Highlights of the autumn 2017 season include:
- Guildhall musicians perform a concert curated by alumnus Thomas Adès and join the LSO for an LSO On Track concert as part of ten days of special events to mark Sir Simon Rattle becoming Music Director of the LSO and Artist-in-Association with the Barbican and Guildhall School
- Concert with Dave Arch launches the Guildhall Studio Orchestra, a multi-disciplinary ensemble and the first of its kind in a UK conservatoire
- Alumni Recital Series presents three concerts: a concert celebrating The Flautadors’ 20th anniversary; the return of ‘Guitar Spectacular’ and the world premiere of The Nutcracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu
- Renowned conductors Vassily Sinaisky, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Adrian Leaper conduct the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra throughout the season
- The autumn opera is Menotti’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece The Consul
- The drama department presents four Martin Crimp plays in Crimp 1, 2, 3 & 4, Anton Chekhov’sThe Cherry Orchard and Noël Coward’s Post-Mortem
- Guildhall video design students transform Leadenhall Market and Guildhall Yard with innovative digital artworks inspired by Roman London as part of the City of London Corporation’s Londinium, and create a new Christmas light and sound 3D animated projection inspired by the objects, architecture and history of Waddesdon Manor
- Renowned pianist and Guildhall professor Iain Burnside presents devised music theatre piece Swansong
- Distinctive brass quintet Canadian Brass perform a programme of wide-ranging repertoire
- Resident Ensemble in Creative Performance, Decoda, explore the expression and interaction of voices in a Faculty Artists Series concert
- Collaborations this season include five LSO Platforms: Guildhall Artists concerts and two lunchtime concerts given as part of BBC SO Total Immersion: Julian Anderson and BBC SO Total Immersion: Esa-Pekka Salonen
Guildhall Symphony Orchestra & Chorus: 22 September, Milton Court Concert Hall and Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, 22 November, Barbican Hall The Guildhall Symphony Orchestra & Chorus are led by renowned Russian conductor Vassily Sinaisky and chorus master David Vinden on 22 September for a programme of two celestial choral works inspired by Shakespeare: Nicolai’s ‘Mondchor’ Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music. The concert also features Elgar’s famous musical sketches, Enigma Variations, a colourful collection of musical caricatures inspired by the composer’s friends. On 22 November, the orchestra is conducted by two renowned conductors: Adrian Leaper conducts Mahler’s enduringly popular Fifth Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the orchestra in one of his own compositions, LA Variations, written for the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and premiered in 1996. Following this, the renowned Finnish conductor discusses his work with Guildhall composition professor Richard Baker on 23 November in Silk Street Music Hall. Later this season, Guildhall musicians join the BBC Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the work of Salonen as part of the BBC’s Total Immersion day.
Canadian Brass: 10 October, Milton Court Concert Hall
On 10 October, brass quintet Canadian Brass conclude a day of masterclasses with Guildhall musicians with an evening of entertainment, spontaneity and virtuosity. The quintet is known for its unique performance attire of formal black suits with white running shoes and performs a wide-range of repertoire from baroque and Dixieland tunes to new compositions and arrangements created especially for the ensemble.
Guildhall Studio Orchestra with Dave Arch: 17 October, Milton Court Concert Hall
17 October marks the launch and first concert of the Guildhall Studio Orchestra, the first of its kind in a UK conservatoire. Genre-fluid, multi-disciplinary and progressive, it places students next to the highest level of professional musicians in a side-by-side setup, with commissioned repertoire from some of the best arrangers working today. Joining the orchestra for its launch concert is Guildhall alumnus Dave Arch – a prolific pianist, conductor, arranger and composer best known for his role as Musical Director and arranger for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. On 10 January, Liane Caroll returns to the Milton Court Concert Hall stage to collaborate with the Guildhall Studio Orchestra for a programme featuring songs from her new album.
Alumni Recital Series: The Flautadors, 26 October; Guitar Spectacular, 16 November and The Nutcracker & I, 19 December, Milton Court Concert Hall
On 26 October, the UK’s leading recorder ensemble, The Flautadors, celebrates its 20th anniversary with a special concert featuring a range of repertoire from medieval to contemporary pieces. The ensemble is also joined by a new generation of recorder players and percussionists, comprising of Guildhall students and alumni, for Renaissance masterpieces. ‘Guitar Spectacular’ returns to the Alumni Recital Series on 16 November with an evening of music for guitar featuring the Jørgen Skogmo-Jens Franke duo, the Housden-Tarlton duo, and solo repertoire from George Tarlton and Isabel Martinez. The programme includes music by José Ferrer, Granados, Assad, Asencio, Rodrigo, Sáinz de la Maza and Francis Kleynjans. The Nutcracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu is a new and innovative 50-minute live performance based on Tchaikovsky’s enchanting ballet. On stage will be a grand piano, played by Dariescu herself, and ballerina Désirée Ballantyne behind a see-through gauze screen. Projected onto the gauze and bringing the story to life are exquisite digital animations, all hand drawn and created in advance by Yeast Culture. They follow the music and engage live with the pianist and ballerina as they ‘dance’ across the screen. The world premiere performance on 19 December, features favourites from the Tchaikovsky’s ballet including Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian Dance, Chinese Dance, Pax de Deux, and the Flower Waltz, in 15 virtuosic arrangements by composers such as Mikhail Pletnev, Stepan Esipoff, Percy Grainger and three brand new adaptations by Gavin Sutherland. Dariescu is currently on the Guildhall School’s Creative Entrepreneurs programme, run in partnership with social enterprise Cause4.
Swansong by Iain Burnside, 4 & 5 November, Milton Court Studio Theatre
Swansong, on 4 & 5 November, is the latest music theatre piece devised by renowned pianist and Guildhall professor Iain Burnside, with Guildhall singers, pianists and actors. Schwanengesang, 'Swan-Song' is revered as Schubert’s farewell to song. Written at the end of his short life, the 14 songs complete the composer’s peerless trio of song cycles. Swansong presents these 14 songs, for voice and piano, in their traditional order, interspersed with monologues from six different characters. Three are Schubert’s contemporaries: his friend Franz von Schober; his laundry girl, Liesl and publisher Tobias Haslinger. Three are from later generations: the composers, Johannes Brahms and Ivor Gurney, and Emily, an American graduate student visiting Vienna. Each cast fresh light, from different angles, on this collection of masterly songs, and on the genius who created them, months before his death.
Faculty Artist Series: The Veiled Voice, 6 November, Milton Court Concert Hall
On 6 November, New York-based chamber collective and Resident Ensemble in Creative Performance at the School,Decoda presents an imaginative programme which explores the expression and interaction of voices from the counterpoint in Bach’s Musical Offering sonata to Crumb’s timeless evocation, Voice of the Whale.
A host of prestigious artists visit the Guildhall School this autumn to give masterclasses to senior students including a film music masterclass with Guildhall alumnus and professor Stephen Endelman who shares examples of his own work mixed with work of Electronic Music students (24 October in the Barbican Cinema). Other visiting artists include Richard Goode (27 September), Julius Drake (3 October at the Parliament Chamber, Inner Temple & 9 November), Ilya Itin (9 October), Levon Chilingirian (13 October), Milton Court Artist-in-Residence Jeremy Denk (16 October), Yvonne Kenny (18 October), Kathryn Stott (26 October), Ralf Gothóni (30 October), Malija (1 November) and Paul Berkowitz (8 November).
The Consul by Gian Carlo Menotti: 4 performances from 30 October, Silk Street Theatre
This autumn, the award-winning opera department presents Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul. The opera, which launched Menotti’s distinguished career and won him the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1950, follows a political dissident on the run from the secret police. The performances are conducted by Timothy Redmond and directed by Stephen Medcalf.
This is Rattle: 14 - 24 September
This autumn Sir Simon Rattle becomes Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Artist-in-Association with the Barbican and Guildhall School with ten days of special events in September marking these appointments. On 18 September composer and Guildhall alumnus Thomas Adès curates a programme of inspirational works by some of the most distinctive voices of our time. The Guildhall New Music Ensemble, led by conductor Richard Baker, perform a programme including Per Nørgård’s Hut Ab!, Nicholas Maw’s The Head of Orpheus, Judith Weir’s The Alps, Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s Célan settings, Niccoló Castiglioni’s Vallis Clausa, György Kurtág’s Életút, Osvaldo Golijov’s Sarajevo, John Woolrich’s A Farewell and Madness arr. Adès Cardiac Arrest. The ensemble is joined by clarinettist Ausiàs Garrigós Morant, viola player Matthew Jones and sopranos Patricia Auchterlonie, Harriet Burns, Mimi Doulton and Mirjam Mesak. On 24 September Guildhall musicians join forces with the LSO for This is Rattle: LSO On Track, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. LSO On Track is a partnership between the LSO and ten East London Music Services, in collaboration with the Barbican and Guildhall School, which puts young East Londoners on a world-class stage with LSO artists to create inspirational performances. The concert in the Barbican Hall, includes Elgar arr. Gareth GlynExtracts from Variations on an Original Theme, Enigma and Stravinsky arr. Gareth Glyn Extracts from The Rite of Spring.
LSO Platforms: Guildhall Artists: 5 & 15 October, 8 November, 7 & 13 December, Barbican Hall
Senior musicians from the Guildhall School take to the Barbican stage before five LSO concerts this autumn with free performances of complementary repertoire including: Britten’s Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings, Op. 2 and Sinfonietta Op. 1 (chamber version) on 5 October; a selection of Mendelssohn and Brahms Songs on 15 October; Bernstein and Copland Songs on 8 November; Mozart’s Fantasy in C minor K475 and Sonata in C minor K457 and Tchaikovsky’s Dumka Op. 59 on 7 December and on 15 December Strauss’ Sonatina No. 1 for 16 Wind Instruments ‘From an Invalid's Workshop’.
Londinium: Hallucinatio, 19 – 24 October, Leadenhall Market and Blood Rite, 20 & 21 October, Guildhall Yard
This October, Guildhall Technical Theatre students provide innovative digital artworks and animations as part of Londinium, a series of events presented by the City of London Corporation to explore its Roman heritage. From 19 – 24 October, Guildhall Technical Theatre students create an interactive 5 minute virtual reality experience transforming Leadenhall Market into a 3D digital landscape of Roman London. On 20 & 21 October, the School and Boy Blue Entertainment present a digitally-animated new outdoor dance show. Set on the site of London’s Roman amphitheatre, an explo¬sive fusion of urban dance, music and video projection transforms the facades of Guildhall Yard.
BBC SO Total Immersion: Julian Anderson, 21 October and BBC SO Total Immersion: Esa-Pekka Salonen, 10 December, Milton Court Concert Hall
As part of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion day on 21 October, Guildhall musicians explore the extraordinary chamber music of composer and Guildhall professor Julian Anderson. The programme includes four chamber works spanning 21 years of Julian Anderson’s compositional output: The Colour of Pomegranates for alto flute and piano; Van Gogh Blue (inspired by the exuberance of the letters of the Dutch artist); Ring Dance and Poetry Nearing Silence which was inspired by the paintings of Tom Phillips. Taking place the day before the BBC’s Total Immersion: Julian Anderson event, Research Works presents a one-day conference illuminating Anderson’s music, contexts and inspirations, on 20 October at the Guildhall School. On 10 December, Guildhall musicians perform four of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s smaller-scale works as part of the BBC SO Total Immersion day. The programme includes Memoria, Second Meeting, YTA1 and Dichotomie, written in 2000, a powerful addition to the modern piano repertoire and a highly rewarding listening experience.
Waddesdon Imaginarium: 11 November – 2 January, Waddesdon Manor
From 11 November until 2 January, Waddesdon Manor’s famous collection of art is brought to life in an eye-catching new light and sound show created through video projection mapping by video design students from the Guildhall School. The building’s façade is illuminated with striking images that bring out the beauty and idiosyncrasies of the remarkable array of artefacts and paintings housed within, celebrating Waddesdon’s architecture and its extraordinary contents like never before. This show is part of the Waddesdon’s festive Winter Light programme.
Crimp 1, 2, 3 & 4: Whole Blue Sky, Face to the Wall, Fewer Emergencies & Play House by Martin Crimp by Martin Crimp: 9 performances from 9 October, Milton Court Studio Theatre
This autumn, the drama department present four plays by British playwright Martin Crimp, opening on 9 October for 9 performances. Whole Blue Sky, Face to the Wall and Fewer Emergencies is Crimp’s trilogy of short plays that make up a disturbing fairy tale world, and the nightmarish impact on the contented life of an affluent middle-class family. Play Housedepicts the story of a volatile relationship between a young couple learning to live in their new home. Sex, money, dancing and emotional fragility test the boundaries of their love. The production is directed by Chris Kelham with designer Cecilia Carey.
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov: 8 performances from 16 October, Milton Court Theatre
Opening on 16 October for 8 performances, the School presents Anton Chekhov’s final masterpiece, The Cherry Orchard,in a version by Tom Stoppard. A comedy about a family facing ruin, Chekhov’s work is a poignant snapshot of the sweeping change that came to head with the Russian Revolution in 1917. The production is directed by Christian Burgess, Vice-Principal & Director of Drama at the School with designer Polly Sullivan. There is an audio-described performance and touch tour for blind and visually impaired people on 20 October.
Post-Mortem by Noël Coward: 9 performances from 23 November, Milton Court Theatre
Noël Coward’s Post-Mortem was first performed in 1944 in an Austrian prisoner of war camp but was never performed professionally in Coward’s lifetime. Written in 1930 when he was 31 years old, it is a surprisingly angry and bitter vilification of the ruling classes who seem to have learnt nothing from the mass homicide of the First World War. For this production, opening on 23 November, the School is delighted to welcome the distinguished partnership of director Lucy Bailey and designer William Dudley in this production which explores the use of video to uncover the darker, more serious side of Coward.