Thursday 11 February 2016

Season preview - Wigmore Hall 2016/17

Sarah Connolly as Maria Stuarda (Opera North, 2010) © Robert Workman
Sarah Connolly who opens the
Wigmore Hall 2016/17 season
The Wigmore Hall announced its 2016/17 season (full information from their website) with its first ever live-streaming and the new season offers the promise of more to come. The season opens with Sarah Connolly and Malcolm Martineau in Schumann, Berlioz and Mahler. Other delights include the continuation of the series Schubert:The Complete Songs, and series featuring Igor Levitt, the Takacs Quartet, Angela Hewitt & Mahan Esfahani. Helen Grime is announced as the hall's new composer in residence (its first woman composer in the role). And the number of £5 tickets on-sale to the under 35s doubles

Mark Padmore and James Baillieu open the 2016/17 part of Schubert:The Complete Songs with a wide range of singers performing Schubert song throughout the season. Other series include ones focussing on Bach and Beethoven. There is the the eight concert Beethoven Cycle: Igor Levit, and the six-concert Takacs Quartet: Beethoven Cycle. Running over several seasons, Angela Hewitt: The Bach Odyssey will include a complete survey of the French Suites during 2016/17, whilst harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani will begin a long term survey of Bach's keyboard works, starting with the Goldberg Variations.

Helen Grime
Helen Grime, the Wigmore Hall's 2016/17
Composer in Residence
Artist residencies include Janine Jansen Perspectives, a three-concert chamber music showcase for the Dutch violinist which will include rarely performed Korngold and Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time. The artist in residence will be the Moldovan-born Austrian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and other major names in the season include Sir Andras Schiff, Alison Balsom, Francesco Piemontesi. Another artist focus is Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo who are presenting four concerts

In addition to a focus on composer-in-residence Helen Grimes, there will be a day-long celebration of the chamber music of Thomas Ades, to coincide with the premiere of his new opera at Covent Garden, and there also will be contemporary music from the Arditti Quartet, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Exaudi, Eliot Fisk and the JACK Quartet.

The hall's figures for 2015/16 are quite impressive, 200,000 attendances, 2000+ artists performing, 488 concerts. The hall's 2016/17 launch included their annual appeal, which goes to the fund which helps support the hall's programming (of those 488 concerts, 384 were the hall's own promotions), not to mention the important education strand. 2015/16 included 489 learning events, with 23,000 visits to the learning programme.

You can support them via the Wigmore Hall website's appeal page.

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