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Sound Unbound: The Barbican Classical Weekender – 29th to 30th April 2017

After the successful first festival in 2015. Sound Unbound will once again return at the end of April to give audiences the chance to explore new music from medieval to modern, in a relaxed festival environment.

The festival features over 60 short concerts encompassing nearly 1000 years of music. Alongside new commissions, visitors can also hear some well-known classics.

Pianist, producer and composer Chilly Gonzales will present his guide to the orchestra in a specially commissioned work with Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Jules Buckley. The Academy of Ancient Music will be performing famous works including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 5 and Pachelbel’s Canon. Organist James McVinnie, widely recognised for his fresh approach to the instrument and repertoire, will interpret music by Philip Glass and JS Bach. Alison Balsom and Timo Andres will also join forces with the Britten Sinfonia for Rhapsody in Blue and Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain.

Alison Balsom photo Mat Hennek

The weekend also features American soprano Angel Blue who has performed in the English National Opera’s La Bohème as well as alongside Donna Summer and Chaka Khan, acclaimed British countertenor Iestyn Davies in an intimate concert with lute player Thomas Dunford, and the Kanneh-Mason Trio, led by BBC Young Musician of the Year Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

Iestyn Davies Photo Benjamin Ealovega

Film and Music

In 2017, the Barbican celebrates the medium of film with a “Film in Focus” series across the various artforms. As part of this, Sound Unbound features an exciting chance to hear the London Symphony Orchestra perform film music by John Williams.

The Norwegian siblings Mari and Håkon Samuelsen, a violin and cello duo, bring Nordic Noir to the Barbican, featuring new works from the composers of soundtracks for The Bridge and The Killing alongside music by Arvo Pärt.

Sound Unbound 2015 Mari Samuelsen Photo Mark Allan

In two Symphonic Cinema sessions, the BBC Symphony Orchestra performs Stravinsky’sballet score Firebird alongside a stunning film which director Lucas van Woerkum has created specifically to the music and story, and which he will synchronise in live-time to the orchestra’s performance (UK premiere).

LSO St Luke’s will host the BBC Singers for the UK premiere of German composer and producer Sven Helbig’s I Eat the Sun and Drink the Rain, a new work for choir, visuals and liveelectronics which explores searching questions about the role of nature and human relationships in a world of artificial intelligence and digital alienation.

Re-workings

Sound Unbound also features well-known works in unconventional versions. Bach’s Goldberg Variations will be played by a string trio from the Scottish Ensemble. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, a work that shocked and changed the musical world for ever, can be heard in an arrangement for two pianos, performed by two of the most exciting and innovative young American pianists, Timo Andres and David Kaplan. Musicians from the Guildhall School’s Electronic Department will remix Haydn’s Toy Symphony, together with other well-known classical repertoire, in a specially commissioned arrangement for sound-producing electronic toys and devices.

Gabriel Prokofiev, Photograph by Malihe Norouzi

Music in The Pit, The Curve and the Conservatory

During the weekend, the Barbican opens up its many venues and so this unparalleled variety of music and artists can also be heard in an unusual range of venues: The Pit (the Barbican’s studio theatre), the Conservatory, The Curve gallery, the Barbican Lakeside, in the foyers, in the neighbouring Milton Court Concert Hall and LSO St Luke’s, as well as in the Barbican concert hall itself. On the Barbican’s Lakeside Terrace wind-up gramophones will invade the space with a collage of classical music through the ages, devised by musicians and staff of the Guildhall School’s Electronic Music Department. The Pit sessions, programmed in association with Boiler Room TV, include the innovative Calder Quartet, a Sound Unbound favourite from the first festival; a session from versatile viol player and professor of viola da gamba at the Guildhall School Liam Byrne, equally at home in very old and very new music; and London-based composer, producer, and founder of the NONCLASSICAL record label and club night, Gabriel Prokofiev.

The Curve will be a venue for choral music, alongside a new commission from Anna Meredith , a genre-defying British composer, producer and performer who moves comfortably between the different worlds of contemporary classical and experimental rock. Also filling the huge, resonant space of the Curve will be Tuning Up, a sound installation for forty helium balloons with harmonicas, devised by Stephen Cornford and Bill Leslie.

The Barbican Conservatory, the second biggest conservatory in London, will be the location for Silent Opera’s Carmen: Remastered, in which headphones let the audience into the tormented, internal world of Don José and his encounter with the woman he desires, as well as for Michael Gordon’s cult classic Timber, a meditation on sound and rhythm, bringing the physicality, endurance and technique of percussion performance to a new level.

The festival takes place on the 29th to 30th April 2017

Passes range from £20 to £40 , Young Barbican (14-25) Day passes £10

For more information and tickets , visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
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A Short Guide to the Barbican

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The Barbican is Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue and is considered one of London’s best examples of Brutalist architecture.

Although it is known for its ‘modern’ appearance, the Barbican site has a long and fascinating history. The word Barbican refers to a fortified outpost or gateway and London’s first Barbican was built by the Romans for protection before it was incorporated in the large London wall built by the Roman’s in AD 200. Over the following centuries it became part of the Cripplegate area of the City of London. After surviving fire and plague it was the power of the Luftwaffe in the Second World War that destroyed the area.

After the war, plans were developed from designs by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon for this particular area of London. There were concerns about the dwindling population in the City of London and it became considered increasingly important that a residential area to be created on the site.

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The 40 acre Barbican Estate developed with residential blocks set on a raised podium and constructed between 1969 and 1976. The Arts Centre was built between 1971 and 1982, consisting of two theatres, a concert hall, a library, an art gallery, three cinemas, a conservatory, offices, restaurant, shops and foyers.

When the Queen opened the Barbican complex in 1982 she pronounced it “one of the wonders of the modern world”. Although few agreed with that particular view, it does represent a unique urban landscape in the City of London.

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Over the last few decades the Barbican Arts centre has developed into a world-class arts and cultural centre which is Europe’s largest arts centre all under one roof. The Barbican is the  base for the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and has close ties with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  The Centre hosts mainly classical and contemporary music concerts, theatre performances, film screenings and art exhibitions but also offers a wide range of activities and festivals.

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The Barbican is located in the heart of the City of London and is accessible by rail, road and underground.

Tube

Within walking distance from a number of London Underground stations, the closest being Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate.

Rail

The nearest train stations are Liverpool Street and Farringdon.

Bus

Bus Route 153 runs directly past the Barbican along Chiswell Street.

Walk

You can walk to the Barbican within 30 minutes from all over central London.

For more information, visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Sound Unbound: The Barbican Classical Weekender – 31st October to 1st November 2015

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Whilst the  Proms features 76 Proms in around two months, Sound Unbound: The Barbican Classical Weekender will feature 60 taster concerts across a single weekend and involving over 600 performers. Sound Unbound will take over the Barbican Centre and surrounding venues including LSO St Luke’s, St Giles Cripplegate, The Pit, Milton Court Concert Hall and the Barbican Lakeside, highwalks and Conservatory. This festival presents a wide range of music from medieval to modern, from established classics to world premieres, symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, intimate solo recitals, historic instruments, film and explores the many facets of the human voice.

Ko-cdecoda - caroline Bittencourt

Decoda – photo Caroline Bittencourt

The extensive programme includes classics by Vivaldi, Mozart, Ravel, Purcell, Schubert, Debussy, Bach, Rachmaninov, Liszt, Stravinsky, Monteverdi, Holst and Beethoven, but also features many of today’s most exciting contemporary composing voices such as Anna Clyne, John Adams who conducts the LSO in his Harmonielehre, Caroline Shaw, Max Richter who performs with Britten Sinfonia and its Associate Leader Thomas Gould in his Vivaldi Recomposed, Arvo Pärt, Augusta Read Thomas, Osvaldo Golijov, Steve Reich, Nicole Lizée, Nico Muhly and Judith Weir.

V_3NhbnGEbNicola Benedetti copy Simon Fowler

Nicola Benedetti- Photo Simon Fowler

The festival also features two world premieres: composer, producer and DJ Gabriel Prokofiev’s new work for electronics and clarinet, and Bob Chilcott’s The White Field, a participative work for choruses and audience commissioned by the Barbican for this occasion. Augusta Read Thomas’s Aureole and David Lang’s politically charged The National Anthems get their UK premieres, and Pulitzer Prize-Winning John Luther Adams’s large-scale work Inuksuit for 9-99 percussionists, designed for the outdoors, gets its London premiere. The Barbican’s highwalks and Lakeside become the auditoria for this work, led by Joby Burgess, the performance will feature musicians from Britten Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music, Guildhall School and Speak Percussion from Australia.

joby burgess - Nick W, Kathy Hinde

Joby Burgess- Photo Kathy Hinde

The festival will provide plenty of excitement in events that illustrate the remarkable diversity within classical music with the BBC Symphony Orchestra performs  Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra and Holst’s Mars. Halloween is celebrated in the orchestra’s Witching Hour session featuring Berlioz’s March to the Scaffold and Liszt’s Dance of Death. In Barbican Cinema 1, Megumi Masaki plays Nicole Lizée’s psychotic Hitchcock Études, which set a gritty contemporary piano score against an obsessive collage of clips from Psycho and The Birds. Further cinematic offerings include Walt Disney’s 1940s classic Fantasia, and pianist/composer Neil Brand’s exploration of Wagner’s influence on film music, from King Kong to X-Men. In Barbican Conservatory, musicians from the Guildhall School perform a range of music curated for the occasion, including John Cage’s Child of Tree, a composed improvisation for plant materials including amplified cactus and pea pod shakers. Music from earlier times can be heard in a session called Right Royal Entertainment, featuring the Academy of Ancient Music and friends performing Handel’s powerful Zadok the Priest, and also when the BBC Symphony Chorus give an immersive, surround-sound rendition of Tallis’ 40-part motet Spem in Alium. At LSO St Luke’s, LSO musicians perform Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale.

Matthew Barley - Madeleine Farley photo

Matthew Barley- Photo Madeleine Farley

Alongside the live music programme, there is a wide range of complementary activities taking place. The Institute of Ideas will curate debates and discussions on  why classical matters , there will be My First Time interview sessions with personalities discussing their seminal classical encounters, plus talks and discussions on being a classical music lover featuring writer and broadcaster Paul Morley, pianist James Rhodes, author and musician Seb Hunter and others. Professor Marcus du Sautoy will explore the connection between music and mathematics. If you just want to chill out, the Sound Unbound Club Lounge will be set up as a hub for audiences to relax and chat, meet artists and watch live relays from the Barbican Hall.

Some of the soloists performing at the festival include cellist Maya Beiser, pianist Jeremy Denk, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, pianist James Rhodes, cellist Matthew Barley,violinist Nicola Benedetti, pianist Wilhem Latchoumia, violin and cello duo The Samuelsens, percussionist Joby Burgess,soprano Nicole Carr, organist James McVinnie and soprano Omo Bello.

Tickets

Day passes (Saturday/Sunday) £25
Weekend pass (both days) £40

Tickets should be exchanged for a wristband on arrival at the Barbican Centre.

Sessions are open to all Weekend/ Day pass holders

Entry to specific sessions is subject to capacity and on a first-come, first-served basis. Unreserved seating in all sessions.

If you would like further information or buy tickets, visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Exhibition Review : Walead Beshty at the Barbican – 9 Oct 2014 to 8 Feb 2015

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Walead Beshty – A Partial Disassembling of an Invention Without a Future: Helter-Skelter and Random Notes in Which the Pulleys and Cogwheels Are Lying Around at Random All Over the Workbench.

The Curve, Barbican Centre, 9 October 2014 – 8 February 2015 ,Admission Free
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The Barbican has unveiled its commission from the London born, Los Angeles-based artist Walead Beshty. Using a 90-metre long wall of the Curve,  Beshty has created a panorama effect using over 12,000 cyanotype prints. The cyanotype was a very early photographic process invented by the English scientist Sir John Herschel in 1842, Beshty took objects from his studio and placed them on a porous surface (such as discarded paper or cardboard) that has been coated with UV-sensitive material and exposed directly to sunlight, producing the object’s silhouette against a cyan blue background.

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The work was began in 2013 in LA and was completed in London where he used local materials during a month long stay. The installation follow this chronological order so acts as a visual timeline of its creation.

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The installation’s large scale offers a panoramic effect that sweeps along the wall, but closer inspection offers insight into the cyantype process which creates a ghostly image of the object. Many of the objects are recognisable but some seem to have transmuted into a wide range of shapes.

The work’s collage effect offers an intriguing aspect of trying to make sense of one element within other elements within the whole.

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For a slightly different view there is a central platform constructed using recycled materials from a previous Barbican exhibition.

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The artist will be in conversation with Brian Dillon in November and if you fancy trying out the Cyanotype process there is workshop in December.

Walead Beshty’s artwork  offers a considerable amount of interest and if you are visiting the Barbican, this free exhibition is well worth a viewing .

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Events

Walead Beshty in conversation with Brian Dillon
26 November, 7pm
Frobisher Room 4 & 5
Tickets £8
Cyanotype Making Workshop
6 December, 11am–3pm
(hourly sessions: 11am, 12noon & 2pm)
Fountain Room
Tickets: Free (Limited capacity, to book email art@barbican.org.uk )
An introduction to cyanotype printing where children and adults can create their own blue photogram using objects from everyday life.

If you would like to find out more about the exhibition or events, visit the Barbican website here

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here