By Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You can love The Beatles and classical music. Just ask Don Liuzzi and Mark Gigliotti, veteran artists with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Liuzzi is principal timpani, while Gigliotti is co-principal bassoon.
“I wanted to be Ringo Starr when I was little,” says Liuzzi. “I was whacking the cardboard boxes to try to make some drum sounds.”
On Tuesday, July 23rd and Wednesday, July 24th, Liuzzi will be living his inner Ringo, when the Orchestra performs the “Classical Mystery Tour – Tribute to The Beatles” at the Kimmel Center.
“It’ll be a blast. It’s The Beatles,” Gigliotti says.
The shows feature four performers: Jim Owen (John Lennon), Tony Kishman (Paul McCartney), David John (George Harrison) and Chris Camilleri (Ringo Starr).
They may only sort of look like the Fab Four, but Liuzzi says the sound will be as close as you can get.
“Literally, they’re playing the transcriptions of what The Beatles did,” said Liuzzi.
The classical twist comes with the orchestration by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
“We play the great symphonies of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms,” said Gigliotti. “But we actually get a lot of musical inspiration and spiritual inspiration from groups like The Beatles.”
Liuzzi believes The Beatles were not just rock and roll.
“The harmonies that they created underneath the melodies that they wrote are very classically oriented. They’re harmonies that Shubert could have written.”
You may not hear them, but Liuzzi and Gigliotti will be singing, too. They claim to know all the words.
“Anytime you get to sing when you play, at least inside, you’re a better musician,” said Liuzzi.
The Philadelphia Orchestra’s “Classical Mystery Tour – Tribute To The Beatles” will be July 23rd and 24th at the Kimmel Center. Shows are at 8 p.m.
For ticket information, visit: www.theartsinphilly.org.