Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has been announced as a special guest at an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord’s “Concerto For Group And Orchestra.” The event is set to take place at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada on November 21 with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra performing the piece and Paul Mann taking the reins as conductor.
“It’s a great honor to participate in the 50th anniversary of the ‘Concerto For Group And Orchestra. When Paul Mann contacted me about the Quebec event, I said yes immediately.”
Right now, I’m still deciding on what to perform. So many great Purple songs to choose from! — and am looking forward to seeing everyone at this very special commemorative evening.”
Dickinson has been a long-time fan of Deep Purple and had become good friends with Lord before the latter’s passing in 2012.
“As many people know, Deep Purple have been a major, ongoing influence in my life since I was a teenager, and down the years, I have been fortunate enough to become good friends with all of the band, most especially in my collaborations with Jon Lord.”
One such collaboration that never came to fruition was a potential orchestral tour. Late last year during his book tour, Dickinson said,
“We had all kinds of crazy plans, including me going out on tour with him, singing Deep Purple songs with an orchestra, which he was planning to do; that was one of the things we were planning to do. But it all got interrupted and canceled, and [it was] obviously very sad. He was a wonderful man.”
Composed by Lord with lyrics by Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan the three-movement “Concerto For Group And Orchestra” was originally performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Malcolm Arnold in 1969 and released on vinyl that same year.
This isn’t the first time Mann has conducted a performance of the piece. For its 30th anniversary in 1999 he conducted the work with the London Symphony Orchestra.
“My long collaboration with Jon Lord, and in particular his innovative, genre-defying ‘Concerto’, has been one of the greatest joys of my musical life. I look forward to bringing this piece to Canada for the first time on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary. Jon’s spirit will definitely be with us.”
Also set to perform at the event is Canadian blues band the Paul Deslauriers Band.
Before the event, Iron Maiden will be continuing their Legacy of the Beast world tour. The North American leg starts July 18 in Sunrise, Florida and wraps up with three dates in Mexico City, Mexico September 27, 29 and 30. They will then hit South America in October with dates in Brazil, Argentina and Chile.