Across two consecutive weekends in April, Southbank Centre’s 17-acre site will be overtaken by music education projects: Bernstein’s MASS and Young People’s Weekend (6-8 April); and the launch of Composers’ Collective, a new year-round initiative connecting composers at all stages of their careers with a variety of eminent composers (13-15 April).

Bernstein’s MASS & Young People’s weekend
Friday 6 – Sunday 8 April 2018
To mark Leonard Bernstein’s centenary year, Southbank Centre presents a weekend celebrating the spirit of idealism, protest and questioning of the mid-twentieth century, embodied by the great American composer, conductor and educator, Friday 6 – Sunday 8 April 2018.
Leonard Bernstein’s radical masterpiece MASS, which was premiered nine years after the assassination of JF Kennedy and captures America at a moment of crisis, is updated for his centenary year in a new staging performed twice in Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall (6-7 April). Southbank Centre Associate Artist and Bernstein pupil Marin Alsop conducts the seminal large-scale work featuring Tony Award-winning Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot, Associate Orchestras the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Chineke! Juniors, and a huge community cast of c.400 amateur performers drawn from across London, including singers and choirs, dancers, a congregation of street singers, a rock band and a brass band.
Directed by Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly, the work forms the basis of a weekend of educational activities and wrap-around events including an education project with Year 9 students at Lilian Baylis Technology College, who will use MASS as the basis for study across their History, Music and Drama lessons and which will be documented in a short film shown during the weekend.
Throughout the weekend, Southbank Centre will be full of music-making, talks and opportunities to get involved. A Creative Learning symposium offers an opportunity to discuss and learn about best practice, methodology and sharing experience of working with community groups in a creative learning process (6 April) whilst a special edition of Southbank Centre’s popular year-long series What You Need to Know will explore MASS in detail with speakers including Marin Alsop and Kate Molleson (7 April).
Working with the NYO, Britain’s leading totally teenage orchestra, the weekend also pays homage to Bernstein and his legacy as a legendary educator with a 21st-century take on Bernstein’s famous Young People’s Concerts for all the family in Unleashed - a concert by teenagers for teeangers, conducted by Kwamé Ryan (8 April). Repertoire includes music from The Hunger Games and audiences are welcomed into the Royal Festival Hall foyer by NYO musicians before being ushered into the auditorium. Wrap around events include a “Come and Play” session and instead of a traditional programme audiences will receive specially designed postcards by NYO Illustrator in Residence and former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell. More information HERE.
Bernstein’s MASS and the Young People’s Weekend set the scene for the reopening of the newly-refurbished Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room the following week.

Composers’ Collective
Friday 13 – Sunday 15 April
With the reopening of Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room in April comes the launch of Composers’ Collective, a new year-long initiative giving composers at all stages of their career access to pioneering composers featured throughout Southbank Centre’s season, via seminars, workshops, networking, surgeries and performance.
Inspired by Southbank Centre’s new music programme for the 2018/19 season - rich in living composers - the Collective connects composers from all backgrounds with the wealth of artistic talent that crosses Southbank Centre’s threshold. The weekend features talks from leading international composers including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Unsuk Chin, Tom Coult, Hannah Kendall, Gerald Barry, Bryce Dessner and more.
Open to anyone with an interest in composition, the weekend will also feature sessions led by industry professionals who will advise on a range of areas from working with publishers and artist management to marketing and self-promotion, and who will offer tips on how to earn a living as a composer.
Sessions across the weekend include “Working with an Orchestra: Do’s and Don’ts” led by Chief Executive of London Sinfonietta Andrew Burke and featuring composers Hannah Kendall, Tom Coult, Lisa Illean and Philip Cashian, “The Business of Composing” led by PRS Foundation, “Keep Composed: Health and Well-being for Composers” led by Sound and Music and Help Musicians UK, “Widening Your Horizons: Composing for Communities” led by London Music Masters, and a Crash Course in Conducting led by Karin Hendrickson as well as opportunities for networking and speed mentoring.

The entire weekend is free but ticketed.


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