without question, the list of names could easily go on and on and on (oh yes, it could be a very very long list indeed!). 
Each classical music composer has its very own remarkable style and approach to music which make him so unique and, most importantly, extremely recognizable in the long history of classical music. However, what combines them all is their absolute passion and dedication for glorious classical music which was literally their elixir of life.


At this point, you might ask yourself what does this have to do with our November theme „clash“?

Well, at first sight, one could easily think that Bach, Mozart or any other classical music artist solely appeals to a particular type of audience or one specific age group. To put it differently, the majority of us would say that especially elderly people or a specific social class are more likely to listen to Chopin’s Nocturne, Beethoven’s 9th or Mozart’s classic piano music rather than younger generations who might prefer pop and rock music, hip hop or electro sounds. But that is only half the story! Orchestra and classical music are definitely not a thing of the past (no, definitely not!). In fact, it is quite the opposite!

Break-dance and classical music. That sounds like two completely different worlds that clash.
Nevertheless, the performance group and four-time world champion Flying Steps
in collaboration with German opera director Christoph Hagel prove the opposite by performing breakneck break-dance moves to the sounds of Bach’s classic piano pieces as part of their dance performance called Red Bull Flying Bach. Super-fast dance moves paired with piano sounds that are mixed with modern electronic beats…that is Flying Step’s true DNA.
The video below proves their sensational and innovative interpretation of Bach’s melodic and nippy piano pieces. Their performances push the boundaries between advanced culture and youth culture.

When it comes to classical music with a twist, German violinist David Garrett is an artist that instantly comes to our minds. Interestingly, he is not only a talented musician, but also the only violinist who does not solely concentrate on classical music. That means, Garrett incorporates other music genres in his popular shows. Without any doubt, David Garrett and his Stradivarius mix today’s music industry up by playing catchy pop songs on his centuries-old violin.

The project Groove Symphony by the German Philarmonic orchestra situated in Dortmund is an orchestra that incorporates electro sounds. What a great combination!


(The introduction is in German, so skip to 1:30 to start the actual music)

As you can see, classical music does not automatically exclude modernity. Classical music paired with musicians’ and artists’ different interpretations are the new modern!