Megadeth’s heavy metal legend Dave Mustaine is pairing up with the San Diego Symphony for a special classical concert Saturday, April 12, at 8 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall.
Mustaine, a resident of Fallbrook, is known as a groundbreaker of the thrash metal music that became a genre in the early 1980’s when it exploded across the nation with its loud, aggressive fast tempo.
At the “Symphony Interrupted” concert, the multi-platinum-selling guitar artist will perform Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” with the orchestra. Mustaine is also preparing to play two solos of Vivaldi’s concertos from The Four Seasons, as well as perform Bach’s classic “Air.”
“This is a completely different kind of concept and experience that is basically being pioneered by this collaboration,” said Ken-David Masur, Grammy-nominated producer and associate conductor of the San Diego Symphony.
The marriage of heavy metal and classical music at a San Diego Symphony performance, along with how Mustaine will be the featured soloist, is said to be an original event by more than one music-professional.
“I think it’s a real first and it’s an absolute thrill to bring this artist to such a wonderful organization,” said Ann Spira Campbell, deputy general director of the San Diego Opera.
Masur said that usually the orchestra is just an accompaniment to the main act, but gave the Valley News a sneak peek at what ticket holders can expect.
“We will perform the Roman Carnival overture by Berlioz to set [Mustaine] up as a soloist, and he will come out like all the other great soloists in the world come up on stage, and then we will perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons,” he said.
Mustaine will be playing a special modified electric guitar made by Dean Guitars.
Masur said that in a concert hall instruments need little or no amplification, and will sound as they are.
“I don’t have to be loud, I just have to sound good,” Mustaine said with a chuckle.
Masur said he is excited to connect with Mustaine, and that they both love great music and aim to share their different perspectives in the program.
“It was clear to me that [Mustaine] sees himself as a musician in the whole sense and actually it’s been also very humbling that he would like to perform with the symphony,” Masur said.
So, how did it come about that Megadeth’s master guitarist would be performing notes from the romantic period?
One day, when Mustaine and Dave Campbell met for the first time, Mustaine shared with Campbell how he wanted to help bring the younger generation an appreciation of classical music.
“I told Dave I was interested in classical music, and that I had always thought it would be cool to do Dave Mustaine’s interpretation of some of the classics,” Mustaine said.
Dave Campbell then told Mustaine that his mother, Ann, was a former opera singer and head of the San Diego Opera, and arranged for the two to meet.
“When I met Dave in person I saw the most talented, incredible human being – someone with 5 million Facebook followers who appeals to a younger generation,” Ann Campbell said.
Next, she contacted the San Diego Symphony and explained who Mustaine was, what a role model he had become, and his motivation for performing classical music.
“You have a real leader here – someone the younger generation looks up to as an edgy artist,” said Campbell. “To be a draw for the younger generation is too beautiful of a storm to pass up.”
To experience the live translation of Dave Mustaine’s interpretation of some of the classics, go to www.sandiegosymphony.org for tickets and more information.