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Conducted by Jukka Iisakkila

During a conversation in a hotel room in Sacramento, California, Steve Vai and his friend and Dutch music producer Co de Kloet decided to embark on an orchestral adventure in 1997. Vai was already a world-famous guitar phenomenon. But the "composer Vai" was still unknown to many. That while the orchestral capacities of the master guitarist are just as much of the outer category. In the tradition of his great teacher Frank Zappa, Steve Vai also writes wonderful and adventurous compositions that do not allow themselves to be confined by a particular genre, but are inspired by a great wealth of influences.

In 2005, that conversation between Vai and Co de Kloet eventually resulted in Steve collaborating with the Metropole Orchestra and conductor Dick Bakker. Later he also collaborated with the NNO (Noord Nederlands Orkest). Steve's orchestral compositions are recognizable by a unique melodic and harmonic vocabulary.

The Netherlands can count itself lucky: because once again Vai is walking the orchestral path of his career here during a unique, one-off show with the Metropole Orchestra. The repertoire he will perform this evening under the direction of Finnish conductor Jukka Iisakkila includes both already released material and previews of newly recorded pieces. Those new pieces are part of a major project with the working title "The Big O": studio recordings of an enormous amount of Vai's orchestral music. In May and August 2022, he dove into the studio with the Metropole Orchestra and Finland's Tampere Philharmonia. Post-production of those recordings is underway. Due to the sheer volume of music, a final release date is not yet known.

What we do know is that Steve Vai will literally bridge the gap between his work as a pioneering guitarist and remarkable composer during the Bridge Festival. A unique show by an outstanding orchestra and an exceptional guitarist and composer who, even after a career spanning more than forty years, is still pushing the limits of his ability and going beyond them.