Barbican and Wigmore Hall, London * Saffron Hall * Norwich * Cambridge

Highlights include:

Sir Mark Elder - Brahms Symphony Cycle features 2nd Symphony alongside music by Mahler and Britten

Thomas Adès – culmination of Beethoven Symphony Cycle: Symphonies 7, 8 & 9 performed alongside Gerald Barry’s The Eternal Recurrence and Dead March

New music and commissions include:

World premiere of new arrangement of Nico Muhly’s The Last Letter

UK premiere of legendary jazz pianist Brad Mehldau’s Piano Concerto

World premiere of Colin Matthews Octet for oboe and chamber ensemble

Luke Styles writes new song cycle for Mark Padmore and Britten Sinfonia

World premiere of ‘At Lunch’ chamber commissions by Edmund Finnis, Josephine Stephenson and the winner of the orchestra’s OPUS2018 competition for unpublished composers

Independent Opera and Britten Sinfonia give world premiere of new cantata by Joby Talbot


Handel’s Messiah, with soloists Sophie Bevan, Iestyn Davies, Allan Clayton and Roderick Williams marks orchestra’s return to Amsterdam Concertgebouw

Opera Rara and Britten Sinfonia – Donizetti’s rarely performed Il Paria

Britten Sinfonia Creative Learning: Live toy improvisation, video game soundtracks, and a 50th anniversary celebration of the moon landing in schools across the East of England

Britten Sinfonia’s 2018-2019 season offers an outstanding line-up of guest musicians, conductors and composers, with concerts that draw intriguing lines between a wide array of music from across four centuries.

Without a music director or principal conductor, Britten Sinfonia chooses to collaborate with guest artists from across the musical spectrum to explore and develop individual programmes and projects which offer incisive, and at times, revelatory interpretations of both familiar and new music.

Three close artistic collaborations deepen in 2018-19, with the conclusion of Thomas Adès’s Beethoven Symphony Cycle, the second year of Sir Mark Elder’s exploration of Brahms’s Symphonies, and a new song cycle, and the launch of a three-year project in Lincolnshire with tenor Mark Padmore.

The season features a host of new works, including premieres from jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, Nico Muhly and Colin Matthews, and from emerging younger composers: Luke Styles, Edmund Finnis and 28-year-old Josephine Stephenson. With guidance and mentoring from composer Sir James MacMillan, Britten Sinfonia continues its search for hidden composing talent, offering a commission to the winner of its OPUS2018 competition for unpublished composers.

The orchestra partners Opera Rara in Donizetti’s rarely performed Il Paria, and Independent Opera on Joby Talbot’s new cantata marking the bicentenary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1819. And there’s a Christmas performance of Handel’s Messiah that features the best of British singers: Sophie Bevan, Allan Clayton, Iestyn Davies and Roderick Williams, at the Barbican, Saffron Hall and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.

Britten Sinfonia is Associate Ensemble at the Barbican, Resident Orchestra at Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden and is Resident in Norwich where it performs at the Theatre Royal and St Andrew’s Hall. Britten Sinfonia ‘At Lunch’ concerts are performed in Norwich, and at Wigmore Hall London and West Road Concert Hall Cambridge. The season also includes a return to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.

David Butcher, Britten Sinfonia Chief Executive and Artistic Director comments: "Working with individual guest musicians to develop concerts always brings a fresh take on music - it's a model that Britten Sinfonia, with neither Principal Conductor nor Music Director, has championed, and it remains radical in its capacity to surprise and illuminate music from across the centuries. Journeys - musical or otherwise - are made all the more enjoyable by your choice of travelling companions, and this season we will be joined by four of the very best - Mark Padmore, Thomas Adès, Sir Mark Elder and, mentoring unpublished composers via our OPUS2018 competition, Sir James MacMillan. We've got to know each other well over many years, which allows us to take our music making to a whole new level. And with an outstanding line up of soloists, and a host of new works by composers both familiar and new to the orchestra, who knows where our adventures in music may lead in 2018-2019."


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