Southbank Centre today announced programme highlights for The Rest Is Noise: the Soundtrack of the 20thCentury, a cultural and musical history of the 20th century told through 250 events – concerts, film screenings, talks, debates and exhibitions – throughout 2013. The London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC and The Open University are partners of the Festival.
Announcing the programme, Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, said: ‘Inspired by Alex Ross’ award-winning book, The Rest is Noise, we have set out to capture the spirit of a century and how music reflected its discords, wars and revolutions. Through the epic scale and breadth of the programme, we hope to inspire new audiences to discover the multiple stories and the music of the 20th century.’
The festival will open on Saturday 19th January 2013 with a keynote lecture by Shirley Williams, entitled Here Comes the 20th Century, looking at the tumultuous events of the century that shaped its culture.
At the heart of the programme will be a series of 100 concerts given by leading orchestras and soloists, featuring key works from across the century, in a chronology which begins with Richard Strauss and concludes with John Adams. Eighteen orchestras – the most Southbank Centre has ever brought together for one festival – will take part including Southbank Centre’s Resident Orchestras, the UK’s great regional orchestras, youth orchestras, ensembles from all top UK conservatoires and major international orchestras.
The festival’s Principal Orchestral Partner, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Vladimir Jurowski, will dedicate all its concerts in 2013 to 20th century music.
Artistic Partner Orchestras include Southbank Centre Resident Orchestras London Sinfonietta and Philharmonia Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Other orchestras involved in The Rest Is Noise Festival are: Aurora Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Hallé, LPO Foyle Future Firsts, LPO Orchestra FunHarmonics, Northern Sinfonia, Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia, Spira mirabilis, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
The concerts will be enhanced by intensive weekends of talks, films and debates featuring leading figures from science, literature, politics and the arts to illuminate the major themes of the festival and of the century. Among them are Alex Ross, Marcus du Sautoy, Edmund de Waal, Nuria Schoenberg-Nono, Alain de Botton, Neil Bartlett, Rachel Bowlby, Julian Joseph, Dominic Muldowney, Julian Johnson and Jonathan Cross. Each weekend will involve an in-depth, hands-on session to explore one of 12 key pieces which guide the audience through the evolution of 20th century classical music. Also performed as part of the concert series, they are: Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2, Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, Ellington’s Harlem Suite, Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony, Britten’s Peter Grimes, Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge, Berio’s Sinfonia, Guibadulina’s Offertorium, Glass’s Music in Twelve Parts and Adams’s El Niño.
Film screenings include Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice, Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times with live music accompaniment, and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
The BBC partnership will see BBC Radio 3, BBC Four and The BBC Concert Orchestra taking part with a programme of broadcasts, documentaries, performances and screenings to explore this important era in modern music. BBC Four will broadcast, and screen at the Southbank Centre, a new landmark three part documentary series The Sound of Fury: A Century of Modern Music, co-produced with The Open University. The series will trace the turbulent history and music of the last century, uncovering how classical music evolved and how the way we listen to sound itself changed with it. It will explore why individual composers were compelled to create the music they did and how they were influenced by the moral, philosophical, and social upheavals at the time. BBC Four will also show selected archive across the year which reflects and comments on the music, composers and events featured in The Rest Is Noise Festival. A special BBC archive collection relating to the composers in the Festival will be online and Radio 3 will broadcast a series of concerts from the Festival. Full listings available www.bbc.co.uk/radio3
The Open University (OU) has created a new online site containing extensive free learning materials around 20th century music and culture.
The Rest Is Noise microsite (www.southbankcentre.co.uk/therestisnoise) includes details of the festival’s talks, film screenings, concerts and events, ticket packages and video interviews. It also features links to The Open University’s courses and resources and to BBC’s programmes, performances and documentaries giving further insight into the 20th century.
Among the different ticket options for the festival, The Rest and More ticket package offers access to all the weekends and concerts for £500 (subject to availability).
The Guardian is Media Partner of The Rest Is Noise Festival.