Maintaining business as usual in troubling economic times - that was the key message at the Southbank Centre’s launch of its 2013-14 Classical Music Season this morning. Representatives of the Southbank Centre and its affiliated orchestras - including Vladimir Jurowski of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Antonio Pappano who will bring his Academy of Santa Cecilia to London - all took to the podium in the Function Room of the Royal Festival Hall to stress the importance of collaboration at home and abroad in an effort to keep both regional and London orchestral programmes full, and foreign tours at a premium.
For its own part, the Southbank Centre’s new season looks as ambitious and dynamic as usual with over 200 events in the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. At the top of the agenda is the second part of The Rest Is Noise festival, exploring the 20th century through concerts and events. From September to December 2013, performances will focus on the second half of the century, from 1945 to 2000, beginning with a weekend dedicated to Britten’s centenary featuring the LPO in Peter Grimes and the War Requiem conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. Other highlights include the UK premiere of Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels in concert with the BBC Concert Orchestra and members of the Southbank Sinfonia; rare London performances by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC Scottish Symphony; Marin Alsop conducting the São Paulo Symphony and Swingle Singers in Berio’s Sinfonia; an evening of Stockhausen featuring percussionist Colin Currie and pianist Nicolas Hodges; and a weekend devoted to minimalism featuring Philip Glass and Steve Reich.
From March 18 to April 13, 2014, Southbank Centre will also host a month-long Pull Out All the Stops festival, celebrating the completion of the newly-restored Royal Festival Hall organ and its 60th anniversary. On the agenda will be organ recitals from the likes of John Scott, Thomas Trotter and Oliver Latry, eight new Southbank Centre organ commissions by composers including Sir John Tavener, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Simon Holt and Kaija Saariaho, and performances of Saint-Saëns’s Organ Symphony with the LPO and Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Each of the Southbank’s resident orchestra’s - the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment - will embark upon their own seasons, too. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust in September, while Andris Nelsons leads the orchestra in a complete Brahms Symphony and Concerto cycle from October 2013 to February 2014. Meanwhile the LPO presents two world premieres - James MacMillan’s Viola Concerto performed by Lawrence Power under Vladimir Jurowski in January 2014, and Górecki’s Fourth Symphony under Andrey Boreyko in April 2014 - while the OAE’s Gamechangers series features conductors Semyon Bychkov in his debut with the orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle in Haydn’s The Creation.
In October 2013 Claudio Abbado will return to the Royal Festival Hall to conduct a pair of concerts with the Orchestra Mozart. Also returning to the Southbank is the San Francisco Symphony, who perform at the venue for the first time in 19 years under Michael Tilson Thomas as part of Shell Classic International. Performing at the Southbank Centre for the first time since 1998 are the Orchestra and Chorus of the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Verdi’s Requiem and Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero in May, conducted by Antonio Pappano, who makes his Royal Festival Hall debut.
For more details visit the Southbank Centre website.