Frank Zappa – The Yellow Shark

Orchestra 2001



Frank Zappa, London, 1973. Photo by Michael Putland.


Frank Zappa at The Barbican, London, 1982. Photo by Michael Putland.


Jayce Ogren, artistic director and conductor of Orchestra 2001. Photo courtesy of Orchestra 2001.

Orchestra 2001 will present the Philadelphia premiere of the genre-defying composition The Yellow Shark, by maverick American composer and rock guitarist Frank Zappa. The 17-movement, 75-minute piece will be performed at The Fillmore in 2018, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the album’s release and of Zappa’s death. In the work’s lush sound world, relentless dance rhythms and surprising turns of orchestration are interlaced with original poetry by Zappa, and performed by an ensemble of 26 musicians on a vast array of percussion instruments, standard orchestral instruments, as well as banjo, cymbalom, lion’s roar, didgeridoo, and alphorn. Preceding the premiere, a concert program will pair selections of Zappa’s chamber music with works by composers who were influential to his artistic development, such as Anton Webern, Igor Stravinsky, Pierre Boulez, and Edgard Varèse. Pre-concert discussions will include one of the nation’s leading Zappa experts, Dr. Joseph Klein, composer and professor of music at the University of North Texas, who will explore the musician’s exceptionally wide range of compositional skills, and the musical and nonmusical influences that are on display in The Yellow Shark.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.