Left: Gabriel Prokofiev; Right: Geoffrey Larson (The SunBreak).
Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra performs the West Coast premiere of Spheres by Gabriel Prokofiev under the baton of Geoffrey Larson, 2:00 PM Saturday June 7, 2014 at the Chapel Performance Space.
Gabriel Prokofiev is the British-born grandson of the famous Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. Despite his heritage, he seeks to move away from a classical music scene that he feels is stuck in the past. Gabriel Prokofiev’s music embraces new ideas from hip hop and dance music into classical ensembles.
A young Gabriel Prokofiev was not pressured to become a classical musician, but began writing pop tunes of his own accord around age ten. The only one of Sergei Prokofiev’s seven grandchildren to go into music, Gabriel studied composition at Birmingham and York universities. His focus remained on electronic music, and was strongly influenced by the contemporary hip hop and club scene. His career began as a producer for dance, grime, electro and hip hop, but he returned to the background of his instruction in classical composition in 2003. Founding the record label NONCLASSICAL, he began presenting contemporary classical music in club settings. These classical club nights present music in a way similar to the Mercury Soul series of American composer-DJ Mason Bates. Although Bates’ music also comes from a contemporary dance aesthetic, it stands in stark contrast to Prokofiev’s sound.
Recent projects have put Gabriel Prokofiev on the international stage. The Elysian Quartet released an album of his String Quartet No. 2 with remixes of the work by a host of London DJs. His Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra was premiered in 2011 at the BBC Proms, with superstar DJ Yoda scratching a recording of the orchestra at the turntables, accompanied by said orchestra. His music comes to Seattle in June 2014, with a Seattle Symphony premiere on Friday, June 6 and a Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra premiere on Saturday, June 7.