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A new light on music by women

In 2019 Kings Place’s award-winning flagship series focuses on the creative firepower of women composers: Venus Unwrapped. Across twelve months and more than sixty events, we unlock the secret history of music by women, a shadow canon that begins with the music of medieval nuns, moves on to gifted professionals working in the European courts, the stifling world of the 19th-century drawing room, radical voices of the 20th century and into an explosion of creativity from female artists today in all genres. Venus Unwrapped embraces more than one hundred composers from Anna Meredith to Florence Price, Rafaella Alleotti to Rebecca Clarke, Barbara Strozzi to Sona Jobarteh, Fanny Mendelssohn to Pan Daijing, Kaija Saariaho to Nikki Yeoh, Cara Dillon to Cate Le Bon. From classical to electronica, jazz to folk, contemporary to comedy, Venus Unwrapped aims to reclaim her-story in music and inspire the next generation.

Supported by the Ambache Charitable Trust

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Elias Quartet

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Sally Beamish was inspired to write Reed Stanzas by Elias Quartet’s Donald Grant. Her third quartet evokes windswept landscapes of Suffolk and Harris, threaded with the calls of a lapwing.

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Zoë Keating

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

Cellist and composer Zoë Keating is a one-woman orchestra, creating intricate, haunting and compelling music with a cello and a foot-controlled laptop.

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Zoë Keating

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

Cellist and composer Zoë Keating is a one-woman orchestra, creating intricate, haunting and compelling music with a cello and a foot-controlled laptop.

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Suzanne Ciani

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

The legendary Suzanne Ciani, first female recipient of the Moog Innovation Award, is a composer, recording artist, and pioneer in the field of electronic music and sound design. She brings her performance on a Buchla 200e in quadraphonic sound to Kings Place as part of Venus Unwrapped.

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Theatre of Voices

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

In this programme Paul Hillier and his acclaimed Theatre of Voices present some of the finest new vocal chamber music to come out of the Baltic States.

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Isata Kanneh-Mason and Ellinor D’Melon

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Rising young talent Isata Kanneh-Mason makes her solo debut at Kings Place in this Sunday morning concert focusing on Brahms and Clara Schumann. She is joined by young violinist Ellinor D’Melon.

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I, Clara with Lucy Parham and Dame Harriet Walter

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Created to celebrate 200 years since Clara Wieck Schumann’s birth in 1819, I, Clara tells her extraordinary life story in her own words.

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Mathilde Milwidsky & Petr Limonov

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Prize-winning duo Mathilde Milwidsky and Petr Limonov trace and explore the rich associations in Agnes Zimmermann’s work. 

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Carla Bley Trio

Jazz / Venus Unwrapped

See the revered jazz pianist Carla Bley perform her meticulously crafted music with long-term associates Steve Swallow and Andy Sheppard.

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London Adventist Chorale: Still I Rise

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Combining a cappella, accompanied choral music and solo song, this unique programme covers a diverse range of works from classical composition to spirituals and gospel.

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Piatti Quartet & Emily Pailthorpe (oboe)

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

This concert illustrates Elizabeth Maconchy’s sensitivity for wind writing, as Emily Pailthorpe’s solo oboe joins the Piatti Quartet in a rare performance of the Oboe Quintet.

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The Black Flamingo Cabaret

Words / Venus Unwrapped

Dust down your feathers for a night of wordplay and gender-defying drag featuring black and queer performers, hosted by poet and drag queen Dean Atta as The Black Flamingo.

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Kelly Moran

Contemporary / Luminate

Sail into uncharted musical waters with genre-defying composer and pianist Kelly Moran, performing her free-form, ambient Warp Records debut, Ultraviolet. Presented by Parallel Lines.

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O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra with Evelyn Glennie

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Hugo Ticciati and O/Modernt present two works reflecting on motherhood, alongside solo compositions written and performed by world-renowned percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

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Olivia Chaney

Folk / Venus Unwrapped

London-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Olivia Chaney follows up her 2018 Grammy-nomination, appearance on Later...with Jools Holland, and sold-out Kings Place performance with a concert specially curated for Venus Unwrapped.

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Juice Vocal Ensemble: Voices of Venus

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

The experimental vocal trio present a programme combining voice with electronics, found sounds and percussion, inspired by leftfield pop, theatre and new classical music.

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Natalie Clein

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Natalie Clein presents the darkly opulent Cello Sonata of gifted Dutch composer Henriëtte Bosmans, in a captivating programme of cello and song with Julius Drake and Ruby Hughes.

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Flamenco Pasión

World / Venus Unwrapped

Flamenco is widely seen as the most male dominated form of guitar playing, but things have been changing and there is now a wave of great female guitarists emerging.

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Errollyn Wallen and Laura Snowden

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

The guitar was historically regarded as a male dominated instrument but in recent times many women have excelled in guitar, both as performers and composers.

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NYJO with Yazz Ahmed and Laura Jurd

Jazz / Venus Unwrapped

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra celebrates female contributions to jazz through history, including Laura Jurd’s reimagining of Mary Lou Williams’ 1945 Zodiac Suite.

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Chiaroscuro Quartet

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

In her 1834 quartet, the young Fanny Mendelssohn announced her composing talent to posterity: here was her response to Beethoven and to her pole star, JS Bach.

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Women in Frame: Gillian Clarke and Claire Eastgate

Words / Venus Unwrapped

At a time when extraordinary women poets are lighting up the face of contemporary poetry, Poet in the City invites you to the launch of an ambitious project painting the foundations for a new female legacy.

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Midori

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Renowned violinist, educator and cultural leader Midori brings to Venus Unwrapped her unique sequence of works by living female composers.

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