NEW! St John’s Smith Square announces its 2017/18 Season

23/06/2017

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St John’s Smith Square has announced its 2017/18 Season

In a characteristic programme, punctuated by a range of Festival celebrations, St John’s Smith Square continues its core mission to provide a home for Baroque music within the UK’s only concert hall dating from the Baroque period while equally championing new music. International artists sit comfortably alongside emerging talent and St John’s Smith Square also continues to provide a vital and unique central London home for the best in community music.

There will be several festivals, each with their own distinct identity.

The 32nd Annual Christmas Festival curated by Stephen Layton (9 – 23 December 2017) includes concerts with regular favourites Ex Cathedra, The Tallis Scholars, the choirs of Clare College Cambridge, Trinity College Cambridge, Polyphony and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. David Titterington will perform the organ works of JS Bach on the magnificent Klais organ in a series of free daily recitals  from 3 – 23 December 2017.

The Holy Week Festival (26 March – 1 April 2018) comprises choral music for Passiontide. Artists include Tenebrae, Polyphony, the Britten Sinfonia, Ex Cathedra and The Tallis Scholars.

The London Festival of Baroque Music (11 – 19 May 2018) will have a French theme. The Guest Artistic Director for 2018 is the conductor Sébastien Daucé who will be bringing his own Ensemble Correspondances for a staged setting of Charpentier’s Histoires sacrèes. The Festival will also celebrate the 350th anniversary of the birth of Couperin.

Rolf Hind and friends will return for the iconoclastic Occupy the Pianos festival (19 – 22 April 2018). The growing stable of pianistic trailblazers will be joined by percussion, voice, film and elements of theatre in an exploration of the two broad subjects of Nature and Technology..

Throughout 2018, St John’s Smith Square celebrates music from America in a series of concerts curated by the conductor David Wordsworth. Highlights include a celebration of Stephen Montague’s 75th birthday (9  March 2018) with a day of events including his complete works for keyboards and the London premieres of a number of his concertos.

Other features of Americana ’18 include the Carducci Quartet playing Philip Glass (23 March 2018), the London Chorus with Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, celebrating the centenary of Bernstein’s birth (8 March 2018) and Orchestra Nova in a programme that includes the complete chamber version of Copland’s Appalachian Spring (22 May 2018). The Crouch End Festival Chorus will collaborate with the Brodsky Quartet in a programme including music by Randall Thompson, Copland and the Barber Adagio (10  February 2018).

London Bach Society make their contribution to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with a concert which brings together the Steinitz Bach Players and Tenebrae under the direction of Nigel Short (30 October 2017). Also marking the Reformation’s anniversary Gabrieli and Paul McCreesh return with their recreation of a 17th century Lutheran Christmas morning (7 December 2017).

St John’s Smith Square enjoys close relationships with many of the UK’s top orchestras. The London Mozart Players and Howard Shelley’s innovative explorations of great piano concertos this season features works by Schumann, Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Grieg. As part of the Southbank Centre’s Belief and Beyond Belief series Matthew Barley leads a performance of Sir John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil with the City of London Sinfonia (2 December 2017). In Spring 2018, St John’s Smith Square welcomes the European Union Chamber Orchestra for a programme of Haydn and Mozart (21 February 2018).

The celebration of new music has always been central to the programming at St John’s Smith Square and this season is no exception. Among those whose works will receive premieres at St John’s Smith Square in 17/18 are Gregory Rose, Sally Beamish, Alexandra Harwood, Hanna Kulenty, Patrick Brennan, Khyam Allami, Nimrod Borenstein, Owain Park, Arlene Sierra, Kareem Roustom and Jesse Jones.

The collaboration with Southbank Centre continues during their period of refurbishment. Highlights include the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Sally Beamish’s The Judas Passion (25 September 2017) and Rachel Podger playing and directing the OAE in a concert featuring two of Mozart’s Violin Concertos (27 November 2017). The London Sinfonietta return under their founder conductor David Atherton to give a performance of Henze’s landmark work Voices, based on 22 folk songs from around the world (11 October 2017) and St John’s Smith Square will also host some of the London Sinfonietta’s 50th birthday celebrations as they revisit many of the most iconic works from the past 50 years including music by Xenakis, Colin Matthews and Sir Harrison Birtwistle.

Highlights from Southbank Centre’s International Chamber Music Series include the Emerson Quartet in concerts on two consecutive nights with the late quartets of Beethoven (31 October and 1 November 2017) and Steven Osborne returning with friends to perform Messiaen’s monumental Quartet for the End of Time alongside Shostakovich’s Second Piano Trio (14 November 2017). Southbank Centre’s International Piano Series includes concerts with Bertrand Chamayou, Víkingur Ólafsson, Boris Giltburg, Alice Sara Ott and George Li.

General booking opens Monday 10 July 2017 at 020 7222 1061 or  www.sjss.org.uk.

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