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Voices Unwrapped

Following a year when choirs fell silent, Kings Place celebrates the power and the joy of singing in Voices Unwrapped, our 14th Unwrapped series. Featuring solo voices to vocal ensembles to large choruses, we plan to fill our halls with Renaissance masterworks, close harmony a cappella, folk song, jazz vocalisation, lied, throat singing, gospel, electronically-enhanced contemporary voices to Baroque passions.

We’re thrilled to announce our two, much-loved artists in focus: Gaelic singer & musician Julie Fowlis and baritone & composer Roderick Williams.

The only instrument that every individual can access without expense, the human voice is a constant in all musical cultures and a channel through which each community can express its identity. Voices Unwrapped 2022 welcomes exceptional singers from Estonia, France, America, Denmark, Australia and the African diaspora, and British groups such as the Tallis Scholars, Black Voices and The Swingles, along with our resident Aurora Orchestra. We’ll explore a richly diverse vocal repertoire and provide a platform for community choirs, as well as opportunities for you, our audiences, to participate.

Watch this space for more announcements.

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In this open-ended series we shine a light into the crucible of new music creation today, revealing exhilarating cross-currents in sound and style through boundary-breaking, visceral performances.

From contemporary orchestral composition to shimmering electronic sound worlds, musical expression is becoming less defined by genre, more framed by its emotional and cultural contexts. Luminate taps into this bold, exploratory landscape in a series of shows that will provoke and inspire.

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London Chamber Music Society

The London Chamber Music Society (LCMS) is dedicated to bringing the best in chamber music to London audiences and can trace its origins back to Victorian music making in London in the 1870s. The LCMS Concert Series aims to continue this rich legacy.

The list of famous artists and ensembles appearing through the years includes Henry Wood, Frank Bridge, Albert Sammons, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Goosens, Ysaÿe, Percy Grainger, Primrose, Harriet Cohen, Myra Hess, John Ireland and many more. Britain’s most celebrated string quartets have regularly appeared in the Series, from the Brosa and Amadeus to the Allegri, Lindsay and Chilingirian Quartets. Patrons: Sir Jeremy Dixon and Julia Somerville.

‘The London Chamber Music Sundays are an absolute joy and we should ‘spread the word’ as far and wide as possible.’ Seen & Heard International

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Online Events

An exciting virtual Kings Place has emerged and our audience can now experience events streamed live at home via KPlayer.

For information on how to use KPlayer please refer to our guide or see the KPlayer FAQ.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Politics

Political commentator and broadcaster, Steve Richards, presents the latest behind-the-scenes guide to the epic dramas and the characters shaping seismic events. How have we got here? What’s going to happen next? Are there any answers to these questions? Come along and find out.

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Bach, the Universe & Everything

In partnership with The Institute of Physics

J. S. Bach was an ambitious man. He was required to compose a vast body of sacred music for every occasion in the church calendar. So he did, at the rate of almost one a week. His legacy includes more than 200 cantatas and each one is a masterpiece. In this season of Bach, the Universe and Everything, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment pay tribute to the scale of Bach’s ambition by pairing his cantatas with talks from leading figures in the world of science on the nature of human ambition; our successes and the limitations that we still strive to overcome.

These stimulating Sunday morning concerts explore the ambitions of humankind through science, thought-provoking readings, beautiful choral music and even a little bit of communal singing thrown into the mix. It’s a place for curious minds to bond.

This season is presented in partnership with Kings Place, Oxford Mathematics and the Institute of Physics.

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Wooden Overcoats

Wooden Overcoats returns for its much anticipated fourth and final season and will be performing brand new episodes live at Kings Place.

Rudyard Funn and his equally miserable sister Antigone run their family’s failing funeral parlour, where they get the body in the coffin in the ground on time. But one day they find everyone enjoying themselves at the funerals of a new competitor – the impossibly perfect Eric Chapman! With their assistant Georgie, and a mouse called Madeleine, the Funns are taking drastic steps to stay in business…

Wooden Overcoats is a sitcom, a British Podcast Awards winner, multiple winner of the Audioverse Awards, a Prix Europa nominee, Best of iTunes, and included in the Telegraph’s 100 Best Cultural Events of 2021.

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The Guilty Feminist

Ever felt you should be better at feminism? Join comedian Deborah Frances-White for her comedy podcast, recorded in front of a live audience. Each episode Deborah and her guests discuss topics ‘all 21st century feminists agree on’ while confessing the insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that underlie their lofty principles. The podcast has been a huge success with over 20,000,000 downloads since it started in December 2015.

Previous guests have included Jo Brand, Andi Osho, Sarah Millican, Jenny Eclair, Susan Wokoma, Sara Pascoe, Jessamyn Stanley and Gemma Arterton.

‘Screamingly funny. Everyone is talking about them talking.’ Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Guardian
‘Presenters and guests set themselves challenges with invariably hilarious outcomes.’ The Economist

Deborah is an award-winning writer, comedian and corporate speaker. Her comedy series Rolls the Dice has had two series on BBC Radio 4 and she wrote the screenplay for the movie Say My Name which will be released in 2018.

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Aurora Orchestra - Far, Far Away

Combining live instrumental performance of the highest calibre with original storytelling and a playful, multi-sensory approach to concert presentation, Far, Far Away is the perfect way to introduce young children to music.

Each concert explores a particular composer or style of music, weaving together stunning live performances with an original story from Aurora Orchestra’s Writer-in-Residence Kate Wakeling and a beautifully designed set built around the audience and musicians. Audiences are invited to step inside each story through guided listening, singing, dancing, holding props and much more, becoming immersed in a magical world of music, language, discovery and play.

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Empire Podcast 500th Episode Celebration

It’s happening. It’s finally happening. The Empire Podcast — the award-winning podcast arm of the world’s biggest film magazine — is about to hit its 500th episode. And we’re celebrating in fine style by teaming up with our spiritual home, Kings Place, for an all-day celebration. We’d be honoured if you could join us.

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Songlines Encounters Festival

‘Since its inception in 2011, Songlines Encounters Festival has brought rising stars, premiere performances and exciting new collaborations from around the world to play in the superb acoustics of Kings Place.’

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Artist in Focus: Mark Simpson

The only winner to date of both BBC Young Musician of the Year and the BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year, celebrated clarinettist and composer Mark Simpson returns to Kings Place for three performances over the course of six months.

Simpson’s residency starts with the much-anticipated world premiere of Thomas Adès’s Clarinet Quintet, ‘Alchymia’, written specially for Simpson. Commissioned by Kings Place and five European partners, the work will see Simpson teaming up with the acclaimed French quintet, Diotima.

Simpson will later return for his debut at Luminate, Kings Place’s contemporary music series, on 11 December in a programme featuring works by Steve Reich, Jonathan Harvey and Julian Anderson alongside premieres from himself, Philip Cashian and Zoë Martlew.

And finally on 20 February 2022, Simpson will be joined by cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and pianist Richard Uttley for clarinet trios by Beethoven and Brahms and his own, ‘Echoes and Embers’.

‘There appeared… to be nothing that this hugely talented soloist could not do… Highly impressive.’ Bachtrack

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Jewish Book Week

This year Jewish Book Week celebrates its 70th annual festival. With events in-person at Kings Place, online wherever you are or both, we are joined by leading novelists, broadcasters, historians and philosophers, as well as an exclusive evening of performances from a surprise star cast.

Jewish Book Week Digi-Pass gives access to all eight KPlayer (online streaming) events for £39.50.

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Folk Weekend: Unity in Song

Artistic Associates Alan Bearman Music team up with Kings Place once again for their Unwrapped series, in a weekend celebration of voices from the folk tradition, and the joy of community singing.

We’re thrilled to host the queen of folk and political song, Peggy Seeger, as she and son Calum MacColl embark on their ‘First Farewell Tour’, with support from Green Ribbons. We welcome back legendary and critically-acclaimed Irish singer songwriter Cara Dillon, and Martin & Eliza Carthy, members of a formidable English music dynasty, perform material from their diverse collective repertoires.

Immerse yourself in workshops across the weekend from prolific leaders in song, with Sally Davies on songs from the English tradition, Green Ribbons on unaccompanied group song, and Eugenia Georgieva who workshops Bulgarian ancient harmony singing, and performs a special intimate solo set.
We look forward to welcoming you!

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Bach Weekend

Bach Weekend, Kings Place’s much-loved yearly dose of all things Bach, returns this April with Martin Feinstein’s acclaimed reading of Bach’s most brilliantly orchestrated Easter oratorio. Concerts include festival opener The Burlesque Cantatas, which sees the Feinstein Ensemble pitch the work commonly known as the peasant’s cantata with his Coffee Cantata. Cello master, Christian-Pierre La Marca, makes his Kings Place debut with a specially-curated solo recital for Bach Weekend. Finally, harpsichord and synth player Robin Bigwood with fellow classically-trained musicians Steven Devine, Annabel Knight and Martin Perkins form together for the Art of Moog, playing the music of J S Bach on cutting edge analogue and digital synthesizers.

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Master Series

We shall never become musicians unless we understand the ideals of temperance, fortitude, liberality and magnificence’ Plato

In our annual Master Series, we present renowned artists in recital in the radiant acoustic of Hall One, an intimate space expressly designed for the purpose. We have asked them to play the music they love best, the greatest works of the classical canon.

The 2021/22 season opens with the incomparable French Diotima Quartet, joining forces with acclaimed clarinettist Mark Simpson for the world premiere of a clarinet quintet by Thomas Adès, for which Kings Place is proud to be lead commissioner. They pair this new work with Brahms’s masterful Clarinet Quintet.

In October, we welcome eminent Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey, joined by the questing pianist Alasdair Beatson, for a rendition of all five of Beethoven’s sonatas for piano and cello.

More concerts will be confirmed in due course.

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‘Under 14s’ / ‘Under 30s’ Tickets

A limited number of ‘Under 14s’ £6.50 (no booking fee) and ‘Under 30s’ £8.50 (no booking fee) tickets are available for specially selected events at Kings Place, ranging from Classical concerts to jazz and world music – a great way to introduce children to live music and make it more accessible to young people. Terms and conditions apply.

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Noh Reimagined

Noh Reimagined 2020 – Spirits of Flowers

Noh Reimagined: Spirits of Flowers explores how humans exist within – and as part of – the natural environment. As we adjust to a changing climate, we look to Japan, where people have worshipped nature since ancient times. Noh theatre has deep links to this culture and the kami (deity spirits) that are revered in Japan. These spirits of flowers and plants appear in many Noh stories, interacting with human beings and offering an image of how we might relate to the natural world.

As part of this year’s exciting programme, outstanding Japanese Noh performers will present classical masterpieces handed down for centuries, while innovative British artists will explore what we can learn from this 650-year-old tradition.

Click here to see the full festival line-up.

Produced and curated by Akiko Yanagisawa (Mu:Arts) and the International Noh Project Committee.

Noh Reimagined 2020 is part of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020 and Beyond 2020 programme.

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Mozart’s Piano

All 27 concertos over 5 years

Staged over five years (2016-20), Mozart’s Piano is an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime journey through the complete cycle of all 27 Mozart piano concertos in a single series for the first time in the UK.

Nicholas Collon, Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra, introduces the final year:

‘It’s hard to believe that we are entering the final year of our Mozart’s Piano series. It has been an extraordinary journey for the orchestra, working with such a variety of inspiring pianists and delving into these 27 perfect musical gems. With a mixture of sadness and exhilaration we turn to these last five piano concerti (Nos. 23–27), each of them a miniature masterpiece. We are delighted to welcome back both Yeol-Eum Son and Imogen Cooper, alongside other world-class pianists who join us for the first time: Javier Perianes, Nicholas Angelich and Louis Schwizgebel.’

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Throughout December

Get into the holiday spirit with a selection of sparkling seasonal shows. The best of the Christian traditions and ancient winter rituals fill Kings Place with music and mayhem during December.

Robin Ince brings back his anarchic combination of comedy, music, scientific experiments and guests – a unique take on Christmas services for the non-religious – while broadcaster and columnist Steve Richards looks back at a crazy year in British Politics with a Christmas Special of his Rock ‘n’ Roll Politics show.

Elsewhere, five of the English folk scene’s most inventive young artists, Lady Maisery with Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith, present Awake Arise – A Christmas Show For Our Times.

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London Unwrapped

Sounds of a Migrant City | Throughout 2021

London has been a melting pot since its earliest days, both a place of refuge, a glittering cultural nexus, the most cosmopolitan of all British cities. This year-long series aims to delve into four hundred years of London’s musical past, with its dazzling display and troubling undercurrents, its openness, opportunities and barriers. The series highlights a music story that always been driven forward, disrupted, shaped and inspired by outsiders and immigrant communities, and showcases the diversity of creativity in the city today. Featuring artists in residence Iestyn Davies and Cassie Kinoshi, Allan Clayton, Elena Urioste, Aurora Orchestra, The Sixteen, Phantasm and many more.

Listen to our London Unwrapped Spotify playlist.

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IGF Guitar Summit

Live THE ultimate guitar experience!

The IGF Guitar Summit is back at Kings Place for three packed days of concerts, lunchtime recitals, and a panel discussion on La Leona: Women and the Guitar.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic we had to postpone some of our planned concerts until the IGF Guitar Summit 2022. Travel restrictions and rules regarding self-isolation and testing made the concerts by David Russell, Stochelo Rosenberg and Rafael Aguirre impossible for the 2021 edition.

However, we are delighted to be able to present a wonderful live programme full of brilliant young and established guitarists, a record number of new, specially-commissioned works and a groundbreaking project called La Leona. New commissions by no fewer than five young women composers are at the heart of the La Leona project, which will run for a number of years to come.

Come and hear celebrated Flamenco virtuoso Juan Martín, the outstanding young players on our Young Artist Platform 2020-2021, along with London International Guitar Competition 2019 winner George Tarlton and the wonderful Katalin Koltai – a great champion of guitar music by women composers. My own G Plus Ensemble will play exciting new commissions by the doyen of guitar composers, Leo Brouwer and the brilliant young composer and guitarist Laura Snowden who will also play her own solo works.

Join us for a thrilling weekend of guitar!

Tom Kerstens

Artistic Director IGF

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