Highlights of the Spring 2019 season include:

The Museum of London, in partnership with Guildhall School Video Design artists, create Beasts of London: a fully interactive multi-sensory installation bringing to life the history of animals in the city

Guildhall Studio Orchestra performs with saxophonist and composer Mark Lockheart and later in the term celebrates one of the greatest arrangers in jazz and popular music, Jeremy Lubbock

As part of Barbican Presents, harpsichord virtuoso and Guildhall professor Mahan Esfahani collaborates with musicians from the Electronic Music department, and performs a world premiere by Sunleif Rasmussen, commissioned by the Barbican

Musicians from the Jazz department provide a live semi-improvised score to Keaton’s silent film The General Andrew Watkinson, first violinist of the Endellion Quartet, leads Guildhall String Ensemble through classic string ensemble repertoire

Bassist Rufus Reid joins Guildhall Jazz Orchestra for his work Quiet Pride, inspired by African-American artist Elizabeth Catlett

Alumnus Roderick Williams and other alumni sing a new English-language staging of Hugo Wolf’s dramatic and passionate Italian Songbook, as part of his series as the Barbican’s Milton Court Artist-in-Residence

The Drama department presents four productions: Phoebe Eclair-Powell’s Fury, Lisa D’Amour’s Detroit, Ameera Conrad and the Company’s Towers and Euripedes’ Orestes

The Opera department presents Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, conducted by Dominic Wheeler

Guildhall Jazz Orchestra performs modern jazz classics by Kenny Wheeler and Django Bates

Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Vassily Sinaisky, performs Dvořák’s Symphony No 8 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No 10

Vocal ensemble EXAUDI performs works by Guildhall composers, including a world premiere by new Associate Head of Composition Cassandra Miller

Collaborations this season include three LSO Platforms and two concerts as part of the BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion days: Ligeti and Lili & Nadia Boulanger Music

HPSCHD: Music for Electronics and Harpsichord: Thursday 17 January, Milton Court Concert Hall

Harpsichord virtuoso and Guildhall School professor Mahan Esfahani explores the broadest possibilities of the instrument on 17 January, in repertoire that includes a world premiere by Faroese composer Sunleif Rasmussen, commissioned by the Barbican, in collaboration with musicians from the Electronic Music department. Entitled Quadroforone, it is written for harpsichord and 3 pre-recorded sound edited harpsichords on 3 pairs of loudspeakers placed around the concert hall. Together with the live harpsichord, the music is in quadrophony.

The programme is completed by the UK premiere of a new work by Anahita Abbasi, an Iranian composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music; by Berio’s Rounds, Xenakis’ Khoaï and excerpts from Cage’s HPSCHD, scored for harpsichord and magnetic tapes. This performance is part of the Barbican Presents 2018-19 season.

Guildhall String Ensemble: Thursday 24 January, Milton Court Concert Hall

On 24 January first violinist of the Endellion Quartet Andrew Watkinson leads Guildhall String Ensemble in a journey through classic string ensemble repertoire: ranging from the despair of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No 8 to the joy of Tchaikovsky’s String Serenade via Purcell’s King Arthur and Elgar’s Chanson du Matin.

Hungariana: Sunday 3 February, Milton Court Concert Hall

An immersive day on 3 February features three concerts that explore the triumvirate of great Hungarian composers, Bartók, Ligeti and Kurtág, with performances by the Casals Quartet and visuals designed by Amelia Kosminsky from the BA Video Design for Live Performance degree programme, under the creative direction of Gerard McBurney. The performance is part of the Barbican Presents 2018-19 season.

Roderick Williams: An Italian Songbook: Tuesday 19 February, Milton Court Concert Hall

On 19 February Guildhall School alumnus and Milton Court Artist-in-Residence Roderick Williams performs a new English-language staging of Hugo Wolf’s dramatic and passionate Italian Songbook – his romantic tale of love and loss. Fellow alumni soprano Rowan Pierce, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Rodge, baritone James Newby, tenor Nicky Spence, and pianist Christopher Glynn join him. This performance is part of the Barbican Presents 2018-19 season.

Guildhall Symphony Orchestra: Wednesday 20 March, Barbican Hall

Conductor Vassily Sinaisky leads Guildhall School musicians on 20 March through Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, written shortly after the death of Stalin as a portrait of the dictator, as well as Dvořák’s spirited Eighth Symphony.

EXAUDI: Friday 22 March, Milton Court Concert Hall

James Weeks directs vocal ensemble EXAUDI in works by Guildhall School composers, including the world premiere Rounding, the new work by Associate Head of Composition Cassandra Miller. Other works include Linda Catlin Smith’s Uncertain; Sylvia Lim’s paper wings, James Saunders’ constant interchange of the most various kinds, Jürg Frey’s Out of Chorales (UK Premiere), Christopher Fox’s Song (world premiere) and Geoff Hannan’s Pocket Universe (world premiere).


A host of prestigious artists visit Guildhall School this Autumn to give masterclasses to senior students. These include Edith Wiens (7 January), Bernard d’Ascoli (10 January), Aldo Baerten (16 January), Richard Goode (16 January), Ann Murray DBE (18 January), Martin Katz (21 January), Gabriel Kwok (14 February), Piers Lane (Goldner Quartet), Birgid Steinberger (20 February), Jurek Dybal (20 February), Michael McMahon (21 February), Jordan De Souza (20 March), Akiko Ebi (28 March).


Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 4 performances from Monday 25 March, Silk Street Theatre

The award-winning Opera department presents Britten’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s magical tale of lovers, fairies and comic mix-ups, one of the most popular of all 20th-century operas. Conducted by Dominic Wheeler and directed by Martin Lloyd Evans, it runs for 4 performances from 25 March.


Guildhall Studio Orchestra with Mark Lockheart: Wednesday 9 January, Milton Court Concert Hall

Guildhall Studio Orchestra returns on 9 January with saxophonist and composer Mark Lockheart. The ensemble is the first of its kind at a UK conservatoire – genre-fluid and multi-disciplinary. In the first half of this evening concert, a nonet of musicians from across Guildhall’s jazz programme join Lockheart in a retrospective of his medium-ensemble output, drawing on compositions from albums including Days Like These. The second half features the first performance of Days on Earth, his epic new work for jazz sextet and 30-piece orchestra, performed by Guildhall Studio Orchestra.

The General: Silent Film with Live Jazz Accompaniment: 20 January, Barbican Cinema 1

On 20 January, musicians from the Jazz department provide a live semi-improvised score to Buster Keaton’s silent film The General, following workshops with saxophonist and professor Martin Hathaway. One of Keaton’s greatest achievements, it is remarkable for its innovative stunts, perfectly timed slapstick and his dazzling direction. This screening is part of Barbican Cinema’s Silent Film & Live Music series. Presenting in partnership with The London International Mime Festival and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. With the support of the Independent Cinema Office and BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery.

Rufus Reid with the Guildhall Jazz Orchestra: Quiet Pride – The Elizabeth Catlett Project: Tuesday 29 January, Milton Court Concert Hall

One of the world’s greatest jazz players, Rufus Reid comes to Guildhall School on 29 January to perform his 2012 five-movement work for jazz orchestra. Quiet Pride was inspired by the sculptures of the African-American artist Elizabeth Catlett, and images of her work will accompany the performance.

Guildhall Jazz Orchestra – Modern Jazz Classics: 5 March, Milton Court Concert Hall

Guildhall Jazz Orchestra has distinguished itself as one of Europe’s top conservatoire ensembles, having given European premieres of the classic suites of Miles Davis and Gil Evans, and performing with guest soloists including Randy Brecker, David Liebman, Kenny Wheeler and Django Bates. The programme on the evening on 5 March features modern jazz classics including Wheeler’s Sweet Time Suite, from his ECM recording Music for Large & Small Ensembles, and music by Bates including Yellow Hill, Eden Express, and Nights at the Circus.

Guildhall Studio Orchestra: Jeremy Lubbock – A Life in Music: Wednesday 27 March, Milton Court Concert Hall

Guildhall Studio Orchestra celebrates one of the greatest arrangers in jazz and popular music on 27 March. Jeremy Lubbock has worked with producers from David Foster to Quincy Jones and the evening is a retrospective of both original music and arrangements by this master composer.


Fury: 9 performances from Friday 1 February, Milton Court Theatre

Guildhall School actors perform Phoebe Eclair-Powell’s 2015 Soho Theatre Young Writer’s Award winning play Fury. Opening on 1 February and directed by Nichole Charles, it tells the story of a young single mother in a Peckham council flat who fights to survive – a powerful modern Medea about motherhood and class.

Detroit: 9 performances from Monday 4 February, Milton Court Theatre

Charlotte Westenra directs Lisa D’Amour’s 2010 play Detroit, opening on 4 February for 9 performances. In an American suburb new neighbours arrive, but new friendships veer out of control. The Obie Award winning work takes a fresh look at what happens when we dare the open ourselves up to something new.

Towers: 8 performances from Monday 11 February, Milton Court Studio Theatre

Milton Court Studio Theatre is the venue for Towers, the new play by Ameera Conrad and the Company. Directed by Conrad herself, the work explores the crunch point when conflicting views about the development of a South London estate come to a head as developers, architects, researchers and residents clash. Opening on 11 February, it runs for 8 performances.

Orestes: 7 performances from Friday 22 March, Silk Street Theatre

The final play of the term sees Guildhall School actors perform Orestes in a radical reworking of Euripedes’ drama, opening on 22 March for 7 performances, directed by Charlotte Gwinner. A brother and sister face a death sentence for the murder of their mother. Disenfranchised and without shelter, they hatch a terrible plot to alter their fate.

Production Arts

Beasts of London: Friday 5 April 2019 – Sunday 5 January 2020, Museum of London

The Museum of London’s new experience Beasts of London opens on 5 April, in partnership with Creative Director for Guildhall School’s live events unit, Dan Shorten, and production artists on the BA Video Design for Live Performance degree programme. Through a series of ‘episodes’ inspired by objects in the museum’s collection, the fully interactive multi-sensory installation tells the story from the pre-Roman era to the present day of the impact animals have had on London, from the humble pigeon to exotic beasts.


LSO Platforms: Guildhall Artists: Sunday 13 January, Sunday 3 March & Thursday 14 March, Barbican Hall

Senior musicians from the Guildhall School take to the Barbican stage before three LSO concerts this Spring with free performances of complementary repertoire. The Accendo Quartet performs Bartók’s String Quartet No 2 on 13 January; Guildhall musicians offer works by Puccini, Rossini and Respighi on Sunday 3 March; and on 14 March, Guildhall artists perform Czech songs.

BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion: Ligeti: Sunday 2 March, Milton Court Concert Hall

On 2 March, as part of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion day exploring the music of György Ligeti, musicians from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama trace the composer’s musical development from his Musica ricercata for solo piano through his exploration of the wind quintet, and culminating in his 1982 Horn Trio, which introduces his final period, synthesising his earlier chromatic and folk-song styles. And for fun, the concert ends with the late and anarchic Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüve [With Pipes, Drums, Fiddles] – a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and four percussionists.

BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion: Lili and Nadia Boulanger, Milton Court Concert Hall

During the second BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion weekend of the term, Guildhall School musicians perform the lunchtime concert on 6 April: chamber and ensemble music by French sisters Lili and Nadia Boulanger, curated by Gordon Stewart.



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