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LONDON Baroque at the Edge
LSO St Luke’s, 4-6 January
Tel: +44 (0)20 7638 8891
Web: www.baroqueattheedge.co.uk This open-minded festival of Baroque music returns for a second edition, mixing gamba and electronics, a concertdrama that re-imagines Purcell’s last hours and a violin recital from Elicia Silverstein bringing together Bach and Berio. Up first is pianist Gabriela Montero.
Tel: +44 (0)20 3879 9555
Web: www.southbankcentre.co.uk Rebecca Saunders, Claire
Chase and Du Yun are featured as composers and performers in a celebration of the new that brings together Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta and the Southbank Centre’s resident orchestras. James Dillon’s Tanz/ haus: triptych 2017 receives its London premiere; and the Aurora Orchestra’s ‘Songs from the Road’ sees Mahler, Muhly and Du Yun walk with a steady pace.
Kings Place, 19 January
Tel: +44 (0)20 7520 1490
It’s the turn of women composers to come under Kings Place’s ‘Unwrapped’ spotlight. The themed season opens with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s portrait of Barbara Strozzi, before Musica Secreta samples musical life in medieval and Renaissance convents. Fast forward to the present and New York’s Bang on a Can All-stars and the
BBC Singers combine for the UK premiere of Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields (See Backstage with…, right).
Wigmore Hall, 24 January
Tel: +44 (0)20 7935 2141
Web: www.wigmore-hall.org.uk January’s notable birthdays and anniversaries provide the theme for pianist Graham Johnson’s reconstituted ‘Almanac’, which numbers soprano Ailish Tynan and baritone Benjamin Appl among its songsters. Salutations come courtesy of Mozart, Tippett and Ivor Novello, among others; readings are interspersed.
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Barbican, 26 January
Tel: +44 (0)20 7638 8891
Richard Strauss and soprano Diana Damrau are set to become quite an item at the Barbican. Between a Lieder recital on 16 January and March’s excerpt from the opera Capriccio alongside the LSO, Damrau navigates the Four Last Songs in the company of conductor Mariss Jansons and his Bavarian band – who also inject a dash of autobiographical bravura with the tone poem Ein Heldenleben.
Town Hall, Oxford, 14 January Tel: +44 (0)1865 980980
Hot on the heels of its 20th-anniversary concert in London’s Barbican, the Oxford Philharmonic returns home with a rare pianistic prize, as Martha Argerich joins it for Schumann’s Piano Concerto. Either side of that, Annaliisa Bezrodny and Charlotte Scott join forces for JS Bach’s wonderful Double Violin Concerto and, conducted by Marios Papadopoulos, Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony rounds off the celebrations in style.
Turner Sims, Southampton, 19 January
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 5151
The Venice-born pianist salutes the transcriber’s art with Liszt’s takes on Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Verdi’s Rigoletto and a clutch of Schubert songs. Rachmaninov applies a little spin to Bach’s E major Violin Partita, and to end there’s Gershwin’s own solo piano version of his classicalmeets-jazz Rhapsody in Blue.
Theatre Royal, Norwich, 19 January
Tel: +44 (0)1603 630000
Web: www.brittensinfonia.com With Symphony No. 2, Sir Mark Elder and Britten Sinfonia reach the halfway stage in their four-year Brahms cycle. It’s preceded by Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (sung by mezzo Anna Stéphany), and Britten’s orchestral swansong: the Suite on English Folk Tunes.
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, 31 January
Tel: +44 (0)1223 748100
Cheryl Frances-hoad’s Four Lyric Pieces pays homage to Haydn, Schubert, Janácˇek and Ravel, so pianist Ivana Gavric´, a former BBC Music Magazine Newcomer of the Year, serendipitously prefaces them with sonatas by the first three as well as
‘Une barque sur l’océan’ and ‘Alborada del gracioso’ from Ravel’s Miroirs.
Bach and beyond: Gabriela Montero improvises on Baroque themes (4 January)