Building on the success of The Rest Is Noise festival of 20th century music, Southbank Centre today announces its 2014/15 classical music season, which has a focus on the music of today. Featuring 20 new works including London, UK and world premieres, the 2014/15 season cements Southbank Centre’s commitment to new music.

Among the new music on offer are works commissioned by Southbank Centre from internationally-renowned composers including, Steve Reich, Anna Clyne, Terry Riley, Unsuk Chin, Kaija Saariaho, Simon Holt, and with the Philharmonia Orchestra, James MacMillan.

Many of Southbank Centre’s own commissions featured in the 2014/15 season will form part of the four-month Metal, Wood, Skin: The Colin Currie Percussion Festival. This festival champions Southbank Centre Artist in Residence, Colin Currie, and presents a wealth of new music from today’s leading composers.

Set at the heart of Southbank Centre’s classical music season, the four Resident Orchestras – London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – will present new music as part of their seasons with commissioned works from Magnus Lindberg (London Philharmonic Orchestra), Harrison Birtwistle (two works for London Philharmonic Orchestra and London Sinfonietta), Julian Anderson (London Philharmonic Orchestra), James MacMillan (with the Philharmonia Orchestra) and Stevie Wishart (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment). There will also be new music on offer from Southbank Centre’s visiting international orchestras including the UK premiere of a new work by Nico Muhly (The Philadelphia Orchestra); and the UK premiere of Water by Jonny Greenwood (Australian Chamber Orchestra).

Three new commissions for children, families and youth audiences will be premiered with works by Unsuk Chin to be performed by the National Youth Orchestra; The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Colin Matthews and author Michael Morpurgo (London Philharmonic Orchestra); and the last of three works commissioned from Benjamin Wallfisch on Roald Dahl’s Dirty Beasts (London Philharmonic Orchestra).

The 2014/15 season’s stellar line up of international orchestras and artists performing repertoire from across the centuries include: Daniel Barenboim conducting two concerts with the Staatskapelle Berlin in performances of Beethoven, Strauss, Elgar and Tchaikovsky, together with Barenboim’s solo performance in a cycle of Schubert’s Piano Sonatas over four concerts as part of The Barenboim Project; Gustavo Dudamel with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela; Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker returning to Southbank Centre for The London Residency 2015 in partnership with the Barbican Centre performing Mahler’s Symphony No.2 alongside Helmut Lachenmann’s Tableau; Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra presenting works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Bruckner, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Nico Muhly; and Richard Tognetti with the Australian Chamber Orchestra performing works by Haydn, Mozart and Jonny Greenwood.

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre, said: ‘Building on the huge success of The Rest Is Noise festival, when we saw more than 120,000 people engage with 20th century music in a new and intensive way, this year we present a season marked by its focus on 21st century music. As a leading cultural organisation, we have a responsibility to contemporary composers to present their work in a way that fosters understanding from audiences and shows people that, just like other art forms, this music is both demanding and immensely rewarding. Together with our Resident Orchestras and other partners, more than 20 commissions and premieres by leading composers will be performed, including works by Unsuk Chin, Anna Clyne, Steve Reich and James MacMillan.’

Gillian Moore, Head of Classical Music, Southbank Centre, said: ‘Our 2014/15 classical music programme has a large range of new music and core repertoire on offer – from the new commissions for the organ and the Metal, Wood, Skin festival with Colin Currie, to the extensive work across the season with our Resident Orchestras. We are also thrilled to strengthen our excellent relationships with leading international artists and orchestras and look forward to welcoming back Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, and Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker among many others.’


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