London's South Bank Centre unveils its new season

Martin Cullingford23rd Feb 2010
Pollini takes the South Bank on a personal journey (photo: Karen Robinson)Pollini takes the South Bank on a personal journey (photo: Karen Robinson)

London’s South Bank centre has unveiled details of its 2010/11 season, with highlights featuring a series of performances by master pianist Maurizio Pollini and a focus on Mahler.

Pollini, appearing as part of the International Piano Series, will perform five recitals between January and May of music from Bach to modernism, described as “personal journey through four centuries of piano repertoire”.

The 150th anniversary of Mahler’s birth, meanwhile, will be marked by 27 concerts over 14 months including the London Philharmonic Orchestra performing all the song cycles, and Lorin Maazel conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra in all the symphonies.

Other highlights include, in September, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde featuring Bill Viola’s video art. In October, the composer Helmut Lachenmann is the subject of a weekend focus, with performances from the Arditti Quartet and the London Sinfonietta.

A new string quartet from Thomas Adès will be performed by the Emerson Quartet in April 2011, and one from Sir Harrison Birtwistle by the Arditti Quartet the following month, with other new works coming from, among others, Magnus Lindberg, Colin Matthews and James MacMillan. The pianist Lang Lang will also take part in 10 days of events, including a recital, a chamber concert and an event that will apparently see the Royal Festival Hall filled with pianos and young pianists.

Orchestras visiting as part of the Shell Classic International series include the Berlin Philharmonic (conducted by Sir Simon Rattle), the Budapest Festival Orchestra (under Iván Fischer), the Bavarian Radio Symphony (under Mariss Jansons) and the Berlin Staatskapelle (conducted by Pierre Boulez). Following on from the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra’s success last year, the South Bank has invited another Venezuelan ensemble, the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra.

Other announcements include that Julian Anderson has been appointed LPO composer-in-residence for three years from the coming season. New commissions will include a new orchestral work for the 2011/12 season and a violin concerto for the 2013/14 season.

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