Barbican – 2018-19 season

Today, the Barbican has announced its 2018-19 classical music season which sees Britten Sinfonia once again feature as Associate Ensemble.

Britten Sinfonia’s 2018-19 season as Associate Ensemble at the Barbican offers an outstanding line-up of guest musicians, conductors and composers, with concerts that draw intriguing lines between a wide array of music from across four centuries.

Two major Symphony Cycles provide the backbone to the season. Britten Sinfonia and Sir Mark Elder’s four-year Brahms Symphony Cycle, which opened to widespread acclaim in 2017, offers a more intimate reading of Brahms’s symphonic work, in the spirit of how Brahms intended the works to be heard. The focus in 2019 is on Brahms’s Second Symphony. Tracing a line from Romanticism to 20th century evocations of poetry, love and nature, the symphony is performed alongside Delius’s rarely heard North Country Sketches, and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Barbican Hall, 17 Jan 2019). Thomas Adès and Britten Sinfonia’s Beethoven Symphony Cycle reaches its conclusion in 2019 with Symphonies 7, 8 and 9. The symphonies are juxtaposed with works by Irish composer – and Beethoven devotee – Gerald Barry. Barry’s The Eternal Recurrence (a setting of Nietzsche for voice and orchestra) and Dead March (where melodies behave “as if everything is possible”) are the featured works in 2019 (Barbican Hall, 21 & 26 May 2019).

As part of the Barbican’s For the Fallen: Marking the First World War Centenary, Britten Sinfonia gives the world premiere of a new orchestral version of Nico Muhly’s poignant The Last Letter, settings of letters sent between soldiers on both sides of the conflict and their loved ones. The Western Playland, Ivor Gurney’s exquisite settings of poetry from AE Housman’s A Shropshire Lad, and compelling writings by Gurney and others who were profoundly affected by their experiences both on the battlefield and the home front complete a gripping programme of music and words (Milton Court Concert Hall – 9 Nov 2018).

Further season highlights include a Christmas performance of Handel’s Messiah with a stellar line-up of British singers, including Sophie Bevan, Iestyn Davies, Allan Clayton and Roderick Williams (Barbican Hall, 19 Dec 2018). Britten Sinfonia collaborates with Independent Opera on A Sheen of Dew on Flowers, a new cantata by Joby Talbot, settings of love poetry from across the ages, commissioned by Independent Opera (Barbican Hall, 11 Apr 2019) and teams up with Opera Rara and an international cast for a forgotten treat, exotically set in Ancient India: Donizetti’s daring Il Paria [The Outcast], conducted by Sir Mark Elder (Barbican Hall, 8 Jun 2019).

For full details of Britten Sinfonia’s 2018-19 barbican season click here

Booking for Barbican Members opens at 10am on Thursday 25 January 2018

Online public booking opens at 10am on Friday 2 February 2018 and for telephone and in person bookings at 10am on Wednesday 21 February 2018.