Significant works by Bax, Britten, Butterworth, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst, and more in 20 concerts throughout 2019 [30 Jan - 11 Dec]
Great British violin concertos by Britten [27 Sept], Elgar [2 Oct] and Walton [9 Oct] with leading soloists Julia Fischer, Nicola Benedetti and James Ehnes
Rare outings for gems of British music such as Alice Mary Smith’s Andante for Clarinet and Orchestra [27 Feb], Alwyn’s harp concerto Lyra Angelica [6 Nov] and John Foulds’s piano concerto Dynamic Triptych [11 Dec]
Centenary of Elgar’s Cello Concerto marked by Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who makes his LPO debut [5 Oct]
Classic British cinema explored with a concert of classic film including Brief Encounter, David Copperfield, Romeo & Juliet and Murder on the Orient Express [1 Nov]
The London Philharmonic Orchestra today announced the full details of a year-long exploration of landmark classics of British music, Isle of Noises, taking place at the Royal Festival Hall across the whole of 2019.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been at the heart of music-making in London, Britain and around the world for nine decades, and here it explores three centuries of music in these islands, whether made in Britain, or inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of the audiences that composers of other nations found here. From the first great English opera, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, to Elgar’s much-loved cello concerto, the season celebrates major works by composers such as Bax, Britten, Butterworth, Handel, Holst, Vaughan Williams, and Walton, and includes rarely performed works by Alywn, John Foulds and Alice Mary Smith, the first British woman to write a symphony.
Tim Walker, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra says “Through Isle of Noises we are presenting a selection of landmark classics, celebrating some of the great British music that has defined the musical legacy of this nation whilst also putting the spotlight on some rarer gems of British music.”
Many of the works being included within Isle of Noises have been performed numerous times by the Orchestra in previous seasons, and some - such as Britten’s Violin Concerto and Walton’s Violin Concerto - have a particularly special place in the Orchestra’s history. The LPO performed the UK premieres of both concertos with conductor Basil Cameron back in the 1940s. Nearly 80 years later it is joined by Julia Fischer for the Britten [27 Sept] and by James Ehnes for the Walton [9 Oct]. Completing the trilogy of violin concertos, Nicola Benedetti performs the Elgar Violin Concerto [2 Oct].
Elgar, as one of Britain’s greatest composers, features prominently within Isle of Noises. Eight of the concerts include works by the composer, including his Cello Concerto [23 March/5 Oct] – written exactly 100 years ago in October 1919 - Violin Concerto [2 Oct], The Apostles [26 Oct], Froissant [6 Nov] and Enigma Variations [9 Nov]. Elgar has played a prominent part in the LPO’s history, having conducted the Orchestra in its first performance of his Violin Concerto with Yehudi Menuhin at the Royal Albert Hall in November 1933. The same year he joined the Orchestra to record his concert overture Froissart for HMV, which it first performed in concert in 1940.
330 years after its first London performance, the LPO performs Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, the first truly great opera in the English language [30 Jan] before presenting Haydn’s The Seasons, a piece inspired by the composer’s time in London, which the Orchestra performed for the first time in 1975 [2 Mar].
The LPO’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Vladimir Jurowski leads six concerts as part of the series. The LPO is also joined by leading conductors, soloists and singers for this series. Among the conductors are Marin Alsop, Edward Gardner, Susanna Mälkki, Sir Mark Elder and Andrew Manze. Instrumentalists include Andreas Ottensamer, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Nicola Benedetti and Julia Fischer, while amongst the singers are Lucy Crowe, Sophie Bevan, Mark Padmore, Roderick Williams and Allan Clayton.
A number of rarely performed works are being highlighted within the series, including John Foulds’s virtuosic and still radical sounding piano concerto Dynamic Triptych [11 Dec], Alwyn’s beautiful harp concerto Lyra Angelica [6 Nov] and Andante for Clarinet and Orchestra by Alice Mary Smith [27 Feb].
In addition to exploring some landmarks of British classical music, the Orchestra is also dedicating a whole concert to the classic film scores of British films such as Brief Encounter (1945), David Copperfield (1969), Romeo & Juliet (1968), Murder on the Orient Express (1971), Things to Come (1936) and more [1 Nov].
The Orchestra has long had a reputation for championing works by the current generation of composers and was at the forefront of bringing new works by Elgar, Britten, Walton and others to a wider public and it is no different today. Alongside Isle of Noises, the LPO perform a range of contemporary British works throughout the year, including the world premiere of Helen Grime’s Percussion Concerto with Colin Currie [16 Jan], Scriabin Settings by Oliver Knussen [27 Sept], and Metamorphosis by Colin Matthews [19 Oct]. The end of the year sees the Orchestra present two new works by Thomas Adès – the UK premiere of his Piano Concerto [23 Oct] and Violin Concerto (Concentric Paths) [7 Dec].