The London Philharmonic Orchestra announces its 2019/20 season at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, confirming its reputation for bold, creative and distinctive programming that continues to inspire audiences on a journey of exploration and adventure. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been performing at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall since it opened in 1951, becoming Resident Orchestra there in 1992.
2020 VISION: DEFINING THE SOUND OF OUR CENTURY – 8 February – 12 December 2020
2020 Vision sets out not only to define the sound of the first two decades of our century, but also to cast fresh light on the music of Beethoven in the 250th anniversary of his birth, as well as his contemporaries and the composers who came exactly one and two centuries after him. The LPO has chosen pieces that it believes represent the definitive sounds of the 21st century, each paired with the defining masterpieces of Beethoven and his contemporaries of the 19th century, in addition to leading works from the 20th. The year 2010 acts as a full stop in 2020 Vision with music exclusively from the year, including John Corigliano, Philip Glass and Shankar. A special concert for 2020 to end the series will be announced later this year.
Across the whole of 2020 Vision, works by John Adams, Thomas Adès, Julian Anderson, Ryan Wigglesworth, John Corigliano, Brett Dean, Philip Glass, Peter Eötvös, Anders Hillborg, Oliver Knussen, Thomas Larcher, Magnus Lindberg, James MacMillan, Krzysztof Penderecki, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Kaija Saariaho, Ravi Shankar and Jörg Widmann have been selected by year and combined with works written exactly 100 and 200 years earlier. The masterpieces from 1800–20 are dominated by Beethoven – but also include works by contemporaries such as Méhul, Schubert and Spohr, while the 1900–20 period is epitomised by major works by such composers as Bartók, Enescu, Nielsen, Scriabin, Sibelius, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Varèse and Vaughan Williams.
Beethoven, in the 250th anniversary of his birth, is celebrated throughout 2020 as part of 2020 Vision. The year-long celebration includes a complete symphony cycle – in chronological order – with conductors including Vladimir Jurowski, Vasily Petrenko, Dima Slobodeniouk,Omer Meir Wellber and Edward Gardner. Osmo Vänskä conducts Beethoven’s seminal fourth Piano Concerto with pianist Jeremy Denk[28 Feb], while Robin Ticciati leads a starry Triple Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Khatia Buniatishvilli and Pablo Ferrández [11 Mar]. Mutter returns to perform the First String Trio in an evening of chamber music with Principal players from the Orchestra [26 Mar], while Jurowski devotes a whole concert to Beethoven, including rare performances of his Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II andKing Stephen Overture alongside Ah! Perfido, for which he is joined for the first time at Royal Festival Hall by soprano Lise Davidsen [4 April]. A FUNharmonics family day also gives children and families a chance to explore the great composer [16 Feb].
Details of the first ten concerts of 2020 Vision are available at lpo.org.uk. Details of the second ten, which fall in the 2020/21 season, will be announced later this year.
Timothy Walker, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, said:
‘The arts uniquely define and reflect their time, so recognition of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven is our starting point for celebrating new orchestral writing of the 21st century. To juxtapose these works with those composed one and two hundred years ago gives historical perspective on our time and allows us to reflect on what audiences in a hundred years hence may listen too. I’m sure that 2020 Vision will provide our audiences with the distinctive and thought-provoking programming for which the London Philharmonic Orchestra is celebrated.’
‘I’m delighted that we will be presenting so many of the world’s great artists in such a variety of concert programmes and education events. Everyone at the LPO looks forward to welcoming our audiences on our exploration and celebration of the wonder of orchestral music.’
LANDMARK CLASSICS OF BRITISH MUSIC – 30 January – 11 December 2019
Isle of Noises, the LPO’s year-long exploration of landmark works inspired by the British Isles, began in January 2019 and continues across the whole of the year. From the first great English opera, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, to Elgar’s much-loved Cello Concerto, the season celebrates major works by composers such as Bax, Britten, Butterworth, Handel, Holst, Vaughan Williams and Walton, and includes rarely-performed works such as Alywn’s beautiful harp concerto Lyra Angelica [6 Nov] and Foulds’s virtuosic piano concerto Dynamic Triptych [11 Dec].
Elgar features prominently within Isle of Noises. Eight of the concerts include works by the composer, including his Cello Concerto [5 Oct] – written exactly 100 years ago in October 1919 and here played by Sheku Kanneh-Mason making his LPO debut. Elgar’s oratorio The Apostles is conducted by Mark Elder with a stellar cast of soloists (Lucy Crowe, Alice Coote, Allan Clayton, Roderick Williams, Brindley Sherratt) [26 Oct], while Marin Alsop returns to conduct the Enigma Variations [9 Nov]. The Elgar Violin Concerto is performed by Nicola Benedetti [2 Oct].
The season includes two other great English violin concertos by Britten and Walton, both of which were given their world premieres by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1940s. Within Isle of Noises, nearly 80 years later, the LPO is joined by Julia Fischer for the Britten [27 Sep] and by James Ehnes for the Walton [9 Oct].
Other major highlights in the newly-announced second half of Isle of Noises include Marin Alsop conducting Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast [9 Nov], Thomas Adès conducting the UK premiere of his own Piano Concerto alongside Holst’s The Planets [23 Oct], and Andrew Manzeconducting Adès’s Violin Concerto alongside Purcell, Lawes and Vaughan Williams’s Job [7 Dec]. Lawrence Renes conducts one of the hidden treasures of Isle of Noises, Alwyn’s neglected harp concerto Lyra Angelica, for which he is joined by Xavier de Maistre making his LPO debut [6 Nov]. The series concludes with a rare London performance of Foulds’s monumental Dynamic Triptych, for which Jurowski and a much-enlarged Orchestra are joined by soloist Peter Donohoe [11 Dec].
As part of Isle of Noises, the LPO also dedicates a whole concert to classic scores of British films such as Brief Encounter (1945), David Copperfield (1969), Murder on the Orient Express (1971), Things to Come (1936) and more [1 Nov].
GREAT CONDUCTORS AND GREAT PROGRAMMES
The celebrated partnership between Vladimir Jurowski and the LPO continues with 11 main Royal Festival Hall concerts. He continues his acclaimed Wagner Ring Cycle with Siegfried [1 Feb] and his celebrated Mahler symphony cycle with the Second, Fifth and Ninth [19 Oct, 13 Nov & 17 Apr].
In an evening of Beethoven rarities, Jurowski conducts the Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II and the jubilant King Stephen Overturealongside the Grosse Fugue and Ah! Perfido, for which he is joined by Lise Davidsen [4 Apr]. Another Jurowski highlight is an evening of Strauss songs with Diana Damrau [13 Nov].
Jurowski leads many of the 2020 Vision concerts, kicking off the series with Beethoven’s First Symphony from 1801, Scriabin’s Second from 1901 and Péter Eotvös Snatches of a Conversation from 2001 with trumpeter Marco Blaauw and narrator Omar Ebrahim [8 Feb]. He returns with Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony from 1808, which he pairs with Ives’s The Unanswered Question and Thomas Adès’s In Seven Days(with pianist Nicolas Hodges) from 1908 and 2008 respectively [1 Apr]. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Nikolai Lugansky is the centrepiece of a programme which also features Ryan Wigglesworth’s 2009 Augenlieder and a rediscovery from 1809: Méhul’s Symphony No. 1, said to have had a profound impact on Beethoven [8 Apr].
Jurowski is also central to many of the Isle of Noises concerts throughout 2019, beginning the second half of the series with the Scriabin Settings by his friend, the late Oliver Knussen, alongside Britten’s Violin Concerto with Julia Fischer [27 Sep]. Jurowski is joined by Nicola Benedetti for the Elgar Violin Concerto [2 Oct] before concluding the year-long celebration with Foulds’s Dynamic Triptych, paired with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 [11 Dec].
Edward Gardner conducts four programmes in the new season. The first, part of Isle of Noises, features Walton’s Violin Concerto (withJames Ehnes) alongside Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 (The Inextinguishable) [9 Oct]. Another, part of 2020 Vision, includes Sibelius’s Symphony No. 3, Dutilleux’s Le temps l’horloge (with Sally Matthews) and Beethoven’s much-loved Symphony No. 5 [28 Mar]. Gardner also conducts two major choral works: Verdi’s Requiem [12 Oct] and Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass alongside Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra and Sibelius’s Pohjola’s Daughter [25 Apr].