News » A new orchestra in the making

15 September 2020

Foreign Body’s film on the Bath Festival Orchestra grew out of discussions with its artistic director Peter Manning about documenting the birth of this new group.

We shared a clear vision to try and capture a youthful group of musicians who follow in the footsteps of Yehudi Menuhin’s acclaimed, eponymous orchestra, but whose ambition is to release classical music from its restrictions and formalities. The hope of this young group is to engage new audiences through their music and with social dialogue.

Our approach was therefore intuitive – the players should feel natural in their environment, feel comfortable in everyday clothes, and we wanted to see them enjoying the moment, the act and joy of making music with one another.

“What can we change about how performance actually takes place in practice? How are we involving audiences in the music that we’re playing…? How are we reaching people in areas where classical music doesn’t normally play a very large role?”
Maren Bosma, BFO Leader and Artistic Creator

Foreign Body attended one of the first rehearsals of the orchestra post-lockdown, and conducted interviews with its leader, Maren Bosma, and with Peter.

In a socially distanced rehearsal space, a large hall in central London, the group cheerfully played to an empty room. That context signalled the changing world this young orchestra will be entering. The Bath Festival debut for 2020 was postponed and the BFO launch will now take place at the 2021 festival, while the Guildhall in Bath will host the group’s first performance in November.

It is the spirit of the BFO — its desire to adapt, to create, and to spread joy, to interpret masterful pieces of music and share them with audiences at a time when performance itself is under threat — that we held central to our film.

— Luke & Matteo, Foreign Body