A month long experiment in spontaneous artistic creation; an innovative classical music weekend; theatre co-commissions including new work from Ivo van Hove and Simon McBurney and an international photography exhibition curated by Martin Parr, head up the programme of events to be presented by the Barbican in its 2015/16 season - announced today.
Pushing the boundaries of all major art forms, this new programme follows a hugely successful year for the Barbican with audiences reaching 1.2million – rising to even higher levels than the 1.1million who attended in the 2012 Olympic year. Also announced is the extension of its current collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company for a further five years.
Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director, Barbican, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for the Barbican as we look to the future. The next five years will transform our offer to audiences; Crossrail will put us at the heart of a new network cutting travel times in 2018/19, the development of the Cultural Hub in the City of London will see enhancements to the public realm and the City consulting on a Barbican area strategy later this year. Simon Rattle will become Music Director of our resident London Symphony Orchestra in the 2017/8 season, the London Film School will move in next to our two Cinemas on Beech Street in 2017 and the Royal Shakespeare Company, we are announcing today, will continue its partnership with us for the next five years. This is an enormous opportunity for all. We continue to develop our funding sources, and today marks the launch of the Barbican’s Annual Fund, a new way for individuals to join our community of supporters. We thank the City of London Corporation for their continuing core investment in our work, enhanced by the support of Arts Council England, the City Bridge Trust and the many others patrons and supporters who help us realise our vision.”
Louise Jeffreys, Director of Arts, Barbican, said: “Today we’re announcing a programme that responds to and reflects the changing relationship and expectations between artists and their audience as they continue to challenge each other, take risks and push the boundaries of what art can be. From Station to Station’s living laboratory for creativity to a novel approach to presenting classical music and new commissions that combine outstanding performers and innovative digital technology, we’re continuing to present ambitious work that encourages experimentation and collaboration to create something genuinely original. Record audiences, demonstrate the passion for our programme and I’m thrilled that we have welcomed so many people to the Barbican and our offsite projects over this last year.”
2015/16 programme highlights include:
Groundbreaking collaborative projects
New exhibition curated by Martin Parr
Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers
British photographer Martin Parr curates an exhibition that looks at how international photographers from the 1930s onwards have captured the social, cultural and political identity of the UK through the camera lens.
The Barbican marks 400 years since Shakespeare’s death in 2016:
New commissions and projects
Beyond Barbican 2015
New film seasons
Highlights from our Resident Orchestra
15/16 season highlights from the London Symphony Orchestra include: Valery Gergiev exploring Bartók and Stravinsky; Sir Simon Rattle conducting the world premiere of a new children’s opera by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies; three concerts marking 400 years of Shakespeare’s death and an LSO Artist Portrait featuring pianist Leif Ove Andsnes.
Contemporary music shows just announced
Including Jeff Mills: Light from the Outside World; Asian Dub Foundation: THX 1138; Black Arm Band: dirtsong; Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Mystery; Dan Penn + Spooner Oldham; Apparat: soundtracks and more; and Blood & Roses: The Songs of Ewan MacColl.
Barbican partner and Associate projects
International Associate residencies from the Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic; and Bach Collegium Japan’s first major UK residency.
GROUNDBREAKING COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS
Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening
Over 100 artists are already programmed. Highlights include: a Concert Hall performance by Suicide presenting new music and classics from their back catalogue; Terry Riley composing and improvising in the Art Gallery for five days, culminating in a Concert Hall performance of new material written during the residency; 100 cactus omelettes prepared for diners to Ed Ruscha’s special recipe; Lawrence Weiner presenting a new commission; Tal R’s Rosa Pagoda woodblock studio making fresh prints daily; Pedro Reyes’ spiritual speed-dating and his People’s United Nations (pUN) Library; an 88-cymbal-player performance in the Concert Hall led by the Boredoms; Light Echoes, a specially commissioned interactive laser installation by Aaron Koblin and Ben Tricklebank transforming the Curve gallery; immersive yurt installations on the Lakeside Terrace and Sculpture Court constructed by Kenneth Anger, Urs Fischer and Liz Glynn; outside spaces also host Olaf Breuning’s multi-coloured smoke installation and late evening screenings of Winslow, Arizona 9/19/13 - Stephen Shore’s photographic slide show of 180 images shot over one day. Also taking part, among others, are Marcus Coates, Martin Creed, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Olafur Eliasson, Anri Sala and Savages.
Throughout Station to Station, the Art Gallery will be transformed into a living environment for creativity by a series of residencies, one-off performances, interviews and workshops. Choreographers Siobhan Davies, Trajal Harrell, New Movement Collective with ScanLAB Projects and Ann Van den Broek take over the Art Gallery for a week each, rehearsing and leading workshops; musicians in residence include: LoneLady, Nozinja, Haroon Mirza with Factory Floor and Shiva Feshareki, and Terry Riley. Designers Abäke and Fraser Muggeridge are in residency for a fortnight each, making interventions and creating products for display and purchase. Other one-off performances and residencies involve, among others, artists Josh Bitelli & Felix Melia, Abraham Brody, Mike Figgis, Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts, Isabel Lewis, Angelica Mesiti, Albert Oehlen, Miet Warlop, Richard Wentworth and DesignMarketo.
Station to Station partner The Vinyl Factory’s mobile vinyl pressing unit The VF Press is installed at Silk Street Entrance, everyday printing limited edition copies of Station to Station recordings, with vinyl sold in the gallery shop and featuring artwork produced by the resident graphic designers. Students of the London Film School, learning partners for Station to Station, are also in residence during the project.
Doug Aitken said: “The Barbican is unique, as a cultural institution that embraces all mediums. Within this environment, Station to Station will generate creative experimentation and collaboration as part of a living exhibition that welcomes the unexpected.”
Introducing the project, on Friday 19 June the Barbican hosts the UK public premiere of Aitken’s Station to Station feature film, comprised of 62 one-minute films documenting the American artist’s first Station to Station’s journey across North America by train from the Atlantic to the Pacific over 23 days in September 2013. Station to Station at the Barbican also features screenings of previously unseen content from the journey as part of an immersive Art Gallery video installation for 30 days. In partnership with The Vinyl Factory. Supporting Partner: Focusrite. Media partners: Dazed and FACT. Learning partners: London Film School.
Barbican Classical Weekender
This autumn the Barbican and its Resident and Associate orchestras and ensembles – the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music – together with musicians from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama – will present a classical weekender. The weekend will feature over 50 short, informal concerts of music spanning over five centuries. Simultaneous performances are happening in multiple venues throughout the Centre including a through-the-night set, top musicians from across the globe and special guest artists, full symphony orchestra performances, massed choirs, newly commissioned work alongside established repertoire, expert hosts, installations, pop-up performances and a classical DJ. Barbican Classical Weekender is curated to showcase the most exciting and innovative music in the repertoire and to introduce audiences to some of the best music ever created.
The Moog Concordance
Moog Music Inc has formed a new partnership with independent event producer Paul Smith to co-present with the Barbican a celebration of the life and work of Dr Robert Moog in recognition of the 10th anniversary of his passing. The three-day Moog Concordance takes place in the Barbican Hall and features the first in a series of Moog-themed concerts including both premiere performances of specially commissioned new works as well as historical Moog-based music. A version of the Moog Soundlab – a performance and recording series, giving artists the opportunity to experiment and explore with analog sound-scaping, synthesis and effects – will also be part of the Barbican’s Station to Station project this summer.
Concerts include a double-bill featuring The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble and American minimalist composer and performer Charlemagne Palestine. The 10-strong Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, featuring Portishead’s Adrian Utley and composer Graham Fitkin, will present newly composed music, transcriptions of classical works, and their own versions of music from popular culture and film including reworked pieces from the iconic score for Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange. Contemporary of minimalist music pioneers Philip Glass, Terry Riley and Steve Reich, musician, composer, performer and visual artist Charlemagne Palestine prefers to be known as a 'maximalist' composer. He is best known for his durational piano performances and here he will premiere a new piece composed especially for the Moog Soundlab, his first analog electronic work for over forty years. The second concert features cult American electronic proto-punk duo Suicide aka Alan Vega (vocals & electronics) and Martin Rev (synthesizers and drum machines) and is a bespoke show including a newly composed ‘punk mass’ featuring a number of special guests along with material from the band's back catalogue. The Moog celebrations culminate with the UK premiere live performance of the Three Fates Project featuring legendary rock keyboard musician Keith Emerson and his band alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra. This project is much more than a typical instrumental rock-meets-orchestra project with the orchestra taking a more prominent role than usual, while still spotlighting Emerson's virtuoso Moog solos. A limited edition reissue Moog System 55 (of which only 55 will be built to order worldwide) along with the special Emerson Moog System will be part of the Suicide, Emerson & Palestine performances.
NEW EXHIBITION CURATED BY MARTIN PARR
Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers
Curated by the iconic British photographer Martin Parr, Strange and Familiar is a timely consideration of how international photographers from the 1930s onwards have captured the social, cultural, political and topographical identity of the UK through the camera lens. From social documentary and street photography to portraiture and architectural photography by some of the leading lights of 20th century photography such as Henri Cartier-Bresson (France), Candida Höfer (Germany), Axel Hütte (Germany), Sergio Larrain (Chile), and Hans van der Meer (The Netherlands), the exhibition presents a vibrant portrait of modern Britain, from the Hebrides to Dover, Belfast to Cardiff.
Presenting photography from the 1930s to now, this exhibition explores questions of national identity, regional variations and notions of Britishness. Described as a ‘chronicler of our age’, Martin Parr has been a critical figure in British photography for the last three decades. Renowned for his oblique approach to social documentary, his colour photographs touch on themes of leisure, consumption and communication all infused with humour and wit. Parr says: “The exhibition will reveal a very different take on British life than that produced by British photographers. It is both familiar and strange at the same time”.
Royal Shakespeare Company – King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings - Richard II, Henry IV Parts I & II, Henry V
The Royal Shakespeare Company continues its relationship with the Barbican with a major theatrical event to launch Shakespeare's 400th Anniversary year, by bringing together his greatest tetralogy of History plays in repertoire. The acclaimed productions of Richard II and Henry IV Parts I & II are joined by a new production of Henry V, which premieres in Stratford-upon-Avon this autumn. The majority of the original cast members reprise their roles. David Tennant returns in the title role of Richard II, Antony Sher and Jasper Britton play Falstaff and Henry IV respectively in the Henry IV plays, and Alex Hassell follows the journey of young Prince Hal, who reaches maturity as Henry V in the final play in the tetralogy.
Toneelgroep Amsterdam – Kings of War
In Kings of War, Shakespeare’s Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III become modern-day political leaders, their fates unfolding in this single, explosive play. Three different rulers in times of crisis. Each faced with the life-or-death choice of whether to go to war. Their decision-making and the machinations of their advisors are laid bare, exposing the conflict between national concerns and self-interest in an era of globalisation. Integrating live music and video feeds, Ivo van Hove directs this radical adaptation, a psychological portrayal of power on the same scale as the ground-breaking Roman Tragedies, seen here in 2009. Van Hove was named Best Director at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2015 for A View from the Bridge, which played at the Young Vic last year and is currently enjoying a West End run. His latest production, Antigone, plays in the Barbican Theatre until 28 March. Kings of War is co-commissioned by the Barbican.
Malthouse Theatre – The Shadow King
Transporting King Lear to the story-rich and resource-laden terrain of northern Australia, The Shadow King reimagines Shakespeare’s tragedy as a blood-soaked tale of two Indigenous families divided by land, identity and legitimacy. Lear is the head of a remote community wrangling over mining rights, inheritance and wealth. Their story descends into madness and brutality against the distinctive red earth of the Australian outback, dominated by the imposing presence and blinding lights of a mining truck. Told through modern English, Kriol languages and a score, including Aboriginal ‘dreamtime’ songs, performed live by an onstage band, The Shadow King fuses music, new text and video to create provocative and epic theatre. Following a Best Direction win for director Michael Kantor at the 2014 Helpmann Awards, the production brings together Australia’s foremost Indigenous actors led by Tom E Lewis. Complementing The Shadow King we bring dirtsong by Black Arm Band: music of the Australian Indigenous experience. Playing in the Theatre both The Shadow King and dirtsong explore themes of land rights and cultural heritage.
Royal Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation
The Royal Shakespeare Company will work with thirteen theatre partners and a vast range of amateur theatre-makers across the UK to produce a play for the whole nation. Directed by Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman, this special production will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016. Of all Shakespeare's plays, this one is especially loved for its delightful comedy, magical setting and glorious characters. A professional RSC company will tour A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play for the Nation for twelve weeks throughout the spring and summer of 2016. In every location, a new group of amateur performers will play Bottom and the rude mechanicals, and local schoolchildren will play Titania's fairy train. A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation is a co-production between the Royal Shakespeare Company and amateur theatre companies across the UK. This is an arrangement developed between the RSC and Equity.
RSC Shakespeare on Film
Alongside the RSC’s work on stage, Barbican cinema co-presents RSC Shakespeare on Film. Curated by John Wyver, the RSC’s Director, Screen Productions in association with the Barbican Cinema, the season will uncover highlights from 100 years of Shakespeare in performance, captured on stage or reconceived for film or television. Productions sourced from the extensive archives of the RSC and the BBC will include rarely-seen footage from the early days of cinema, right up to the present day. Titles include Trevor Nunn’s iconic 1979 production of Macbeth with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench, originally performed at The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Gregory Doran’s production of Hamlet, filmed on location, with David Tennant in the title role. The films will be accompanied by a programme of talks and platform events.
Barbican Shakespeare Weekender
Barbican Weekender returns in March 2016 for two days of events for all ages celebrating Shakespeare, in partnership with a range of artists and organisations including the RSC. Marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Barbican’s Foyers will be brought to life with a range of free workshops, performances, installations, exhibitions, games, feasts and trails inspired by, and giving a unique twist to, the worlds of Shakespeare’s plays.
Barbican Box 2016
Inspired by the artistic programme of the Centre, the Barbican Box is - literally - a portable box filled with the ‘ingredients’ for making and creating either theatre, film, photography or music. The project aims to ignite, support and facilitate creativity in schools through a process of devising and creating work from scratch. Since its launch in 2011, the project has taken part with almost 50 schools and reached nearly 3000 pupils. As part of its programme marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Barbican is curating its most ambitious Barbican Box yet, inviting the RSC and artists from the international companies it works with to choose an object for the Box that they think a young person could use as a starting point for making theatre inspired by Shakespeare. The selected objects will then be curated by the Barbican to form the 2016 Barbican Box, which will be sent out to schools across east London to spark young people’s creativity as they devise original new work that will go on to be showcased on the Barbican stage. We will also be developing and deepening our relationship with the RSC through other creative learning projects including Weekend Labs and the programming of Teacher Preview nights. In support of Barbican Box 2016 – and other Creative Learning projects in east London – the Barbican is pleased to announce a significant grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation.
NEW COMMISSIONS AND PROJECTS
The Dark Mirror – Zender’s Winterreise
Following his acclaimed concert performance of Schubert’s greatest song-cycle Winterreise at the Barbican in January 2015, Ian Bostridge makes a welcome return to the Centre, taking his personal journey with Schubert’s masterpiece to the next stage. The Dark Mirror is a gripping theatrical version of Winterreise in which composer Hans Zender’s iconoclastic orchestral re-imagining of the original work is staged by acclaimed opera director, designer and video artist Netia Jones, with Britten Sinfonia under conductor Baldur Brönnimann. This startling reflection on art and performance, love, death and the passage of time inhabits a boldly expressionist landscape; the ‘Winter’s Journey’ and its grief-stricken young lover are mirrored in a dynamic confrontation between past and present, maturity and naivety, early Romanticism and the irony of post-Weimar cabaret. Ian Bostridge is one of Winterreise’s greatest living interpreters and this radical new production continues and deepens his life-long relationship and our understanding of the work. Netia Jones’ renowned multimedia productions at the Barbican include 2012’s Where the Wild Things Are, 2013’s Curlew River, and earlier this year Alice in Wonderland. Following the premiere at the Barbican the production will tour extensively.
Complicite – The Encounter
Simon McBurney traces the journey of National Geographic photographer, Loren McIntyre, into the depths of the Amazon rainforest, incorporating innovative technology into his solo performance to build a shifting world of sound. In 1969 McIntyre found himself lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley. It was an encounter that was to change his life: bringing the limits of human consciousness into startling focus. Complicite’s work at the Barbican includes A Disappearing Number, Shun-kin and most recently The Master and Margarita. Using binaural sound technology, the award-winning company returns to the Barbican with this exploration of nature, time and of our own consciousness.
Curve commission from Eddie Peake
This autumn, London-based artist Eddie Peake presents an ambitious web of architectural installations, choreographed performance and video set within the Curve gallery. The exhibition features a raised scaffold walkway spanning the length of the 90 metre long Curve providing both a stage for performance and a viewing platform for visitors. A group of performers carry out a looped choreography of dance movement in synchronisation with sound and video works dispersed around the space. Around the scaffold walkway, a number of structures rendered in plaster, acrylic and red velvet form a maze-like pathway throughout the gallery, functioning both as backdrops and objects for the performers to interact with.
The first cohort of Fish Island Labs residents will be showcasing their work in a group show in the Barbican Centre foyers. This is the first annual showcase of art from Fish Island Labs, a unique partnership between the Barbican and The Trampery. Located in Hackney Wick, Fish Island Labs is a new centre to kickstart the careers of a new generation of emerging talent whose work spans technology and the arts. Following the success of the pilot year, both organisations look forward to establishing a permanent home for the Labs, including a state-of-the-art auditorium, fabrication facilities, studio spaces, and lab programmes for the local community.
The Barbican has commissioned a short film to mark the passing of the Crossrail Tunnel Boring Machines Elizabeth and Victoria beneath the Barbican Estate. Granted unique access as the final stretch of the Crossrail project’s tunnelling takes place between Liverpool Street and Farringdon, the film captures the magic of the tunnels in their present state, revealing the underground landscape and contemplating what is being created underneath our feet. Music by LoneLady, filming by Bevis Bowden, animation by Daniela Sherer, production and direction by Sidd Khajuria. The film will be released and free to view from Wednesday 8 April.
The Barbican Exhibition: Building a Landmark
This series of changing foyer displays celebrates the Barbican’s architecture and offers insights into the famous modernist building. Opening Autumn 2015 the second display in the Barbican series traces the design and construction of the estate and arts centre over nearly three decades. The display includes archive footage revealing the extent of the destruction wrought by the Blitz; the reports, or presentation books, produced by the architects Chamberlin, Powell & Bon for the residential estate in 1959 and for the arts centre in 1968; impressive photographs documenting the Barbican’s construction from the 1960s until the early 1980s; and casts of different concrete surfaces which the architects tried before choosing the Barbican’s now famous tooled-concrete surface. The display spans the history of the Barbican from the post-war reconstruction plans for London to the official inauguration of the arts centre in 1982.
BEYOND BARBICAN 2015
The Barbican is continuing to build on its long history of programming and partnerships with artists and organisations in the east London boroughs surrounding the Centre with another exciting summer programme of arts and learning events.
Walthamstow Garden Party
Following a successful first year in 2014, which saw 34,000 people get together in Walthamstow’s Lloyd Park, the Barbican and Create will once again be joining forces with Waltham Forest Council to present the Walthamstow Garden Party 2015. This free event is part of the Council’s ‘Get Together’ programme and will see the beautiful Lloyd Park host two days of music, theatre, dance, circus, film, spoken word, arts & crafts, food and family activity delivered in partnership with local organisations. The weekend will feature music and performance stages showcasing international and local talent, a story pavilion presenting local artists, writers and performers in an uniquely intimate space, stalls and workshops from local designer-makers in the Useful and Beautiful Craft Marquee and the Real Food Festival’s extraordinary range of street food from across the world. The full line-up for the Walthamstow Garden Party is to be announced. A Waltham Forest Council event. Produced by Barbican & Create in partnership with Artillery, William Morris Gallery, Friends of Lloyd Park, Lloyd Park Centre and The Mill. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
In the lead up to the festival the Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning is working with schools from across Waltham Forest on a Junior Poets programme that aims to bring young people aged 11-14 together to express themselves through language and performance. With fortnightly workshop sessions led by experienced performance poets, including Walthamstow resident and current Young Poet Laureate for London Aisling Fahey, the children and young people taking part will develop their writing and performance skills before showcasing their work onstage at the Walthamstow Garden Party. Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning also recently brought together some of the top young performers from Waltham Forest for a friendly cross-borough talent competition. The showcase saw the invited dance groups, spoken word, rappers, solo singers and bands perform their work, with the winning acts selected to perform at the Walthamstow Garden Party.
Barking Town Square Street Party
The Barbican, Studio 3 Arts and Create are working with Barking and Dagenham Council to present a free, large-scale street party in Barking Town Square. Part of the Barking Folk Festival, and a key event within the Council’s 50th anniversary celebrations, the party will see two days of music, theatre, food, arts & crafts and family activity that gives residents a chance to get together and celebrate Barking’s creative and community spirit. Alongside performances across two stages from established and emerging music, dance, theatre and circus groups, activities will include a pop-up spa from Barking Bathhouse, food and drink stalls from local producers and arts workshops. The full line-up for the Barking Town Square Street Party is to be announced. Produced by Barbican in association with Studio 3 Arts and Create. Part of Barking Folk Festival – A London Borough of Barking & Dagenham event delivered in partnership with The Boathouse. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
Open LAB Festival at Rich Mix
The Barbican Guildhall Open LAB programme gives artists the space to experiment in a working theatrical space so they can research and develop pieces of work or their own practice as an artist or company. Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning will be producing an Open LAB Festival at Rich Mix celebrating and showcasing the artists who have taken part in Open LABs.
NEW FILM SEASONS
The Colour of Money
Sitting in the heart of the city, the Barbican is perfectly positioned to explore the way money colours our lives, with shades of avarice, lust, hardship, fun and freedom. Unafraid to critique our attitudes to money, or to recognise the appeal of hard cash, The Colour of Money will include everything from Hollywood musicals to hard-hitting documentaries, and from Marxist westerns to horror-genre critiques of capitalism. Including: Erich von Stroheim's 1925 silent classic Greed with live musical accompaniment, Robert Bresson's L’Argent (1983), George Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978), Sally Potter's The Gold Diggers (1983), Mary Harron's American Psycho (2000), Jafar Panahi's Iranian masterpiece The White Balloon (1995) and Martin Scorsese's exhilarating Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
Beckett on Screen
Samuel Beckett was a seminal playwright, but his works come to life on screen in a compelling fashion. Alongside Theatre’s International Beckett Season, this collection of film programmes puts together rarely-seen works made for the BBC, Channel 4 and RTE, as well as works made about Beckett, starring some his most lauded performers, including Billie Whitelaw, Jack McGowran and Sian Phillips. The four programmes include Patricia Rozema’s interpretation of Happy Days, Anthony Minghella’s version of Play (1966) starring Alan Rickman, Juliet Stephenson and Kristin Scott-Thomas; Charles Sturridge’s Ohio Impromptu (2001) starring Jeremy Irons as both the reader and the listener; and Seán O Mórdha's documentary Silence to Silence (1984) which explores the artistic life of Beckett through his prose, plays and poetry and features his great dramatic interpreters Billie Whitelaw, Jack MacGowran and Patrick Magee. Complementing the International Beckett Season is Honouring Intentions: The Director and Beckett, an event which invites Directors from the season to join us for a panel discussion exploring the role of the director in the staging of Beckett's work.
Rio de Janeiro
With the world’s eyes on Rio for the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, Barbican Cinemas highlight the city’s major contribution to Brazilian cinema with a season of the best classic and new film productions from Rio de Janeiro, highlighting the richness of the Rio film landsape. The season will include Brazilian landmarks such as Nelson Pereira dos Santos Rio 100 Degrees F (1954), Mario Peixoto's silent film Limite (1931) with live musical accompaniment and Fernando Meirelles' City of God (2002), as well as new work depicting and celebrating Rio on screen.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR RESIDENT ORCHESTRA
The London Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 season will open with concerts conducted by Bernard Haitink featuring Mozart and Beethoven Piano Concertos with Murray Perahia as soloist. LSO Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev explores Bartók and Stravinsky with soloist Yefim Bronfman in October. Sir Simon Rattle conducts the LSO in six concerts, including a semi-staged performance of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Haydn’s The Seasons and the world premiere of a new children’s opera by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, featuring the LSO Discovery choirs and the LSO Community Choir. The world premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ LSO-commissioned Violin Concerto, written for Nicola Benedetti, will be performed in November, conducted by James Gaffigan. LSO Principal Guest Conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Daniel Harding are both featured in the 2015-16 season, as are Sir Mark Elder, Sir Antonio Pappano, and François-Xavier Roth. Composers John Adams and Thomas Adès will conduct the LSO in their own works and the LSO marks the quatercentenary of Shakespeare’s death with three concerts featuring music inspired by the great dramatist. Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes is the LSO Artist Portrait in 2015-16, performing concertos with the Orchestra, a recital in the Barbican Hall, and the complete Brahms Piano Quartets in Milton Court.
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC SHOWS JUST ANNOUNCED
Jeff Mills: Light from the Outside World
Featuring BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Christophe Mangou
Detroit’s legendary techno producer and DJ, Jeff Mills teams up with Barbican Associate the BBC Symphony Orchestra to present the UK premiere of Light from the Outside World – a project which blurs the line between a club and a concert hall night. Mills has been experimenting with expanding techno from beyond the confines of the club for a while now and this project weaves together electronic dance and orchestral music in a concert hall setting.
Asian Dub Foundation: THX 1138 (rated 15)
Asian Dub Foundation perform live their new soundtrack to the cult classic sci-fi THX 1138 - a chilling dystopian fantasy set in an Orwellian future where mood-stabilising drugs are mandatory, sex is prohibited, and a young Robert Duval quietly rages against the system. George Lucas’s 1971 debut features Duval and Donald Pleasance, with Francis Ford Coppola producing. Not an instant classic, THX 1138 made its impact over the decades and has been sampled by a host of influential electronic artists including Nine Inch Nails, The Shamen, Meat Beat Manifesto, UNKLE, Orbital, Front 242, Laibach and Clock DVA. Frequent collaborators, Asian Dub Foundation have mixed their trademark fusion of punk, electronic beats, reggae, bhangra and hip-hop with artists such as Radiohead, Chuck D, Primal Scream and Sinead O’Connor. Having raged against oppression and injustice for 20 years, they still remain musical innovators and a thrilling live act.
Black Arm Band: dirtsong
dirtsong is a powerful musical journey through Australia’s cultural heartland inspired by the words of Indigenous Australian writer Alexis Wright. Set against a backdrop of stunning moving imagery and text, the event mixes traditional and contemporary songs, existing repertoire and newly commissioned music, performed in 11 Indigenous Australian languages by members of the Black Arm Band. Many of the musical pieces are structured as “conversations” between the collaborating artists and the music is accompanied by specially commissioned visuals filmed in different communities around Australia by Natasha Gadd & Rhys Graham (Daybreak Films). Established in 2006, the Black Arm Band features a collective of renowned Indigenous singers, musicians, performers and actors who showcase and celebrate the very best of contemporary Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and culture. dirtsong is the third major project of the Black Arm Band following on from murundak (2006) and Hidden Republic (2008), and across all their activities, the group uses music as a vehicle for social change. Over the last nine years, the company has performed to an audience of over one million people in Australia and across the globe, has provided exceptional professional pathways and opportunities to over 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and has run community-driven music programmes that have positively impacted more than 1,000 participants. Complementing dirtsong, Barbican Theatre presents The Shadow King by Malthouse Theatre, which alongside dirtsong explore themes of land rights and cultural heritage.
Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Mystery
Kodo returns for their first Barbican performance in a decade as part of their One Earth Tour 2016: Mystery. Involving music as well as dance, the show is directed by Tamasaburo Bando (one of the most celebrated Kabuki actors) and merges the modern dynamism of taiko drumming with the ancient Japanese rituals of worshipping nature in its many spiritual expressions. Based on Sado Island in Japan, taiko drumming group Kodo debuted in 1981, when they performed for the first time at the Berlin Festival. Since then, they have toured extensively across the five continents, with the aim of popularising Japanese taiko drums in all its shapes, as well as other traditional instruments such as the bamboo flute fue and cymbals.
Dan Penn + Spooner Oldham
Influential American musicians Dan Penn (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Spooner Oldham (vocals, electric piano), have helped shape the development of southern soul music with their legendary songwriting, musicianship and production. Hits such as The Dark End of the Street, Do Right Woman, Do Right Man and Cry Like a Baby, recorded in the legendary Muscle Shoals and FAME studios have touched the hearts and souls of many. As part of the UK tour, which coincides with the upcoming re-release of Dan & Spooner’s live album Moments from this Theatre on Proper Records, they play the intimate surroundings of the Union Chapel in July. Produced by the Barbican in association with SummerTyne Festival.
Blood & Roses: The Songs of Ewan MacColl
Ewan MacColl was a musician, writer, actor, producer and activist, but it is his unapologetically political folk songs for which he is best remembered. First performed in Glasgow to commemorate 100 years since his birth, Blood & Roses is curated by his sons Neill & Callum MacColl and features other family members as well as friends, fans and admirers as very special guests.
Apparat: soundtracks and more
Berlin-based electronic musician Apparat aka Sascha Ring has recently begun a new scope of activity within the theatre world, which included composing the music for the 2012 production of Tolstoy’s War and Peace by innovative and influential German theatre director Sebastian Hartmann, which was later released as an album on mute. On the back of the success of this project, Ring has since also worked on a number of film scores, including the recent score for Mario Martones’ film Il Giovane Favoloso for which he was awarded the Premio Piero Piccioni film score prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2014. For this Barbican Hall date, Apparat will present a programme based on his film scores.
BARBICAN PARTNER AND ASSOCIATE PROJECTS
SPILL Festival of Performance: Karen Finley – Written in Sand
Seminal American performance artist Karen Finley makes a rare UK appearance with an elegiac anthology of spoken-word pieces that confronts the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York.
Drawn from performance texts, letters, poetry and fragments compiled by the artist between 1983 and 1994, Written in Sand is a lyrical and highly personal testimony. It recalls a time in which loss, indifference and cruelty came to define the lives of people with AIDS, their friends and families. Interjecting her narrative with improvised wit, Finley is accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Paul Nebenzahl playing compositions written by musicians who died as a result of the disease. Covering themes of neglect to social exclusion, she embodies the period’s collective trauma and grief.
Out of India: Modern Moves
Showcasing three of the most inventive contemporary choreographers to have emerged from the country’s arts scene, this trilogy features work with a striking perspective on life in modern India, a long way from either classical or Bollywood dance-styles. The duet NH7 by Bangalore-born Deepak Kurki Shivaswamy is a political take on India’s rapid urbanisation, depicting its impact on individuals swept up in sudden change. A mesmerising dancer, Hemabharathy Palani draws on her extensive technique to invent an idiosyncratic solo. In Trikonanga she pulls apart the classical dance form Bharatanatyam, playing on its fascination with triangles in a myriad of ways. Nerves, Surjit Nongmeikapam’s piece for five men, is influenced by folk traditions and martial arts. Inspired by the corruption and suffering in his home state of Manipur, it blends props, projection and an intense physicality.
Andriessen: M is for Man, Music & Mystery
February 2016 celebrates Louis Andriessen’s six decades of cutting-edge music-making. This series of concerts give a snapshot picture of a composer who acknowledges no frontiers but his own and who has drawn his inspiration from every corner of Western culture. The series is a collaboration between the Barbican, Britten Sinfonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Benjamin at the Barbican
The Barbican portrays one of Britain’s most admired living composers: a sonic alchemist who transforms subtle and exquisite combinations of sounds into vast, passionate emotional landscapes. The portrait offers the chance to hear a major new work for the first time and to revisit George Benjamin’s recent opera Written on Skin, with a semi-staged performance featuring the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin himself. As part of the focus, the BBC Symphony Orchestra presents the UK premiere of George Benjamin’s Dream of the Song.
Outstanding artistic work in Milton Court
The 2015-16 season sees a high-quality programme of artistic work devised for the Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s Milton Court Concert Hall. It features world-class artists in distinctive projects that play to the venue’s intimate acoustic and express aspects of the Barbican-Guildhall creative learning partnership. This programme is based around the twin pillars of the work of the Barbican’s two Associate Ensembles, Britten Sinfonia and Academy of Ancient Music, and their outstanding guest artists including Oliver Knussen, Benjamin Grosvenor, Eddie Gomez, Ian Bostridge, Lucy Crowe and Bernard Labadie. Alongside these, highlights of the Barbican Presents Milton Court programme include a performance of the complete Brahms Piano Quartets with pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and friends, the third season of the ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation) Rising Stars Series, an immersive Shostakovich Day featuring the Casals Quartet and pianist Alexander Melnikov, and the eminent French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard playing Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus to complement his appearance with the LSO and Sir Simon Rattle earlier that week in the Barbican Hall. As part of her Artist Spotlight, the soprano Renée Fleming will lead a Masterclass for musicians from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and as part of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig’s Barbican International Associate residency, music director Riccardo Chailly will be in conversation with Barbican Managing Director Sir Nicholas Kenyon.
Gewandhauskapellmeister Riccardo Chailly leads the orchestra in three concerts devoted to Mozart and Richard Strauss and featuring as soloists Maria João Pires, Christian Tetzlaff and Martin Fröst. As part of the residency, musicians from the Guildhall School will collaborate with members of the Gewandhaus in a newly-commissioned family concert, based on the music of Richard Strauss and exploring the world of dreams.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Following on from previous critically-acclaimed visits, audiences will once again have an opportunity to experience music performed by some of America's finest jazz musicians in concerts, workshops and masterclasses. The programme in 2016 features the European premiere of JLCO's new project: 'Our Love is Here to Stay - The George Gershwin Songbook' . The second concert of the residency features a collaboration with a special guest, details of which will be announced at a later date, plus further creative learning work as part of the residency.
Los Angeles Philharmonic
The Los Angeles Philharmonic return to the Barbican in what will be their second International Associate residency at the Centre. Under the inspiring leadership of Gustavo Dudamel, this outstanding virtuoso orchestra will present a progressive programme that is grounded in contemporary culture while recognising and responding to the great historical tradition of classical music.
Bach Collegium Japan
A rare London visit from some of Bach’s most committed living interpreters: founder, musical director and conductor Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan (orchestra and chorus) come to the Barbican for their first major UK residency. Joined by sopranos Hana Blazikova and Joanne Lunn, countertenor Robin Blaze, tenor Colin Balzer and bass-baritone Dominik Wörner, the visit comprises three concerts and a day of talks, discussions and performances exploring the life, music and mind of Johann Sebastian Bach, curated and presented by BBC Radio 3’s Graeme Kay.