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Zappa Goes Large

BBC SO Total Immersion: Frank Zappa

A digital image of a french horn sits in the middle of a blue circle, with pink, yellow, and blue sun rays coming out of the blue circle

For Frank Zappa, the symphony orchestra was the consummate vehicle for musical storytelling. Brad Lubman leads this live streamed evening culminating in Zappa’s acknowledged orchestral masterpieces.

In 1983, Zappa hired the London Symphony Orchestra and recorded 90 minutes of his freest, most imaginative and most wickedly entertaining music. Included on the album was the tear-away invention of 'Pedro’s Dowry', a frantic piece that obsesses over repeated fragments with all the primary-coloured brilliance of a cartoon soundtrack. This rampant hyperactivity finds the perfect counterbalance in 'Sad Jane', which is presented alongside its companion piece 'Bob in Dacron'.

'Mo ‘n Herb’s Vacation' is one of Zappa’s most accomplished large-scale orchestral works. Within its three-movement, theme and variations structure, beauty and aggression mingle, paradoxically embodying the sort of ‘sophisticated’ musical archetype Zappa loved to mock. The concert opens with music by Igor Stravinsky, one of Zappa’s principal musical inspirations.

This performance will end at approximately 9.30pm

Produced by the BBC Symphony Orchestra



Choose your seat for each of the priced events and ensure you pick 'Total Immersion Day Pass' as the ticket type. Once a seat from each event has been added to your basket, they will add up to the Day Pass ticket price.

Entry to the 6.30pm talk is guaranteed for day pass holders.

Subject to availability.

Save 15–20% on in-person tickets with the BBC Symphony Orchestra Jan-Jul 2022 Multibuy.

£10 in person

£5 stream

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20% off for groups of 10 or more. Please email [email protected] to book group tickets.

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Please select the relevant preferences on the access registration page during your booking so we can provide you with the correct information and discounts.

Booking a wheelchair space: Select a seat displaying the wheelchair user icon and then select wheelchair user ticket type. The ticket will be priced at the lowest price for that event. If you need an essential companion, please select the click the E icon next to the wheelchair space you have selected. 

Booking essential companion tickets: Please select at least two tickets and one of them will be automatically discounted to zero in the basket. 

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*Excludes £3 booking fee

Pre-concert talk

18:00 Fountain Room

An introduction to Frank Zappa and his orchestral music

Free entry. Limited capacity, entry guaranteed to BBC Total Immersion Day Pass holders.

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