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The Barbican 2018/19 Classical Music Season

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The Barbican has announced its ambitious 2018/19 classical music season featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, Associate Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Barbican Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia alongside the Barbican’s own-curated concert series, Barbican Presents.  The Australian Chamber Orchestra returns as the Barbican’s newly appointed International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court.

Highlights include:

Pioneering collaborations and special projects

Director Peter Sellars returns with two contrasting staged productions, a performance of Lassus’s a cappella Renaissance masterpiece Lagrime di San Pietro featuring the Los Angeles Masterchorale with conductor Grant Gershon; and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with the LSO conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and featuring Gerald Finley, Lucy Crowe, Willard White, Sophie Burgos and Peter Hoare

To open their season the BBC SO join forces with Professor Brian Cox and conductor Ben Gernon to take a fresh musical and visual look at The Planets, 100 years since the landmark work received its premiere

A semi-staged performance of Purcell‘s Dido & Aeneas with the Academy of Ancient Music, concludes a three-year Purcell opera cycle, co-presented with the Barbican

Sound Unbound returns in May 2019 in what will be the third iteration of the Barbican Classical Weekender.

Marin Alsop conducts the LSO in two performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, on the same stage where Bernstein himself conducted the orchestra in this work in 1989.

In the year that marks 100 years since the successful Parliamentary appeal for universal suffrage, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performs Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D, commemorating a composer who was herself a key member of the women’s suffrage movement.

Other Worlds – the London Contemporary Orchestra and Choir with conductor Robert Ames present the UK premiere of Giacinto Scelsi’s Uaxuctum ; alongside a performance of John Luther Adam’s apocalyptic piece Become Ocean,.

Jóhann Jóhannsson: Last and First Men – a new multimedia work by the Oscar-nominated Icelandic composer, combining film – with narration by Tilda Swinton – and music, with the score performed live by the LSO and conductor Daníel Bjarnason

Enda Walsh and Donnacha Dennehy’s The Second Violinist – the Barbican presents the UK premiere of this modern opera telling the foreboding story of a life falling apart. Produced by Landmark Productions and National Irish Opera

Darbar Festival – the iconic festival of Indian classical music comes to the Barbican for the first time in Oct 2018.

Premieres and new commissions

Sir Harrison Birtwistle: Fanfare (world premiere) co-commissioned by the Barbican and the LSO for Sir Simon Rattle to open the LSO season and a new work (world premiere), a Barbican and LSO co-commission to be performed in May 2019

UK premiere of Alain Altinoglu’s arrangement of a suite from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, performed by the BBC SO and conducted by Sir Andrew Davis

Die Stadt ohne Juden/The City Without Jews  (1924): A Dystopian Prophecy of Intolerance – a live screening of the restored silent film directed by H K Breslauer with a new score by Olga Neuwirth  (UK premiere), co-commissioned by the Barbican

Roderick Williams, Milton Court Artist-in-Residence – programmes for the baritone’s residency will include the world premiere of a new song cycle by Ryan Wigglesworth as well as the UK premieres of a new work by Williams himself and by composer Bob Chilcott performed by the BBC Singers

Sunleif Rasmussen: Quadroforone  (world premiere, commissioned by the Barbican) and a new work by Anahita Abbasi (UK premiere), both performed by harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani

BBC SO present world premieres by Richard Causton, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Gavin Higgins and Paweł Szymański, and a number of UK premieres by Thomas Larcher

The LSO gives world premiere performances of works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, James MacMillan, and two young composers who have been part of the Orchestra’s new music development programmes, Liam Mattison and Donghoon Shin.

For the Fallen: Marking the First World War Centenary

100 years since the guns fell silent, For the Fallen looks to a future haunted and shaped by the past, with a series of concerts by living composers that bridge the century between that moment and now.

4 Nov 2018  – The LSO gives the world premiere of James MacMillan’s All the Hills and Vales Along, setting poetry by WWI poet Charles Sorley who was killed in action in 1915

9 Nov 2018 – Britten Sinfonia gives the world premiere of a new orchestral version of Nico Muhly’s poignant The Last Letter, settings of last letters to loved ones sent by soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

10 Nov  2018 – The BBC SO’s Total Immersion: In Remembrance World War 1 will feature talks and music inspired by the First World War, culminating in a performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera The Silver Tassie based on a play by Seán O’Casey

11 Nov 2018 – The BBC Singers and their new Chief Conductor Sofi Jeannin perform two new contemplative works: a Barbican and RIAS Kammerchor co-commission for Roderick Williams; and, to coincide with the centenary of Wilfred Owen’s death, Bob Chilcott’s setting Move him into the sun.

Composer and Artist Focuses

 The BBC SO presents Total Immersion days dedicated to exploring the musical life and works of composers György Ligeti (2 Mar) and the Boulanger sisters – Lili and Nadia (6 Apr)

Diana Damrau sings Strauss – in recital with pianist Helmut Deutsch; in the Four Last Songs with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, and in the closing scene of Capriccio with the LSO under Gianandrea Noseda

Daniil Trifonov features in an LSO Artist Portrait performing with the Orchestra and in recital

Visiting orchestras and ensembles

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Ádám Fischer

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with conductor Mariss Jansons

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with conductor Sir Antonio Pappano 

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

Il Pomo d’Oro with conductor Maxim Emelyanychev

Collegium Vocale Gent with conductor Philippe Herreweghe

Les Arts Florissants with conductor William Christie

Le Concert Spirituel with conductor Hervé Niquet

The 2018/19 classical music season opens in September 2018. Booking will open to the general public on 2 February 2018.

For more information , visit the Barbican website here

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