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Classical Anti-Trump protest song composer headed to Norwich

PUBLISHED: 16:46 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 28 November 2018

The Assembly House, Norwich at night. Photo : Steve Adams

The Assembly House, Norwich at night. Photo : Steve Adams

Steve Adams 2017 : 07398 238853

It’s classical music. but perhaps not as you know it. A performer headed to The Assembly House in Norwich has written the most melodious Anti-Trump protest song you’ll ever hear - if you can ignore the swear words. WARNING: VIDEO INCLUDES EXPLICIT SWEAR WORDS.

US President Donald Trump smiles. Picture: AP Photo/Alex BrandonUS President Donald Trump smiles. Picture: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

A classical pianist who wrote an expletive-laden Anti-Trump protest song based on a White Stripes’ song adopted as a sports anthem will be appearing at The Assembly House in Norwich as part of its popular series of lunchtime concerts.

Ben Comeau, who graduated from Cambridge University with a starred first in music in 2014, adapted the cheeky number as a “fugue in four voices”. One phrase, a repeated five-word sentence which is somewhat less than complimentary about the American president, is continuously repeated in the piece which is set to the Seven Nation Army tune.

The musician sells the score online with 50 per cent of proceeds going to “organisations combating the more odious policies of the Trump administration.”

In his hour-long appearance at The Assembly House on December 12 from 1pm, however, the composer and performer will be playing works by Bach, Chopin, Schumann and Messiaen before his own arrangements of songs by Icelandic singer Björk and his own compositions.

The concert in the Norwich venue’s Georgian Music Room is one of the House’s monthly Classical Presents series and will end with Mr Comeau performing improvised pieces based on audience requests.

Mr Comeau’s own compositions and arrangements have been heard in venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Wigmore Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall. He has composed and performed several times for BBC Radio 3, on piano as well as organ.

In demand as a solo recitalist on piano and organ, he is particularly known for his innovative and eclectic programming. His repertoire stretches across five centuries of the classical canon, but he also performs his own re-workings of music by Bjork, Piazzolla, Pink Floyd and many others.

As an organist he won the 2011 Northern Ireland International Organ Competition while as an accompanist he has worked with violinist Charlie Siem as well as singers including Sir John Tomlinson and Andrew Kennedy.

Ben has deep interests in many political and environmental issues and firmly believes that music does not have to exist in a separate bubble to the rest of the world. His website notes: “He is always looking for ways to connect music to important social and political issues of our time.”

* Ben Comeau will be at The Assembly House on December 12 at 1pm, tickets cost £12 in advance or £15 on the door, for more information and to book, visit www.assemblyhouseclassical.co.uk or call 07786 940878.

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