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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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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – Barbara Strozzi

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Barbara Strozzi was famed throughout 17th century Venice for her glorious voice and artistry, ‘la virtuosissima cantatrice’ of the city state. Yet this pupil of Cavalli was quietly creating a unique musical legacy.

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The Local Honeys

Folk / Venus Unwrapped

Born and raised in Kentucky, The Local Honeys have dedicated themselves to the preservation of old music and the creation of new music.

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Cate Le Bon

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

Now based in LA, Cate Le Bon is one of Wales’ greatest exports. She is celebrated for her playful lyricism and inventive guitar-pop melodies married with post-punk grit and experimentalism.

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Musica Secreta at St Pancras New Church

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Musica Secreta takes the listener from the mystical songs composed by Hildegard of Bingen, via medieval convents of France and Spain to the great flowering of polyphonic music in the numerous convents of the Italian Renaissance.

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The Quietus Presents: Nik Void & Ashley Paul

Contemporary / Luminate

Nik Void is an experimental electronic artist and producer, best known as one half of DFA signings Factory Floor, while Ashley Paul is a multi-instrumentalist who creates a delicate palette, uniquely her own, using saxophone, clarinet, voice, prepared guitar and percussion.

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Bang on a Can – Curated by Julia Wolfe

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

Curated by Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe, New York’s electric Bang on a Can All-Stars return to London with a soulful-explosive-ambient super-mix of the group’s incomparable repertoire.

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Bang on a Can – Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

The Bang on a Can All-Stars team up with BBC Singers and conductor Tecwyn Evans for the UK premiere of Julia Wolfe’s haunting, poignant and relentlessly physical Anthracite Fields.

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Laura Mvula and Black Voices

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

A thrilling new collaboration between internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Laura Mvula and Europe’s finest female a cappella quintet, Black Voices.

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Tamsin Waley-Cohen & Huw Watkins

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins present Rebecca Clarke’s little-known early violin sonata alongside music by the French composers she admired, Debussy and Lili Boulanger.

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Aurora Orchestra play Anna Meredith

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Kings Place Resident Aurora Orchestra explores the different guises of transformation in the music of Anna Meredith, Emily Hall, and Mozart.

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The Lock-In – Surround with Anna Meredith

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

In this late-night Lock-In, Aurora shines the spotlight on the vibrant, bold, and original music of Anna Meredith, one of the most distinctive voices in British music today.

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Pan Daijing + Hatis Noit

Contemporary / Luminate

Pan Daijing is a self-taught, self-proclaimed outsider who makes music, art, and tells stories. Born and raised in Guiyang, Southwest China, she has been hiding in Berlin since 2016.

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Scottish Ensemble with Gabriela Montero

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

World-class pianist, improviser and now composer, Gabriela Montero, joins the Scottish Ensemble for a powerful programme including her new work for piano and string orchestra Babel.

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Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Rachel Podger is joined by mezzo Ciara Hendrick for this alluring featuring vocal and instrumental music of the Italian Renaissance and French Baroque.

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Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

Acclaimed singer-songwriter/cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson returns to Kings Place with a bespoke one-off performance exploring the theme of love.

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Joanna MacGregor

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

Joanna MacGregor is one of today’s most invigorating of all high-profile musicians. Her remarkable programme brings together Beethoven with three outstanding female composers.

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Laura Jurd’s Dinosaur & Friends

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

Curated by trumpet player/composer Laura Jurd, Stepping Back, Jumping In is a celebration of new sounds featuring world-class improvisers and contemporary music-makers from Norway and the UK.

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Lume: Entropi and Sloth Racket

Jazz / Venus Unwrapped

LUME presents an evening of female-led, adventurous jazz and improvised music featuring some of the most exciting creative musicians on the UK scene.

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Kungsbacka Trio

Classical / Venus Unwrapped

The fêted Swedish-based Kungsbacka Trio return to Kings Place with two great works by Robert and Clara Schumann, prefaced by Natalie Klouda’s Fantasy Triptych.

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The Shee Big Band

Folk / Venus Unwrapped

The Shee bring Electro-harp, accordion, fiddles, flute, mandolin and three powerful voices together with a range of individual musical influences to produce an adventurous brew of Folk, Gaelic and American music. 

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She Moved Through The Fair: The Legend of Margaret Barry

Folk / Venus Unwrapped

Written by music journalist Colin Irwin and Irish singer Mary McPartlan, She Moved Through The Fair is a musical drama including many of Margaret Barry's most famous songs alongside dialogue based on direct interviews.

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