Wednesday 2 October 7.30pm, Barbican Hall

The Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) will open its 2019/20 season with a performance of Beethoven’s music for Goethe’s Egmont, narrated by acclaimed actor, writer and director Stephen Fry.

The performance will take place on 2 October and will also mark the beginning of AAM and the Barbican’s Beethoven 250th anniversary celebrations.

AAM Chief Executive Alexander Van Ingen comments: “I am delighted that Stephen Fry will narrate Egmont for the opening concert of our new season. The Overture is a well-known concert hall staple, but it is rare to hear a performance of the complete incidental music, into which Beethoven channelled his fury at Napoleon’s tyrannical progress through Europe. This concert offers the extraordinary opportunity to hear Beethoven’s impassioned, heroically defiant music narrated by one of the finest and most authoritative voices in the arts today.”

Also on the programme is the modern premiere of the Mass in G by Beethoven’s scandalous Czech contemporary, Jan Ladislav Dussek. Recently rediscovered by AAM’s Music Director, Richard Egarr, and heard here for the first time since the 19th century, Dussek’s Mass throws fascinating new light on a musical pioneer whose expressive works anticipate the Romantic style of Chopin and Schumann.

Wine Tasting Experience: Beethoven & Bordeaux

Bordeaux’s key grape, Cabernet Sauvignon, is, like Beethoven, serious, brooding and complex. For this performance, AAM has partnered with the esteemed Berry Bros. & Rudd to offer audiences an exclusive pre and post concert wine-tasting and music experience.

BBR’s Rebecca Lamont and Henrietta Gullifer will explore the theme of Beethoven and Bordeaux, along with their contemporaries from other countries, presenting eight wines from notable Chateaux such as Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Cissac and Haut-Bailly, and le Serre Nuova from Ornellaia, across a pre-concert wine flight and a post-concert dinner with soloists.


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