(London - Monday 11 March 2019) Forty-five years after its original live debut, Rick Wakeman returns to London’s Royal Festival Hall for what will be the last ever UK performances of his Journey To The Centre Of The Earth epic. The two shows on Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 July 2019 will not only commemorate the work’s 45th anniversary, but also celebrate the legendary keyboardist’s 70th birthday.
The performances will feature The Orion Orchestra, The English Chamber Choir and The English Rock Ensemble, with special guest appearances from Alfie Boe and Robert Powell. Tickets for both shows – including VIP packages – go on general sale at 10am on Wednesday 13 March via www.myticket.co.uk.
Commenting on the shows, Rick said: “It will be very moving and nostalgic to once again walk out onto the stage where it all began.”
Known across the world for his virtuosity, creative flair and flamboyant live performances, Rick Wakeman is a true rock legend; with over 50 million albums sold in five decades, his music continues to reach new generations of fans. Only last year, he made British chart history by becoming the first ever solo pianist to have two instrumental albums enter the UK’s Top 10 on release – Piano Odyssey and Piano Portraits (2017).
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth sits alongside the most successful concept albums of the progressive rock era. This iconic release was first performed and recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall on the night of 18 January 1974 – platinum worldwide sales of 15 million records were to follow, along with an Ivor Novello Award nomination.
For many years, the original conductor's score was presumed lost, making any attempt to revive this seminal work impossible. However, in 2008, a parcel containing the score arrived out of the blue from Australia, enabling Rick to record a new, extended studio version and take it on a 2014 sold-out UK tour, which was subsequently given the award for Best Live Event at the annual Prog Awards. It is this revised version that will be performed at the shows in July.
Set to be one of the hottest tickets of the summer, fans can eagerly anticipate the show of shows as Rick gives his most famous solo work a fitting finale at the venue where it all began.
Show dates 2019:
Saturday 13 July – London Royal Festival Hall
Sunday 14 July – London Royal Festival Hall
Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 13 March at 10am. To book tickets go to www.myticket.co.uk