On 18th December at Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre in Istanbul, the internationally acclaimed electric rock violin duo FUSE headlined The Classical Crossover Festival. Linzi Stoppard and Ben Lee (FUSE) headed up a list of artists, repertoire and styles across the classical music spectrum for music lovers and fans alike, delivered the promise to live to up to unforgettable moments in the Turkish arts calendar.
In 20th Century we saw the first examples of "classical-crossover" style which grew from the more traditional and familiar classical music. Aiming to bridge the gap between classical music and the more contemporary instrumental pop this new genre of music became very popular and liked by the masses in Turkey, particularly introducing the younger audience to classical instruments. Today, many famous artists are recognised around the world, some very different from others but collectively described as cross-over music. Apocalyptica, Emma Shaplin, through to artists such as Andrea Bocelli have become very popular in Turkey resulting in many live cross-over concerts.
To celebrate Istanbul being the European Capital of Culture for 2010, many important artists of the classical cross-over music community were invited to Istanbul with the support of the Journal of the Andante in Istanbul. As well as recognising Istanbul's capital position for 2010 the Classical Cross-Over Festival aimed to bring together distinguished representatives for all corners of classical music from around the world.
On Saturday, 18th December the electronic violin duo, known as the "prince and princess of the violin world", Ben Lee and Linzi Stoppard, performed their headlining concert to an audience of music lovers from all walks of life and demographics.
FUSE are without doubt world class, their contemporary ideas and step away from the classical-cliche sound are beyond reproach. With the release of their acclaimed debut album in 2010, European / Asian tour, 4 million views on YouTube and counting, UK and international press, media, radio and TV - FUSE are bringing their stunning brand of entertainment to a global audience, and breaking Official World Records in the process. Ben Lee is the 2 time Guinness World Record holder for Fastest Violin Player in the World. In the past this record has had 0.3, 0.5 seconds shaved off the time but in November 2010 Ben took an astonishing 5 seconds off the record to become the first player in history to pass the "magic-minute" barrier. Ben smashed the old Guinness World Record with a time of 58.51 seconds, an incredible 14 notes per second.
The FUSE duo are the only string group in the world to be OFFICIALLY SPONSORED BY SWAROVSKI who created an exclusive one-off pair of Fuse Signature Crystal Violins worth over One Million Pound each. Following in the footsteps of international superstars Madonna, Michael Jackson and Kylie Minogue, FUSE’s Linzi Stoppard and Ben Lee joined forces with Swarovski to embellish each of their bespoke Bridge instruments with an incredible 50,000 crystals each, every one hand-applied, creating the world’s most expensive electric violins.
The FUSE concert was broadly speaking split into two halves - the first including classical cross-over favourites such as Last of the Mohicans, Braveheart, Adagio For Strings (FUSE style!), Lawrence of Arabia and many more. The second half was in essence FUSE acclaimed album of rock-pop anthems ranging from Coldplay's Fix You, Joan Jett's I Love Rock N Roll, Michael Jackson's Beat It through to Carmina Burana combined with Led Zeppelin and Europe's Final Countdown. All this performed on their incredible Swarovski works of art.
For more information visit www.fuseofficial.com