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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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Reel Herstory: The Real Story of Reel Women

Words / Venus Unwrapped

Reel Herstory: The Real Story of Reel Women (Alley Acker, 2014) is a documentary hosted by Jodie Foster which uses rare footage and exclusive interviews with filmmakers and corrects the notion that women have been

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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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The Crick Crack Club presents... Kali

Words / Venus Unwrapped

Storyteller Emily Hennessey and sitar player Sheema Mukherjee take you on a white-knuckled tuk-tuk ride through sun-kissed palaces and fiend-infested forests.

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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 / London A Cappella Festival

A thrilling new collaboration between internationally acclaimed composer and singer 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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Gyða Valtýsdóttir

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

Gyða Valtýsdóttir came to prominence with Icelandic electronic experimentalists, múm. Her 2017 solo release, Epicycle, is a constellation of pieces by Schubert, Schumann, Messiaen, Partch, George Crumb and Hildegard von Bingen.

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Jazz re:freshed present: SEED Ensemble

Jazz / Venus Unwrapped

Combining jazz with inner-city London, West African and Caribbean influenced groove, SEED explores a blend of genres through both original compositions and arrangements.

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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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ORNIS (Kathy Hinde & Sabina Vogel)

Contemporary / Venus Unwrapped

ORNIS (Kathy Hinde and Sabine Vogel) takes the audience on an immersive audio-visual journey inspired by the natural world using flutes, objects, live electronics, field recordings and video.

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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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Legacy: Alice Coltrane and Dorothy Ashby

Jazz / Venus Unwrapped

The legendary Alice Coltrane was born in Detroit, as was fellow jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby. Both made a lasting contribution to the development of contemporary jazz and continue to inspire musicians today.

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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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Pre-Concert Talk: Laura Jurd in conversation with Soosan Lolavar

Words / Venus Unwrapped

Join the curator of this evening's performance, musician, composer and bandleader, Laura Jurd as she discusses the art of composition with British-Iranian composer Soosan Lolavar.

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