Nu Civilisation Orchestra: Duke Ellington’s The Queen’s Suite

Open to public?
Open to public, advance booking/ticket required
Hosted by:
Southbank Centre
3 June 2022
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
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Nu Civilisation Orchestra performs a selection of Duke Ellington’s jazz compositions, including The Queen’s Suite, inspired by his meeting with Her Majesty The Queen.

The show is presented by Tomorrow’s Warriors, and led by gifted pianist, composer and musical director Peter Edwards. The orchestra also plays Edwards’ original piece Above and Beyond the Horizon.

On 18 October 1958, acclaimed American composer and musician Duke Ellington was presented to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at a private reception to mark the centenary of Leeds Festival. So inspired was Ellington by this meeting that he promised to compose a suite in honour of The Queen.

For 40 years, The Queen’s Suite, one of Ellington’s greatest and most beautiful jazz works, was shrouded in mystery, with the composer insisting only one copy of the recording be pressed and handed directly to the Royal Household. The piece remained hidden from the public until after Ellington’s death, before finally being premiered by the Bob Wilmer Orchestra in 1998.

Part of Southbank Centre’s Jubilee series of performances and parties marking Her Majesty The Queen’s 70-year reign.