Sunday 3 January 2016

2016 at the Barbican

Isabelle Huppert - © Peter Lindbergh
Isabelle Huppert - © Peter Lindbergh
The Barbican Centre's 2016 programme has some remarkable events both in the concert hall and in the theatre. An essential part of the Barbican experience is their weekends devoted to particular composers or themes. Benjamin at the Barbican is a weekend celebrating the music of George Benjamin with a semi-staged performance of his opera Written on Skin with the composer conducting the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, a chance for us to re-experience the opera in a presentation significantly different to Katie Mitchell's production at Covent Garden. And Andriessen: M is for Man, Music and Mystery gives us a chance to explore the music of Louis Andriessen including a BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion Day and there will be the UK premiere of La Commedia, plus a performance of De Staat. There is also a weekend curated by the Berlin-based contemporary composer and pianist Nils Frahm, the Marathon Weekend will present the usual mix of contemporary and classical music in a formula which is becoming one of the Barbican's trademarks. Artists spotlit in 2016 in Renee Fleming, Jazz at the Lincoln Centre, the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel. 

Simon Rattle conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in performances of Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande semi-staged by Peter Sellars with Magdalena Kozena, Christan Gerhaher and Gerald Finley. Other LSO highlights include a new children's opera by Peter Maxwell Davies, The Hogboon, and a number of concerts in the Shakespeare 400 celebrations such as John Eliot Gardiner conducting Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Nights Dream. (There is also a Shakespeare strand running through the Barbican Cinema season).

The LSO focuses on contemporary music with two concerts conducted by Thomas Adès and including his own work (Wednesday 9 & Wednesday 16 March), and the return of LSO Futures, concerts and events looking at the music of today. Works by graduates of the LSO composer schemes will be performed as well as workshopped by the LSO, with conductor François-Xavier Roth on Friday 11 and Sunday 13 March, and a conference, “Getting it right? New Music and Dance” curated by composer Julian Anderson is on Wednesday 9 March.

In the theatre Simon McBurney and Complicite present The Encounter, Ian Bostridge and the Britten Sinfonia will be directed by Netia Jones in Hans Zender's re-imagination of Winterreise, and there is a rare opportunity to see French actress Isabelle Huppert in Phaedra(s).

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