Because we believe that classical music can play such a powerful role in contemporary culture, we are constantly developing the scope and range of what we do at Southbank Centre. We want audiences to immerse themselves totally in the joy, complexity, variety and intrigue of the classical repertoire. As part of that story, we have now widened the scope to include Indian classical music. For the first time this year, we have invited the Darbar festival to launch our season with us. It is a powerful demonstration of what classical forms share – rigour and respect for traditional form, as well as inventiveness and a passion for remaining relevant.
Sometimes it is hard for audiences to understand why a piece of music has been written and the historical context that produces works of art. In January 2013, we launch our groundbreaking year-long festival The Rest Is Noise, inspired by New Yorker critic Alex Ross’s acclaimed book of the same title. It tells the history of the 20th century and how events on the world stage shaped composers' choices of style and content. A full The Rest Is Noise festival programme is launched in the autumn, but many of the early concerts are featured in this guide from January 2013 onwards.
On a personal level, I would like to welcome Gillian Moore as our new Head of Classical Music. Gillian has a most distinguished career as Artistic Director of the London Sinfonietta from 1998 to 2003 and subsequently Head of Contemporary Culture working with me here at Southbank Centre. She is known to be a world authority on contemporary classical work, as well as music education, but of course she has a breadth of knowledge which crosses all centuries, as well as a comprehensive interest in all other art forms. She will bring great knowledge and energy to this important role.
Jude Kelly OBE
Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director
It is a huge pleasure to present the 2012/13 classical music season at Southbank Centre, home of four great Resident Orchestras as well as a host of musicians from around the world. There will be many must-hear moments: from the unique coming together of the Russian National Orchestra and the London Philharmonic on one stage under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski to perform Russian and British classics, to the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment playing Mozart’s three last symphonies with Simon Rattle, or Bryn Terfel in his signature role of The Flying Dutchman. For lovers of contemporary music, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra’s very personal tribute to Polish composer Witold Lutosławski’s intricate webs of sound promises to be unmissable, as will the London premiere of Jonathan Harvey’s huge orchestral work Weltethos, celebrating the human instinct for the spiritual. Then there’s the London Sinfonietta’s Steve Reich premiere, inspired by the music of Radiohead. And, proving that you can enjoy classical music at any age, we have a range of concerts for young audiences, including the OAE Tots for the under sixes and the fabulous Labeque sisters performing music by Ravel and Satie in the Imagine Children’s Festival.
Gillian Moore CBE
Southbank Centre Head of Classical Music