London’s South Bank Centre today unveiled its 2011-12 season.
Home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room – and to resident ensembles the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, as usual the programme features an eclectic mix of programmes spanning the range of classical repertoire and ensemble type.
Twelve years since he last graced the RFH podium, Claudio Abbado returns, with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra for two concerts, both of which will feature Bruckner’s Symphony No 5. Another anticipated visitor, the young conductor Gustavo Dudamel will bring the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela back to the South Bank in June next year.
Other visitors coming as part of the Shell Classic International series will include Daniel Barenboim, who conducts The Bruckner Project – pairing Bruckner’s Symphonies Nos 7, 8 and 9 with Mozart piano concertos – and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who will curate a weekend celebration of the music of Pierre Boulez.
From the resident symphony orchestras there’s a Prokofiev Festival in January and February from the LPO, featuring principal conductor Vladimir Jurowski and principal guest conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin in six all-Prokofiev programmes.
From the Philharmonia comes a series of iconic late 19th- and 20th-century works entitled ‘The still point of the turning world’, which opens with principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen performing Dallapiccola’s opera Il prigioniero. And as a sequel to their Re-Rite project – in which visitors could discover Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring through a multimedia installation – the Philharmonia will be unveiling a digital exploration of Holst’s Planets.
Other highlights include the Takács Quartet performing the complete Bartók Quartets over two concerts, Steven Isserlis and Robert Levan performing the complete Beethoven cello sonatas, again over two concerts, and the welcoming of new Artists in Residence: conductor Marin Alsop, percussionist Colin Currie, and soprano Elizabeth Watts.
For more information about the South Bank’s concerts, visit the website.