Sunday, 1 December 2013

December at the Barbican

Choir of King's College, Cambridge
Christmas is coming to the Barbican with the choir of King's College, Cambridge, Britten Sinfonia, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Academy of Ancient Music. This year's centenarian, Benjamin Britten, gets further performances including Simon Keenlyside in one of his song cycles. The year's other two major centenarians get a mention in the Barbican cinema, and the London Symphony Orchestra celebrates Patrick Doyle's film music and the great Russian Composers. There is plenty for the family with the Gruffalo, plus Wallace and Gromit, as well as Raymond Gubbay's Christmas Festival.

This evening  (1/12) the London Symphony Orchestra celebrates the film music of Patrick Doyle, with Frank Strobel conducting them in selections from Doyle's film scores to Hamlet, Henry V, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The concert celebrates Doyle's 60th birthday, and the orchestra will be joined by Derek Jacobi and Emma Thompson. Later in the month, Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the orchestra in two concerts of music by major Russian composers (12/12, 19/12)

Josep Pons conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a programme which combines Ravel with Schreker, Busoni' s Berceuse elegiaque and Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No.1 (4/12). Edward Gardner returns to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra on 20 December, joined by Christine Brewer for Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder and Berg's Seven Early Songs plus music by Wagner, Webern and Strauss's Death and Transfiguration.

Violinist Janine Jansen is joined by musicians from the Utrecht Festival, which she founded, to perform Bach's violin concertos (6/12). Pianist Murray Perahia joins the Academy of St Martin in the Fields to perform Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks, Haydn's Symphony no. 77 in B flat and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5. (11/12)

Simon Keenlyside and Malcolm Martineau are giving a recital performing songs by Eisler, Strauss and Schubert alongside Britten's Songs and Proverbs of William Blake.  Pianist Rolf Hind is giving a recital at the Guildhall School's Milton Court, performing John Adams, Mark Simpson, Lachenmann and his own music (5/12).

Christmas starts on 7 December when the choir of King's College Cambridge under Stephen Cleobury are joined by tenor James Gilchrist and the Britten Sinfonia to perform Britten's Saint Nicholas and A Ceremony of Carols plus Arvo Part's Cantus in Memorian Benjamin Britten. The BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra under Francois-Xavier Roth are performing Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ with soloists Karen Cargill, Yann Beuron, Marcus Farnsworth and Christopher Purves (15/12). The Academy of Ancient Music under Bernard Labadie performs Handel's Messiah with Lydia Teuscher, Iestyn Davies, Jeremy Ovenden and Brindley Sherratt (17/12).

For families, the Royal Northern Sinfonia are performing Rene Aubry's scores to The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child live with Julia Donaldson's animated films (21/12), and the Aurora Orchestra and Nicholas Collon are again joined by Wallace and Gromit for Wallace and Gromit's Musical Marvels (22/12, 23/12).

From 27 December is Raymond Gubbay's Christmas Festival with Vivaldi's Four Seasons by Candlelight, Gilbert and Sullivan, Rogers and Hammerstein, Rogers and Hart, Puccini, the Philharmonic in Beethoven's Symphony no. 9 and of course a Viennese New Year's Eve Gala.

In the theatre the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Shakespeare's Richard II directed by Greg Doran with David Tennant, Oliver Ford Davies, Nigel Lindsay and Michael Pennington runs from 8/12 to 25/1/2014

In the cinema you can catch Joachim Hertz's 1964 film of Wagner's Der fliegende Hollander (7/12), Verdi's La Traviata live from La Scala with Diana Damrau and Piotr Beczala, conducted by Daniele Gatti (7/12), and Yuri Griogrivich's 2011 production of The Sleeping Beauty with the Bolshoi Ballet (22/12)

Further information from the Barbican website.

Elsewhere on this blog:

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