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Date

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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Online Events

Join us every Wednesday for our #WedsWatch series as we stream classic concerts and events from our archive, including a season of concerts from our resident Aurora Orchestra featuring Angela Hewitt and Sarah Connolly, an illustrated talk from legendary New Yorker cartoonist Bob Mankoff, plus a selection of contemporary, folk and jazz gigs.

We’ll also be hosting a series of live conversations, including leading political commentator Steve Richards with his behind-the-scenes insights in Rock ’n’ Roll Politics, and a season of illuminating talks with Jewish Book Week including former Vogue UK editor Alexandra Shulman, and more to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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Nature Unwrapped

Sounds of Life

From the curlew’s call to the groaning of ice, the music of the natural world has always inspired musicians and writers. As the future of a liveable planet becomes the most urgent issue of our time, we launch Nature Unwrapped. The twelfth edition of Kings Place’s award-winning year-long series will explore the sounds of the biosphere, man’s interaction with nature, and reflect on the paths open to us to make change.

Renowned choral director Paul Hillier is an Associate Artist, opening with Songs of the Soil to the music of Arvo Pärt. From Brumel’s Earthquake Mass to Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux to Max Richter’s Seasons Recomposed, Bach’s Peasant Cantata to Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, the series celebrates the inspiration of nature. Martin Simpson, Eliza Carthy and Nancy Kerr present Folk on Foot events, reflecting on the landscape. There will be ground-breaking music projects from Laura Cannell, John Luther Adams, Matthew Herbert and Ben Corrigan’s interactive Lydian Tree. Riot Ensemble bring GF Haas’s Solstices and Liza Lim’s Extinction Events, while Manchester Collective perform Crumb’s extraordinary Voice of the Whale.

Look out for more music events coming on sale, and for the spoken word programme, taking in poetry, nature writing, political debates and curated walks outside the building.

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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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Luminate

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.

The third season starting January 2020 is brought to you in association with Spitfire Audio.

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The Crick Crack Club

The Crick Crack Club, the UK’s premiere performance storytelling organisation, responds to Venus Unwrapped with three spectacular tales of powerful mythic women from around the world. From India, we encounter Kali, the demon-slayer, life-saver and Supreme Mother. In The Son of the Buffalo Women Jan Blake takes us back to the founding of the great Malian empire of West Africa, a story of such dark force it’s telling has been forbidden. Last but not least, from Russia, comes The Frog Princess Punked, in which The Swamp Girls and Sally Pomme Clayton unleash the wild energy of Baba Yaga.

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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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London Piano Festival

Welcome to the celebratory fifth anniversary edition of London Piano Festival 2020!

We are delighted to follow upon the successes of our four previous festivals with another uniquely exciting and widely contrasted series of piano performances all held in the vibrant, contemporary settings of Kings Place.

The festival opens with a recital by the masterly Russian pianist Vadym Kholodenko, widely regarded as one of the most distinctive players of the younger generation. An electrifying evening is promised by acclaimed Polish jazz pianist Marcin Wasilewski, whilst younger listeners can enjoy the riotous thrill of ‘Fabulous Beasts’ through the music of Stravinsky & Saint-Saëns, accompanied by dazzling visual imagery. This concert forms part of the year-long Nature Unwrapped series at Kings Place.

Music and words combine for two special events: a lecture-recital on symmetry by mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, coupled with Charles Owen’s performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Beethoven 250 celebrations continue apace with an opportunity to discover insights into the music, historical background and fortepiano, as revealed by pianist & broadcaster David Owen Norris. This lecture links to Katya Apekisheva’s fascinating afternoon recital entitled ‘The Young Ludwig’.

The central event is the ever-popular Two-Piano Gala where six pianist friends will team up in various combinations to present a huge range of repertoire, from Mozart to Rachmaninov via Stravinsky’s ground-breaking The Rite of Spring, a further tribute to Nature Unwrapped. Our new co-commission for 2020 will feature music by Sally Beamish, a British composer with a deeply imaginative voice. We look forward to welcoming audiences to this festive occasion!

Charles Owen & Katya Apekisheva

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Beethoven 250

Great works up close.

‘Beethoven’s instrumental music opens up to us the kingdom of the gigantic and the immeasurable.’ ETA Hoffmann

In the 250th anniversary year of Beethoven’s birth, we have invited some of our favourite musicians to join us for a year-long series, focusing on those works for which Hall One is the ideal venue. They include period instrument specialists such as Rachel Podger, Pieter Wispelwey, and the Chiaroscuoro Quartet with Krisztian Bezuidenhout, alongside our residents Aurora Orchestra and the Brodsky Quartet, who will perform the electrifying late quartets one at a time in rush-hour concerts.

We are also delighted to host international guest artists Francois-Frederic Guy with the Hammerklavier Sonata, Trio Wanderer with a clutch of piano trios, while the Jacques Thibaud Trio perform the string trios. Last, but not least, we welcome back Thomas Gould as soloist in the violin concerto and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble performing the spell-binding Septet.

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London Guitar Festival

New players. New music. New experiences

The 16th edition of London Guitar Festival brings you a wonderful series of concerts by major international artists, young guitarists making their debuts, new commissions, the Final of London International Guitar Competition 2020, and plenty of workshops, foyer events and lectures.

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

This year’s line-up includes new Flamenco sensation Dani de Morón, appearing with the superb dancer Patricia Guerrero, the incomparable Assad Brothers, surely one of the best acts in guitar history, headlining the Big Night of the Guitar, which also features 2019’s London International Guitar Competition winner George Tarlton. On Sunday, my own G Plus Ensemble will play new commissions by a host of prestigious composers including Léo Brouwer, Sergio Assad, Joe Cutler and Errollyn Wallen, celebrating Nature Unwrapped, as well as a work by Toru Takemitsu.

Young artists are at the heart of our festival and we especially welcome six exceptional young guitarists, all international competition winners, to London as part of the EU-funded EuroStrings Project. In addition, we present our own Young Artist and Aspire Platforms.

Finally, don’t forget to bring your guitar and take part yourself in our workshops and masterclasses with the Assad Brothers, Dani de Morón and much more!

See you at the Festival,
Tom Kerstens
Artistic Director

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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 four 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.

All four artists in our 20/21 edition of Master Series are known for their individuality. We open with Alina Ibragimova, a violinist of rare and fiery inspiration who, along with her duo partner Cedric Tiberghien, offers a programme of colour and sensuality. Next is the young but already world-famous Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a hugely charismatic cellist, who will perform a chamber programme with his siblings and friends. In 2021 we welcome for the first time to Kings Place the revered French pianist Alexandre Tharaud for a night of French masterworks, and the series ends with another exciting venue debut, American cellist Alisa Weilerstein.

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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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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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Common Ground

Songs of a Changing Landscape: Co-curated by Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith

A day-long festival of inspiring events exploring the role folk music can play in highlighting environmental issues. Co-curated by Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith, the day will bring together performances, discussion, and participatory singing. Edgelarks, Hazel Askew (The Askew Sisters), and Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith will premiere a specially commissioned show ‘Songs of a Changing Landscape’ that will unearth the voices within traditional folksongs who have experienced previous changes in our natural landscape and draw out the parallels with today’s environmental struggles.

Award-winning Scottish folk singer, theatre maker and writer, Karine Polwart, will headline the evening with a show that speaks to the urgency of environmental crisis and the contested use of land via song, spoken word, story and myth in an intimate solo performance. She will also lead an environment-themed singing workshop, giving all a chance to participate.

Daytime events also include a talk with environmentalist George Monbiot and folksinger and activist Peggy Seeger about the role music and art can play in tackling the climate crisis and how folksong has been used to help the social movements of the past. The discussion will be interspersed with some of Peggy’s celebrated songs.

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Christmas

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.

Highlights include Bach’s joyous Christmas Oratorio performed by the acclaimed London Bach Singers and the Feinstein Ensemble as well as nine lessons and carols with a feminine slant presented by the Girls Choir and College Choir of St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

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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Songlines Encounters Festival

‘This is the tenth anniversary of Songlines Encounters, the festival that has brought rising stars, premiere performances and exciting new collaborations from around the world to play in the superb acoustics of Kings Place. As it’s a big celebration, we’ve got an extensive line-up planned for 2020 with artists from Africa, America, Asia, the Middle East, various corners of Europe and the UK. There will be films, discussions and workshops too.’

Songlines Editor-in-Chief Simon Broughton

The second wave of events is now on sale, with more special announcements to follow over the next few weeks.

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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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