Reflecting the changing landscape of classical music, Southbank Centre’s 2017/18 season puts innovation, technology and new music front and centre, with an international outlook that mirrors the world today.

September alone sees five world and UK premieres; leading British and international artists including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vladimir Jurowski, Francesco Tristano, Sir Willard White, Dame Felicity Palmer and Pierre-Laurent Aimard who gives his first performance as Southbank Centre Artist-in-Residence; and the return of Darbar Festival for its twelfth edition.

As part of Southbank Centre’s year-long exploration of Nordic culture, Nordic Matters, the season opens with a major celebration of Nordic music, including the first UK edition of leading contemporary music festival Nordic Music Days. Across four days, the Southbank Centre site plays host to pioneering composers, sound artists and performers from the region including Kaija Saariaho, Anders Hillborg, Bent Sørensen, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto who performs the UK premiere of Daníel Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto. Coinciding with the festival is the return of The Virtual Orchestra, the first major virtual reality initiative from a UK symphony orchestra, featuring Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony in partnership with Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

September highlights include:
The first UK edition of Nordic Music Days, one of the world’s oldest music festivals, with four days of pioneering music by Nordic composers and sound artists performed by some of the UK’s most exciting ensembles. Plus a wide-ranging programme of talks, workshops, family events, sound sculptures and an audiovisual Northern Lights lounge - all free to attend. (28 September - 1 October)
Return of The Virtual Orchestra, the first major virtual reality initiative from a UK symphony orchestra, in partnership with Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen - free and open to the public (28 September - 1 October)
Darbar Festival, the biggest celebration of Indian classical music outside of South Asia, returns for its twelfth edition featuring the UK premiere of Shankar Mahadevan’s ‘Krishna’ (16 - 17 September)
Belief and Beyond Belief, Southbank Centre’s year-long festival in partnership with London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Vladimir Jurowski continues with three concerts in September (23 September), (27 September), (30 September)
Acclaimed pianist Francesco Tristano presents the UK premiere performance of his new album, Piano Circle Songs (20 September)
Southbank Centre’s International Organ Series returns for the 2017/18 season, opening with the organist of St Paul’s Cathedral, Simon Johnson, who performs his own contribution to The Orgelbüchlein Project (25 September)
Southbank Centre Associate Orchestra Aurora Orchestra and conductor Nicholas Collon are joined by Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who gives his first performance as a Southbank Centre Artist-in-Residence, with Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques, part of a programme exploring birdsong and man's relationship with the natural world (24 September)
Southbank Centre Resident Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, performs the world premiere of Sally Beamish’s The Judas Passion (25 September)

Looking further ahead in the season, international artists and orchestras include:
Daniel Barenboim and West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle and Berliner Philharmoniker, Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain and Matthias Pintscher, Spira Mirabilis, Emerson Quartet, Navarra Quartet, Associate Artists Marin Alsop and Colin Currie, soloists Danielle de Niese, Mitsuko Uchida, Maurizio Pollini, Leif Ove Andsnes, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Stephen Hough, Paul Lewis, Khatia Buniatishvili, Steven Osborne, James Ehnes, Alban Gerhardt, Kian Soltani, Benjamin Grosvenor & more.


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