Category Archives: Classical-fusion

Linda Lampenius

Linda Lampenius (also known as Linda Brava) is a Finnish violinist, who has released classical and classical-fusion albums. Lampenius started violin at an early age and became a soloist for Helsinki Strings (one of the best youth-orchestras in the world) at age 7, and performed as soloist for the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Finland at 11. She studied at the Sibelius Academy in Finland from 1985-1997. Linda plays on a 1781 Gagliano violin, worth around €200,000, and with it she has played for many heads of states and royal family members, including the president of Finland, Prince of Monaco, and the royal family of Sweden. She has also played numerous benefit concerts around the world.

But what really brought Linda to my attention was her debut pop album, Linda Lampenius, which was all classical-fusion. Classical-fusion is probably my favourite genre of music, so I’m always hunting for new artists who play in this style, and that’s what led me to Linda. The violin playing is obviously exquisite, but I love how many of the tracks have fun dance beats behind them. And of course what electric-violinist has not played a remix of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue? – a great show of classical technique and fun!

Brava has also enjoyed a career as a model. Over the years she has in many magazines, including Café, Elle, Esquire, GQ, Hello!, Maxim and Playboy; as well as some minor roles in Finnish/Swedish movies and television.  Check out her website: Linda Lampenius


Masterworks Reworked

After watching that Flying Steps performance again, I was reminded of just how much I love classical-fusion and the reworking of the classics into an almost futuristic experience. When looking for a collection of this kind of music, I was amazed at how many people I find straight sippin’ on the hater-aid; vehement rants about the depravity of doing anything to classical music. This always upsets me, and throughout my career I have experienced the divide greatly as a teacher and student of classical music. While I am very traditional in my teaching methods – always having my kids use classical music, I also have many students who also work on songs from video games, animes, or even Lady Gaga! But back to this album! I happened to come across this album and it seemed splendidly serendipitous! “Nessun Dorma” is one of my favourite arias and this remix of it I think is just absolutely brilliant! There is some great Bach, Beethoven, and Tchaikowsky on it too!

Here’s a great description:

“10 master composers, 11 modern producers, 12 masterworks, reworked for a new generation. A one-of-a-kind release featuring sophisticated, inspired remixes from original classical recordings.

The variety and range of Masterworks Reworked are what separate this compilation from others. The original tracks, ranging from vast orchestral symphonies to subtle piano pieces were performed by various European ensembles and taken from the archives of the Capriccio classical label.

Rithma, The Tao of Groove, Jazzelicious, Morgan Page and others mold and reshape these masterpieces to their own vision. From Down-Tempo to House, Nu-Jazz to Electro-Funk and many stops in between, these inspired tracks take the melting pot that is today’s music to yet another new and exciting direction…”

Check out the track listing: Masterworks Reworked

Flying Steps

I am still completely blown away by my first Eurovision experience; not only were the competing songs amazing, but so were many of the acts used to fill the time while the votes were being counted. Flying Steps filled that space during the second semi-finals and it was something completely different. They were formed in 1993 by Kadir Memis and Vartan Bassal, and the group has 9 members. They have taken first place in at least 10 major break dancing competitions between 1994 and 2008. They are widely considered one of the most successful urban dance groups in the world.

Their performance during this year’s Eurovision was nothing shy of fantastic. Their choreography was to all classical music, starting with one of my absolute favourite preludes from Das Wohltemperierte Clavier, Buch I: the prelude in C minor – accompanied by solo harpsichord. They continued to dance to some incredible remixes of Bach, including excerpts from the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.  I love classical music, and it has been such a huge part of my life, but one thing I hate about being in classical music academia is the narrow mindedness. I have always thought that classical music lends itself so well to modern expression that I think one of my all time favourite genres or styles of music is what I call “classical-fusion” – a perfect example being this remixed Bach (many more artists of this genre will surely be posted soon!).

Flying Steps‘ website.