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Internationally renowned as one of the most exciting hubs for classical music, the Southbank Centre’s 2011/12 season will see some of the world’s leading conductors, orchestras and instrumentalists take to the stage.

Major festivals and projects in the upcoming season will bring the cream of classical superstars to London; international luminaries including Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim and Claudio Abbado with the legendary Lucerne Festival Orchestra are set to dazzle in the Royal Festival Hall as part of the Shell Classic International Series.

Featured amongst the highlights of the International Chamber Music Season are Southbank Centre Associate Artists the Takács Quartet performing Béla Bartók’s six string quartets, Steven Isserlis and Robert Levin presenting the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Cello and Piano, and Magdalena Kožená bringing a diverse programme of 20th-century works to the Queen Elizabeth Hall stage. This eclectic programme of concerts is sure to encompass the magical intimacy of chamber music.

The centre’s resident orchestras each offer exciting programmes as part of the 2011/12 season, such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s exploration of the music of Prokofiev led by Vladimir Jurowski. The London Sinfonietta’s major celebration of Boulez – Exquisite Labyrinth: the music of Pierre Boulez – sits alongside premieres of new commissions from the ensemble. The Philharmonia Orchestra present Infernal Dance: Inside the world of Béla Bartók and a Mahler Symphony Cycle with Lorin Maazel. Meanwhile, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s range of events feature musical explorations for young and old, including a TOTS concert that introduces under-fives to the exciting world of classical music.

The International Piano Series is one of the most significant platforms for solo piano recitals. The focus of this season is a tribute to Franz Liszt, whose bicentenary falls in 2011. Pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Marizio Pollini, Mitsuko Uchida are amongst the ones to watch in the series’ thrilling lineup.

For great deals on tickets, book more than one concert in any of the year-long series for discounts.

To find out more, visit southbankcentre.co.uk/classical and check out the season trailer on youtube.

(Written on September 15, 2011 )

Every day the WildKat team scan the newspapers and blogs online to bring you a digested list of the day’s classical music news.

Norman Lebrecht – Slipped Disk

Barenboim to open 2012 Olympics with Beethoven 9th

Roger Wright, head of the BBC Proms, announced last night that, as part of next summer’s cultural Olympics, Daniel Barenboim will conduct a complete Beethoven cycle at the 2012 Proms – culminating in a Ninth Symphony on the  night the Games begin.

Gramophone Magazine

James Levine withdraws from Met autumn season

After celebrating his 40th anniversary with the company last season, music director suffers back injury

Telegraph

Antonio Pappano: It’s more than just the Lone Ranger tune

Antonio Pappano tells Ivan Hewett why he’s so excited about conducting all of ‘William Tell’ at the Proms.

The Spectator

The king of Kings Place

Kings place festival is off to a great start., The Spectator talks to property developer and Founder, Peter Millican

(Written on September 9, 2011 )

We think we can be fairly confident that classical music is safe in the hands of this enthusiastic, young conductor. His interpretation of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, finale is filled with gusto. We wonder if any of the more established conductors will be taking tips from his techniques? It’s nice to see that classical music still has a profound effect on young people – Jonathan is clearly not only immersed in the music, but loving it too!

With thanks to Jessica Duchen for bringing this video to our attention.

(Written on October 28, 2010 )

Here is the third in the series of our feature ‘WildKat’s Unmissables’. Check out what we have selected as our favourite upcoming events occurring from mid-late October.


What? Cover Versions/Aftershow - London Sinfonietta

Where? Kings Place Hall, London

When? Friday 15th Oct 2010 19:30 (click to purchase tickets!)

Conductor – Nicholas Collon

Soprano- Sarah Gabriel

Couperin (arr. Adès) Les barricades misterieuses
Brahms (arr. Woolrich) Ophelia Songs
Purcell (arr. Benjamin) Fantasia VII
Oliver Knussen …upon one note
Purcell (arr. Matthews) Fantasia XIII
Bryn Harrison In Nomine after William Byrd
Purcell (arr. Kurtág) Fantasia Upon One Note
Machaut (arr. Sciarrino) Rose Liz
Machaut (arr. Birtwistle) Hoquetus David
Machaut (arr. Kurtág) Rondeau: Doulz viarie gracieus
Ockeghem (arr. Birtwistle) Ut Heremita Solus
Puccini (arr. Busotti) E L’uccellino
Britten (arr. Clyne) Hymn to a Virgin (World Premiere)

The London Sinfonietta will be playing a varied repertoire of classical pieces updated with a contemporary surprise. The concert will feature arrangements by contemporary composers such as Woolrich, George Benjamin and Birtwistle of pre-20th century greats, such as Brahms and Purcell. There is also an exclusive world premiere of Anna Clyne’s new version of Britten’s Hymn to a Virgin. The evening can only be made more superb by an Aftershow at the Level 2 foyer, 9.30pm where the London Sinfonietta players will be in the bar giving an informal short performance.


What? Tetzlaff String Quartet

Where? Queen Elizabeth Hall

When? Thursday 21 October 19:30 (click to purchase tickets!)

Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in G minor, Op.20 No.3

Antonin Dvořák: String Quartet in A flat, Op.105
Interval

Jean Sibelius: String Quartet in D minor (Voces intimae)

Described in the New York Times as ‘one of the most brilliant and inquisitive artists of the new generation’, German violinist Christian Tetzlaff leads a performance of three varied string quartets. The string quartet came to represent classical music in its purest form during Haydn’s lifetime (1732-1809), thanks largely to his development of the genre over 68 compositions. The lively G minor quartet features Haydn’s typically elegant melodic writing, captured in spirited conversations between the four instruments.

By contrast, Dvořák’s Quartet No.14, written over 100 years later, is an intense, Romantic work, filled with rich textures and harmonies. The music moves through episodes of lyricism to moments of tender contemplation and passages imitating wild, energetic Bohemian dances.Sibelius creates a profoundly intense atmosphere in Intimate Voices (1909). At the heart of its central movement, this darkly brooding, introspective work has three hushed and eloquent chords, which give the piece its title.


What? Eric Whitacre & London Symphony Chorus: Songs from America

Where? Barbican Hall

When? Sunday 24 October 19:30 (click to purchase tickets!)

Eric Whitacre (b1970) is an accomplished composer and conductor, best-known for his choral works. What to expect from this new LSC commission? One critic enthuses of his work: ‘What hits you straight between the eyes is the honesty, optimism and sheer belief that passes any pretension. This is music that can actually make you smile.’  Eric is currently enjoying worldwide acclaim for his ‘Virtual Choir’, a project which saw 186 singers from 12 countries perform his hauntingly beautiful Lux Aurumque through the internet. With more than one million hits to date, the project has attracted not only recognition from the music world, but also from Google and even the United Nations Leaders Programme.


What? EON Guitar Quartet

Where? Kings Place Hall

When? Wednesday 27th October 20:00 (click to purchase tickets!)

If you’re interested in something different for a change this small chamber ensemble could make your evening. The EON Guitar Quartet, founded in 1999 is made up of Giovanni Maselli, Rita Casagrande, Robert Tascnini and Mario Barbuti. The ensemble takes a refreshing approach towards classical music; many composers dedicate their works to them.

The concert includes guitar quartet arrangements for Joanquín Rodrigo’s Conceirto de Araniuez and music by Boccherini, Dvořák, Turina and Bellinati.


What? The Beatles Philharmonic Tribute – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Where? Royal albert hall

When? Thursday 28th October 2010 20:00 (click to purchase tickets!)

The world renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra takes you down memory lane with a music spectacular of classical interpretations of Beatles’ songs. This musical marriage combines dramatic orchestral arrangements imaginatively fused together with rock and pop. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Alan Chircop, will be complemented by a large chorus, with special guest appearances from Dame Shirley Bassey, Tony Christie, Darius Campbell and the UK’s Soul Queen – Beverley Knight.

Further highlights will include performances by Candy Rock, Maria Elena Infantino, Lynn Faure Chircop, Elliott Frisby, James Andrew Arthur, Sherry Davis, The Scarletz, William Owen, Analiza Ching, Maria Abela Manconi, Susan Black and Tony Moore. The grand finale will bring the orchestra, chorus and guest soloists together for a stunning climax to this performance.
 
Well-known broadcaster and Beatles aficionado, Mike Read, will be presenting a narrative backdrop to this tribute, taking the audience through The Beatles’ legendary history. The event is hosted by Fayon Cottrell and is supporting the Noah’s Ark Appeal and the Malta Community Chest Fund.


What? German Masters II

Where? The Handel House Museum

When? Thursday 28th October 18:30 (click to purchase tickets!)

This concert is the second in a three part series spanned across the year and ending in January 2011. The Ensemble-in-Residence Spirituoso has been conducting the concert series dedicated to the three great German composers of the 18th century: Telemann, Handel and Bach. The focus of this concert will be music by Handel and will be a truly magical experience.

The venue itself is splendid and intimate and worth a visit regardless of what performances are on. Check out their website for details of their concert series and other information.

(Written on September 13, 2010 )

Everyone has their own opinion of classical music and the WildKat team want to know them! We are going to investigate who thinks what about various topics within classical music. So we thought what better way to find out than ask the audience of the 2010 BBC Proms? We shall be asking the audience a different question every evening, going on to produce a series of videos compiling all the answers together. Following this we will start a discussion of our own with our personal views and comments on the results we found!

Question 1 ‘What made you first come to see a BBC Prom?’.

Do you agree with what people have said? Do you have any interesting and insightful stories yourself to tell us? Start a discussion here or on our facebook page and tell us about your own experiences!

(Written on August 19, 2010 )