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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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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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The Crick Crack Club

Born & raised in London, the Crick Crack Club has pioneered the capital’s performance storytelling scene for over 30 years. Enter their wild haven of fairytale, myth and epic, and delve into the underground city, the city of shadows, the hidden city, the city of dreams and the city of the dead.

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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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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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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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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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Jewish Book Week

As Jewish Book Week moves towards its 70th annual festival in March, we present Jewish Book Weekend: a bite-sized version of London’s oldest literary festival. From Downing Street to Sunset Boulevard, the Rosenbergs to the Netanyahus, Vienna to Israel and MI6 to Mel Brooks, these ten events are the perfect taster for newcomers and a welcome return to that festival feel for regulars. 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.

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Jewish Book Weekend

As Jewish Book Week moves towards its 70th annual festival in March, we present Jewish Book Weekend: a bite-sized version of London’s oldest literary festival. From Downing Street to Sunset Boulevard, the Rosenbergs to the Netanyahus, Vienna to Israel and MI6 to Mel Brooks, these ten events are the perfect taster for newcomers and a welcome return to that festival feel for regulars. 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.

To watch all of the Jewish Book Weekend livestream events for just £36 click here. This offer includes:

Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy

Power Players: Ivor Crewe & Anthony Seldon

Billy Wilder: From Vienna to Hollywood

People Love Dead Jews: Dara Horn in Conversation

Bernard-Henri Lévy & Elif Shafak: Misery & Hope

Arena at Jewish Book Week: Featuring I Thought I Was Taller. A Short History of Mel Brooks

After the live broadcast, the recording will be available for 7 days. For information on how to use KPlayer please refer to our guide.

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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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London Piano Festival

London Piano Festival is delighted to return to Kings Place for a wide-ranging weekend of exciting repertoire performed by an exceptional line up of pianists.

The Festival opens with a solo recital by renowned Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, whose programme is inspired by movement across borders and will include an improvisation of a live film score to Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 short film, The Immigrant. Katya Apekisheva will present an all-Schubert programme focused on his hauntingly beautiful late works including the iconic Sonata in B flat, D960, as the centrepiece. The Two-Piano Gala will feature appearances from long-standing LPF friends Kathryn Stott & Finghin Collins. They will join Gabriela Montero, Charles Owen & Katya Apekisheva in various formations to take listeners on a fascinating journey of pianistic collaboration spanning three centuries of music, including the UK premiere of Sonnets, a brand-new co-commission by Sally Beamish, inspired by a Shakespearean love-triangle. Esteemed mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy explores the links between ‘symmetry’ and ‘music’ through the astonishing musical edifice of JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations. A complete performance of this iconic work will be given by Charles Owen.

The anticipation of live music-making complete with the magical resonance of grand pianos, all fuelled by buzzing audiences is one to lift the spirits. We look forward to welcoming the artists and to reconnecting with LPF friends again in the vibrant, contemporary setting of Kings Place.

Katya Apekisheva & Charles Owen
Co-Artistic Directors

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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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The Return of Bach Weekend

The Return of Bach Weekend

After the enforced cancellation of Bach Weekend 2020, it is with huge pleasure that we can confirm the return of Bach Weekend to Kings Place this June, linking up with Kings Place’s year-long London Unwrapped season. Rachel Podger, one of the country’s greatest baroque violinists, will kick off the Weekend with a concert of solo Bach works, including the wonderful Partita in D minor and its monumental Chaconne. The central concert will be a performance of Bach’s sublime choral masterpiece the Mass in B minor, performed by the London Bach Singers accompanied by the Feinstein Ensemble and conducted by Martin Feinstein. Steven Devine will also give his acclaimed reading of the ever-popular Goldberg Variations and the weekend will finish with a concert featuring the “London Bach”, Johann Christian, celebrating the reopening of this great city as part of London Unwrapped.

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London Guitar Festival

New players. New music. New experiences

The 18th edition of London Guitar Festival brings you a wonderful series of concerts by major international artists and young artists making their debuts, new commissions, the Final of London International Guitar Competition 2021, and plenty of workshops, foyer events and lectures.

The guitar is unique in its appeal to people of all ages, musical tastes and economic means; immerse yourself in that most colourful and versatile of instruments: the guitar.

This year’s breathtaking line-up includes new Flamenco sensation Dani de Morón, appearing with the wonderful dancer Patricia Guerrero, the extraordinary Sean Shibe, the amazing Ana Vidovic highlighting the Big Night of the Guitar on 24 October, which also features last year’s London International Guitar Competition 2020 winner, the supremely talented Singaporean Kevin Loh. On Thursday 21 Oct my own G Plus Ensemble will play a programme of new IGF commissions including work by Léo Brouwer and Laura Snowden as well as premieres by Joe Cutler and Howard Skempton.

We also celebrate La Leona, women and the guitar with new IGF commissions by women composers Effy and Litha Eftymiou, Rocky Keting Sun, Florence Anna Maunders, Bethan Morgan-Williams and Sarah Lianne Lewis played by women performers and a Panel Discussion led by Thérèse Wassily Saba.

Young artists are as always at the heart of what we do and we especially welcome performances from six exceptional young artists, all international competition winners, who are coming from all over Europe to London as part of the EU funded EuroStrings Project. In addition, we present our own wonderful Young Artist Platform.

Finally, don’t forget to bring your guitar and take part yourself in our workshops and masterclasses with Ana Vidovic, Sean Shibe and Dani de Morón and much more!

Tom Kerstens
Artistic Director

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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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London Roots Festival

Wed 3 Nov — Wed 10 Nov 2021

Kings Place is proud to partner with The London Roots Festival, bringing outstanding music to unique venues in the capital. Featuring an eclectic mix of styles including folk, country, Americana, blues, singer-songwriters and world music, the festival gives a platform for new and up and coming artists, to play alongside known and established stars.


Performing across Kings Place’s two performance halls, you’ll hear from English folk legends Martin & Eliza Carthy, singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams, Canadian powerhouse ensemble Còig, and masters of flute, fiddle, song and guitar McGoldrick, McCusker & Doyle. Making his debut and headlining Kings Place’s festival is award-winning Irish singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke, the energetic and explosive Scottish trio Talisk return to their London home, and vulpes (from Maz O’Connor) presents her new project inspired by the capital.

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EFG London Jazz Festival

The EFG London Jazz Festival is the capital’s biggest pan-city music festival, taking place annually in November, which has long been acclaimed for showcasing a heady mix of talent from around the world. Widely acknowledged for delivering world-class artists and emerging stars, the festival continues to take jazz to a massive audience, in one of UK’s landmark music events.

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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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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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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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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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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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