Southbank Centre today announces its 2009/10 classical music season, including programmes from its Resident Orchestras – the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the London Sinfonietta. The highlights of more than 200 concerts in the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and other performance spaces across Southbank Centre site include:

A major Beethoven focus from November 2009 to May 2010 Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle’s performances of the five Beethoven piano concertos, Southbank Centre Associate Artists the Takács Quartet’s complete Beethoven string quartets over six concerts, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s survey of Beethoven’s nine symphonies with four conductors form Southbank Centre’s presentation of three great Beethoven cycles. This series of 15 concerts over seven months provides a continuing, in-depth immersion of Beethoven that began with Barenboim’s ecstatically-received piano sonata cycle in early 2008.

Polish Music Weekend with Nigel Kennedy (29–31 May 2010) Cultural icon and virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy brings his unique knowledge and personal experience of Poland to curate a bank holiday weekend celebration of today’s Polish music and culture scene. Based around four concerts in the Royal Festival Hall, the weekend includes Kennedy’s choice of cross-genre music, films and food across the Southbank Centre site.

The Bernstein Project (20 September 2009–9 July 2010) American conductor and Bernstein protégée Marin Alsop is the Artistic Director for Southbank Centre’s major season-long project devoted to the incomparable inspiration of Leonard Bernstein, encompassing concerts, films, lectures and participation events and culminating in a performance of Bernstein’s Mass, a monumental work for orchestra, choruses including a boys’ choir, a Broadway-sized cast (with dancers), marching bands and a rock band.

Edgard Varèse 360° (16–18 April 2010)
Following acclaimed explorations of the music of 20th century composers including Stockhausen, Messiaen, Nono, Xenakis, and Berio, Southbank Centre spotlights Edgard Varèse in 2010. In this international co-production with the Holland Festival and the Festival D’Automne in Paris, the complete oeuvre of the French composer will be presented over one weekend, featuring the London Sinfonietta and the National Youth Orchestra, with visuals by American video artist Gary Hill in a production conceived by director Pierre Audi.

Shell Classic International (23 September 2009–May 2010)
In addition to Barenboim and Berlin Staatskapelle’s four-concert Beethoven and Schoenberg cycle, Shell Classic International welcomes the return of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Bernard Haitink, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Mariss Jansons, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Iván Fischer and Julia Fischer, as well as Camerata Salzburg’s first Southbank Centre visit with recently-appointed Artistic Director Leonidas Kavakos.

City of Dreams: Vienna 1900-1935 (28 February 2008–8 October 2009)
Celebrating its 65th Anniversary season, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen launch their new season on 1 October with the UK premiere of a major Magnus Lindberg commission and continue their City of Dreams: Vienna 1900–1935 series with a semi-staged performance of Berg’s operatic tour-de force Wozzeck with Simon Keenlyside. Additional highlight includes the Philharmonia’s 65th Birthday Gala on 30 March 2010, conducted by Riccardo Muti.

Between Two Worlds (18 November–2 December 2009)
The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s season opens on 25 September with Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurwoski conducting Mahler’s Second Symphony, Resurrection. Further season highlights include Between Two Worlds, an Alfred Schnittke festival directed by Jurowski, a Sibelius Symphony cycle with Osmo Vänskä, and the world premiere of Henryk Górecki’s Fourth Symphony on 17 April 2010.

Take the Risk – A Weekend of Early Improvisation (2–4 October 2009)
One of the world’s foremost lutenists Paula Chateauneuf curates a weekend presenting some of the most innovative and experimental performers from the world of early music. Featuring improvisation techniques from the 10th to the 17th centuries, concerts include a performance by the Orlando Consort exploring extemporisation from the 10th to 13th centuries as well as the debut of a new baroque improvisation group formed especially for the Take the Risk weekend. With discussions, workshops, open rehearsals and performances the weekend will combine virtuosity and intimacy, overlaying formalised techniques of the highest refinement with constant improvised surprise.

Artist in Focus – Leonidas Kavakos (28 November–1 December 2009)
The virtuoso Greek violinist is the subject of a week-long showcase tracing the sources of his musical inspiration in talks and performances, playing and also directing from the violin. He will be joined by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, Camerata Salzburg, Antoine Tamestit, Gautier Capuçon, Nicholas Angelich, and Nikolai Lugansky.

World, European and UK premieres by resident and visiting orchestras include:
John Adams Son of Chamber Symphony, Richard Barrett Mesopotamia, Dai Fujikura Double Bass Concerto, Philip Glass Violin Concerto No. 2 The American Four Seasons, Henryk Górecki Symphony No. 4, Magnus Lindberg new work for chorus and orchestra, Einojuhani Rautavaara Incantations for Percussion Soloist and Orchestra, Ravi Shankar Symphony, Mark-Anthony Turnage new orchestral work.

Recitals by leading artists include:
Anne Sofie von Otter/Daniel Hope, Angela Gheorghiu, Renée Fleming, Leonidas Kavakos, Krystian Zimerman, Maurizio Pollini.

Southbank Centre’s Head of Music, Marshall Marcus, said: ‘The main impetus of Southbank Centre's 2009-10 classical music season is to offer immersive experiences through in-depth encounters with great music and musicians. We meet Beethoven through complete cycles of the Piano Concertos, String Quartets and Symphonies from Daniel Barenboim, the Takács Quartet and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Leonard Bernstein through his protégée Marin Alsop; the great Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos in a mini-residency; and Nigel Kennedy who brings a unique cross-genre ensemble of Poland's finest musicians to Southbank Centre for a weekend. Our programme, which includes outstanding seasons by our Resident Orchestras and their world class music directors, will engage the broadest of audiences in these rich, imaginative and exciting projects.’


Following Daniel Barenboim’s acclaimed Beethoven sonata cycle in early 2008, Southbank Centre presents three further great Beethoven cycles during the 2009/10 season with performances of his complete symphonies, string quartets and piano concertos. Barenboim returns to direct Beethoven’s five piano concertos with the Berlin Staatskapelle from the piano as part of Shell Classic International (21 January–2 February 2010). Southbank Centre Associate Artists the Takács Quartet take on Beethoven’s complete string quartets (11 November 2009–13 May 2010) and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment perform Beethoven’s nine symphonies with Ivan Fischer, Vladimir Jurowski, Leonidas Kavakos, and Sir Charles Mackerras (28 January–25 May 2010). With this series of 15 concerts over seven months, this is a unique in-depth immersion in Beethoven with performances by some of the world’s greatest musicians.

SHELL INTERNATIONAL CLASSIC (see separate release)

Described as ‘a first-rate fiddler’, ‘the most characterful British violinist of our time’, and ‘the cheekiest geezer ever to stroke a Strad’ (The Times, March 2008), Nigel Kennedy's virtuosic technique, breadth of talent, intense musicianship and mass appeal have brought fresh perspectives and new audiences to classical and contemporary repertoire. With a home in Krakow, a colossal knowledge and an enviable network of musical colleagues and friends from multiple areas of Polish musical life, Kennedy is poised as the ideal curator. Through a number of events across the site between 29 and 31 May 2010, Kennedy performs centre stage as well as alongside his colleagues in an eclectic offering covering classical, jazz, folk, choral, rap and experimental music. The first of four Royal Festival Hall concerts feature the London debut of The Orchestra of Life, Kennedy’s newly formed orchestra of young Polish musicians, in a programme of Bach and Duke Ellington.

The Bernstein Project, under the artistic direction of American conductor and Bernstein protégée Marin Alsop, provides non-professional musicians and enthusiasts from local community a unique, year-long opportunity to rehearse and perform Bernstein’s works. On 20 September, Alsop launches the Project with a weekend of workshops and seminars as well as assembling the Mass Orchestra from former members of the National Youth Orchestra and young musicians to be recruited from a broad range of youth groups. The Project culminates on 9 July 2010 at the Royal Festival Hall with Alsop conducting the Mass Orchestra and Project participants in Bernstein’s Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers. Commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in 1971, Bernstein's Mass posed questions about the role of religion and the church at the height of the Vietnam war, questions that still have resonance today. It also provides listeners with an eclectic mix of musical genres, including rock, jazz, Broadway, blues, opera, and hymns. Mass was a controversial and popular success, remaining to date the best-selling classical multi-disc set ever produced.

The project will be punctuated throughout the year by concerts, including a performance of Bernstein’s Second Symphony with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, both under the direction of Alsop. Additional performers include the National Youth Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC Concert Orchestra and the Nash Ensemble. Complementing these concerts are talks and films presented by artists to include Alsop, Humphrey Burton and Matthew Barley.

The Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2009/10 London season will see the Orchestra performing 38 matinee and main evening concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, together with a number of small ensemble performances as part of its acclaimed Music of Today series. The Philharmonia’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, concludes his nine month exploration of the music and culture of Vienna between 1900 and 1935, City of Dreams, with a semi-staged performance of Berg’s operatic tour-de-force, Wozzeck, with Simon Keenlyside in the title role (8 October); as well as leading the Orchestra in the UK premiere of a new work for Chorus and orchestra by Magnus Lindberg (1 October); and conducting music by Bartók, Janáček, Stravinsky, Berlioz, Sibelius and George Benjamin, the latter as part of the composer’s 50th birthday celebrations. Other highlights include the Philharmonia’s 65th Birthday Gala on 30 March 2010, conducted by Riccardo Muti; a Rachmaninov Piano Cycle performed by Nikolai Lugansky (November-March); a special performance marking Christoph von Dohnányi’s 80th Birthday (22 October); a Prokofiev/Tchaikovsky Series conducted by Yuri Temirkanov (24-29 June); and concerts conducted by Lorin Maazel (December) and Kurt Masur (February). The cream of the younger generation of conductors is also represented, with performances led by Andris Nelsons, Stéphane Denève, Kirill Karabits and Vasily Petrenko. In April 2010 the Philharmonia will present a screening of Waterloo, the epic film realisation of The Battle of Waterloo, with live orchestral soundtrack.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra launches 2009/10 with Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski, who appears 13 times across the season, and opens with two performances of Mahler’s Second Symphony, Resurrection. The main autumn highlight under Jurowski – an exploration of the music of Alfred Schnittke entitled Between Two Worlds – comprises evening performances including the UK première of excerpts from Schnittke’s opera The History of D. Johann Faustus, a screening of Elem Klimov’s film The Agony with Schnittke’s score, chamber performances, talks and debates. In early 2010 the Orchestra presents Miraculous Logic: The Music of Jean Sibelius, conducted by fellow Finn Osmo Vänskä. This retrospective includes performances of the entire symphonic repertoire and works for soprano and orchestra with Finnish soloist Helena Juntunen. New music features is showcased regularly throughout 2009/10, during which the Orchestra gives première performances of works by Henryk Górecki, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Philip Glass, Ravi Shankar and Mark-Anthony Turnage.

As the only self-governing period instrument orchestra in the UK, members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) take enormous pride in their first hand involvement with all aspects of the Orchestra’s programming. The 2009/10 season is no exception. The autumn concerts demonstrate the eclecticism of repertoire – ranging from its core territory of Haydn, rounding off the Radical. Genius. Entertainer: Haydn series, (three London symphonies on 15 October with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin with whom the Orchestra will be working for the first time, and The Creation on 9 December with Sir Mark Elder) – through Donizetti (Maria di Rohan on 7 November) right up to a rare exploration of the music of Elgar (The Dream of Gerontius on 24 November). A typically enterprising event will be staged on 5 December when Marin Alsop will present a “Discovery” concert focusing on Mozart’s Symphony No 40, as part of Southbank Centre’s Bernstein Project. In the spring there will be a celebration of Beethoven, with a cycle of his nine symphonies conducted by titled OAE conductors: Vladimir Jurowski, Iván Fischer, Sir Charles Mackerras and, a new guest to OAE, the violin/director, Leonidas Kavakos. Alongside the Beethoven cycle will be two concerts which feature the immense individual talents within the OAE: on 17 February, there will be a performance of all twelve concertos from Vivaldi’s L’estro armonico played by the OAE’s four Leaders, Alison Bury, Kati Debretzeni, Margaret Faultless and Matthew Truscott; and on 27 April OAE Co-Principal Keyboard, Robert Howarth, will lead a 400th anniversary performance of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers with the Choir of the Enlightenment.

The London Sinfonietta’s 2009/10 season begins with two titans of American contemporary music. John Adams conducts the UK premiere of his Son of Chamber Symphony in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 27 September and Steve Reich leads the Ensemble in a performance of his seminal Music for 18 Musicians in the Royal Festival Hall on 31 October. George Benjamin, with whom the London Sinfonietta has enjoyed an especially close relationship as both composer and conductor for nearly 30 years, will celebrate his 50th birthday with the Ensemble on 7 February 2010. The London Sinfonietta will give the world premieres of two works during the 2009/10 Southbank Centre season. Richard Barrett’s Mesopotamia for ensemble and live electronics, which has been commissioned by the London Sinfonietta, will get its first performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 3 December and a new double-bass concerto by Dai Fujikura, written for the Ensemble’s principal double-bassist, Enno Senft, will be performed on 3 June. The London Sinfonietta will also feature alongside the National Youth Orchestra in Edgard Varèse 360°, which will present the composer’s complete works in April 2010.

ARTIST IN FOCUS – LEONIDAS KAVAKOS (28 November–1 December 2009)
Southbank Centre presents Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos as Artist in Focus, a week-long showcase during which Kavakos takes on a range of guises from concerto soloist with a symphony orchestra and a chamber orchestra, a recital soloist to a chamber musician, in concerts, discussions, and an open rehearsal. Kavakos will be joined by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, violist Antoine Tamestit, cellist Gautier Capuçon, pianists Nicholas Angelich and Nikolai Lugansky as well as play and direct the Camerata Salzburg of which he is Artistic Director. Together they explore in music and words the key sources of his musical inspiration, from the seminal influence of J. S. Bach to the world of folk musical traditions inherited from his violin-playing father.

2010 marks the Takács Quartet’s fifth year as Southbank Centre Associate Artists. In the new season, the Quartet embarks on its first cycle of Beethoven Quartets in London since its complete recording for Decca won one Grammy, two Gramophone and two BBC Music Magazine Awards. A further highlight of the series is mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and violinist Daniel Hope’s programme from their highly-acclaimed recording on Deutsche Grammophon of music by composers from the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Their concert is immediately followed by the first ever opportunity to hear all 10 of Peter Maxwell Davies’ String Quartets performed as a cycle over one weekend by their dedicatee, the Maggini Quartet, and by musicians of the Park Lane Group. In February, some of Britain's most talented percussionists come together to perform Steve Reich's seminal and much acclaimed work Drumming. The eight-time Grammy Award winning Emerson String Quartet returns to Southbank Centre in March 2010 with three programmes of Czech music. The season concludes on 27 May in Gallic fashion as Quatuor Ebène is joined by Louis Lortie and Augustin Dumay for a programme of Ravel, Franck, and Chausson.

In its second year, the International Voices series continues to showcase great voices from around the world. This season includes recitals by operatic superstars Angela Gheorghiu (2 October) and Renée Fleming (3 November), a semi-staged performance of Berg’s Wozzeck featuring Simon Keenlyside (8 October), as well as a rare concert performance of Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan with Opera Rara and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on 7 November. On 25 February 2010, legendary soprano Jane Manning celebrates her 45th year of professional performing with a recital including world premieres of seven short pieces written for her by Dai Fujikura, Deirdre Gribbin, Cheryl Frances Hoad, James MacMillan, Phillip Neil Martin, Colin Matthews and David Sawer.

With five Royal Festival Hall and 11 Queen Elizabeth Hall recitals this season, the International Piano series is one of the world’s biggest platforms for solo piano recitals. The bicentenary of Frederic Chopin in 2010 dominates the series, featuring nine concerts complemented by a series of talks entitled Chopin at 200: Celebrating a Musical Imagination exploring the themes of innovation and renovation within Chopin’s music. In addition to all-Chopin programmes by Louis Lortie and Cedric Tiberghien, the series celebrates both of Chopin’s possible birthdays with Royal Festival Hall concerts by two gold medallists of the prestigious Chopin Piano Competition – Krystian Zimerman (22 February 2010) and Maurizio Pollini (1 March 2010). Also playing Chopin in 2010 is the young Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin who makes his much anticipated debut in the Series at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 25 March. On 4 December 2009 (also at the Queen Elizabeth Hall), Leif Ove Andsnes gives two performances of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with stage design and visual accompaniment by South African artist Robin Rhode. Other pianists in the series include Simon Trpčeski, John Lill, Cristina Ortiz, Imogen Cooper, Hüseyin Sermet, Yundi Li, Nikolai Demikenko, Pascal Rogé, Andreas Haefliger, and Paul Lewis.

2007 RPS award-winners, Britten Sinfonia return to the Queen Elizabeth Hall for a series of four concerts. The first concert in October features works by composers who all have significant anniversaries in 2009 including Handel, Martinů, Mendelssohn and Haydn. The Orchestra will be conducted for the first time by Christopher Hogwood, a leading expert in classical repertoire and one of the finest exponents of Martinů’s music. In February 2010 Britten Sinfonia alongside tenor Mark Padmore and violinist Pekka Kuusisto perform music from both sides of the Atlantic. The concert will include a new commission by fêted New York composer and pupil of Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, as well as music by Purcell, Britten, Steve Reich and John Adams. The 2009/10 season also sees Britten Sinfonia continue its acclaimed and innovative partnerships with Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Nov 2009) and Imogen Cooper (May 2010).

Further dates and complete programme details will be announced in April when Southbank Centre’s complete Classical Music Guide 2009/10 is published.

Conductors appearing at Southbank Centre in the 2009/10 Season include John Adams, Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, George Benjamin, Carl Davis, Stéphane Denève, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Sir Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Iván Fischer, Bernard Haitink, Gunther Herbig, Eliahu Inbal, Mariss Jansons, Neeme Järvi, Philippe Jordan, Vladimir Jurowski, Kirill Karabits, Alexander Lazarev, Lorin Maazel, Sir Charles Mackerras, Ion Marin, Kurt Masur, Ludovic Morlot, David Murphy, Riccardo Muti, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gianandrea Noseda, Vasily Petrenko, Trevor Pinnock, Mikhail Pletnev, Yutaka Sado, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leif Segerstam, Tugan Sokhiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Osmo Vänskä, Alexander Vedernikov, Juraj Valčuha.

Visiting ensembles appearing at Southbank Centre in the 2009/10 Season include Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Staatskapelle, Camerata Salzburg, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Emerson Quartet, Quatuor Ebène, National Youth Orchestra, Takács Quartet.

Instrumentalists appearing at Southbank Centre in the 2009/10 Season include Piotr Anderszewski, Leif Ove Andsnes, Nicholas Angelich, Daniel Barenboim, Joshua Bell, Nicola Benedetti, Boris Berezovsky, Ronald Brautigam, Yefim Bronfman, Gautier Capuçon, Colin Currie, Imogen Cooper, Augustin Dumay, James Ehnes, Julia Fischer, Boris Giltburg, Hélène Grimaud, François-Frédéric Guy, Andreas Haefliger, Daniel Hope, Steven Isserlis, Janine Jansen, Leonidas Kavakos, Sergey Khachatryan, Sun-Wook Kim, Henning Kraggerud, Piers Lane, Paul Lewis, Yundi Li, John Lill, Louis Lortie, Nikolai Lugansky, Denis Matsuev, Robert McDuffie, Truls Mørk, Viktoria Mullova, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Cristina Ortiz, Jennifer Pike, Maria João Pires, Maurizio Pollini, Pascal Rogé, Gil Shaham, Sayaka Shoji, Arabella Steinbacher, Yevgeny Sudbin, Antoine Tamestit, Melvyn Tan, Christian Tetzlaff, Cedric Tiberghien, Simon Trpčeski, Lars Vogt, Krystian Zimerman.

Vocalists at Southbank Centre in the 2009/10 Season include Ian Bostridge, Christine Brewer, Katarina Dalayman, Renée Fleming, Angela Gheorghiu, Anthony Dean Griffey, Helena Juntunen, Adriana Kucerova, Petra Lang, Anna Larsson, Sally Matthews, Lisa Milne, Bebe Risenfors, Christianne Stotijn, Anne Sofie von Otter.


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