Reporting Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Orchestra comes to the Mann Center, Philadelphia’s outdoor summer concert venue, for three consecutive evening performances beginning Tuesday, June 28th.
On Thursday night, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven will step aside to make way for The Beatles. The Orchestra is presenting Down the Abbey Road, paying tribute to the 1969 recording, considered the Beatles’ artistic crowning achievement.
If you go, look for the musician in the back on percussion. His name is Don Liuzzi, and he is the orchestra’s principal timpanist. He doesn’t play a drum set like Ringo at concerts like this; instead, he has giant copper kettle drums in front of him. But on the night when the Orchestra celebrates “Abbey Road”, Don will be “keeping the beat” with Ringo Starr in mind.
“When I was just starting to play the drum set,” says Liuzzi, “I really wanted to keep the beat like Ringo did. I had pots and pans and cardboard boxes, I was playing as a kid.”
Liuzzi calls the tribute “a reinvention.”
“It’s imagining if the Beatles had, at their finger tips, a hundred piece orchestra, plus themselves playing. In Strawberry Fields Forever, they would add strings sections, trumpets and piccolo trumpets and horns. So this is not such a crazy idea to make Abbey Road orchestral.”
For a timpanist who would play along with the Beatles in his basement in the 1960’s, Thursday night will find Don Liuzzi walking “Down the Abbey Road.”
Watch the video…
As for the other concerts: On June 28th, the Orchestra performs Carmina Burana, and on the 29th, it’s an All Tchaikovsky Spectacular, complete with fireworks. Thursday, June 30th, is Down the Abbey Road.
And if you’re looking for the Philadelphia Orchestra at another outdoor venue, on Saturday, July 2nd, the Fabulous Philadelphians will bring their music to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, with a program of classics by Beethoven, Bruch and Strauss. The performance will mark the 70th anniversary of the Orchestra’s first show at Longwood, when Eugene Ormandy was conducting.
Reported by Pat Ciarrocchi, CBS3