Barbican announces 2015 season in full

[Main Image: 32 Sydney Theatre Company, Waiting for Godot, Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh | Credit: Lisa Tomasetti]

Barbican In 2015: Arts Without Boundaries

The Barbican today announces its bold future plans – investing in the future by launching a new manifesto to help young people find their creative voice, celebrating the present with the great artists of today and illuminating the past by exploring the pioneers who shaped the arts of our time.

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INVESTING IN THE FUTURE – HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE FIND THEIR CREATIVE VOICE

The Barbican and Guildhall School Creative Learning announce a new manifesto to ‘help young people find their creative voice’

Arts and training opportunities for over 10,000 young people and artists by 2020

Over 50,000 affordable tickets for under 16-25s every year with Young Barbican

Inspirational arts experiences for every 8-14 year old in east London by 2020

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THE GREAT ARTISTS OF TODAY – THE PIONEERS WHO SHAPED THE ARTS OF OUR TIME

– Artists share their magnificent obsessions: new exhibition featuring the private collections of 14 artists including Peter Blake, Damien Hirst, Pae White and Andy Warhol

– Exploring 20th century pioneers: major new exhibition exploring Charles and Ray Eames, two of the most important designers of the 20th century;  International Beckett Season featuring Robert Wilson, Lisa Dwan, Hugo Weaving and Richard Roxburgh; artist focus on Pierre Boulez at 90

– International highlights: celebrating Japanese director Ninagawa at 80 including new stage adaptations of Haruki Murakami’sKafka on the Shore and Shakespeare’s Hamlet; a film season exploring Women and the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema; Chilly Gonzales plays with the Kaiser Quartett

– Premiering innovative new work: Netia Jones’s new multimedia staging of Unsuk Chin’s opera Alice in Wonderland; English National Opera’s Between Worlds by Tansy Davies and Deborah Warner; new Curve commissions from Roman Signer and Eddie Peake; the UK premiere of Twitchy Organs by Nico Muhly with Oneohtrix Point Never and James McVinnie

– Stars on Barbican stages: Juliette Binoche stars in Sophokles’s Antigone directed by Ivo van Hove; Benedict Cumberbatch plays Hamlet, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and directed by Lyndsey Turner; Joyce DiDonato in an artist focus; Sir Simon Rattle with the Berliner Philharmoniker;  Philip Glass performs in a rare complete cycle of his Piano Etudes with guest pianists Maki Namekawa and Timo Andres; The National’s Bryce Dessner curates a Marathon Weekend of music; a film season of funnies chosen by the people who make us laugh

– Partnering great organisations: classical music highlights from our Resident Orchestra  London Symphony Orchestra, Associate Orchestra BBC Symphony Orchestra, Associate Ensembles Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia and International Associate Orchestra New York Philharmonic; the Royal Shakespeare Company and English Touring Theatre present Thomas Middleton’s A Mad World My Masters;  Artistic Associates Boy Blue Entertainment and Cheek by Jowl are also on the theatre stages; and landmark silent films about Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock complementing the Museum of London’s upcoming exhibition

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Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director, Barbican said:

“The Barbican is committed to developing and investing in the future of the arts. Today we are making a major commitment to young audiences and artists, enabling them to access and participate in our world-class arts and learning programme. With a dazzling display of leading artists live at the Barbican in 2015, from Juliette Binoche to Sir Simon Rattle, Benedict Cumberbatch to Robert Wilson, we will be offering all our diverse audiences arts without boundaries, celebrating great achievements from Samuel Beckett to Pierre Boulez at 90, inspiring the talent of today to create the world of tomorrow.’

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Sean Gregory, Director of Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning said:

“We believe that all young people have the right to find their own creative voice. That unlocking artistic talent enables them to better face some of the challenges of the future; to learn a craft, work collaboratively, problem solve, gain confidence, think differently, to be an individual. Our offer is imaginative and extraordinary – a reflection of the artists we train and the young people who take part. More than a series of projects, what Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning is pioneering is a route through arts education that is at the forefront of developing a new cultural ecology for the 21st century.”

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Louise Jeffreys, Director of Arts, Barbican said:

“The 2015 season exemplifies our commitment to world class arts and learning. The global reach of our arts programme is highlighted by an array of international talent that spans theatre, with Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore by the Ninagawa Company and Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Beckett’s classic Waiting for Godot; music from across the Atlantic with the return of the New York Philharmonic and The National’s Bryce Dessner curating a Marathon Weekend; and visual art with two major new exhibitions in our gallery. We want to make all of this amazing work as accessible to young people as possible which means I’m particularly excited that today we can announce the launch of Young Barbican. By offering over 50,000 cheap tickets per year we hope young people feel that the Barbican belongs to them, and that they will be inspired by the artists of today to discover their own creative voice.”

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For further information and to book tickets, please Click Here.

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2015 SEASON IN FULL

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INVESTING IN THE FUTURE HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE FIND THEIR CREATIVE VOICE

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The Barbican together with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama today launches a new manifesto to ‘help young people find their creative voice’.

Putting young people at its heart, the manifesto pledges to help them access the best arts events, have a platform for creativity, gain skills and jobs, to listen to them and work with the sector to bring their ideas to life.

The pioneering cultural alliance between a world-class art centre and conservatoire in the City of London – in collaboration with partnership organisations spanning local authorities, schools, arts and learning organisations and funders – creates transformative opportunities for the widest possible number of young people with a depth and quality of programme that will help find and equip the talent of the next generation.

Responding to the changing role of arts education in schools and the evolving needs of artists and educators working in the 21st century, Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning offers opportunities for cultural engagement ranging from first experiences to higher education and professional training. With a distinctive cross art form approach and a focus on the development and training of artist educators it ensures artists are equipped with the skills to deliver excellent work in educational settings.

For further details click here

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THE GREAT ARTISTS OF TODAY – THE PIONEERS WHO SHAPED THE ARTS OF OUR TIME

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ARTISTS SHARE THEIR MAGNIFICENT OBSESSIONS

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Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector

Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK

12 February – 25 May 2015

Media View, Wednesday 11 February 2015, 10am – 1pm

The first major exhibition in the UK to present the fascinating personal collections of post-war and contemporary artists, including Arman, Peter Blake, Hanne Darboven, Edmund de Waal, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Dr Lakra, Sol LeWitt, Martin Parr, Jim Shaw, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Andy Warhol, Pae White and Martin Wong/Danh Vo. Their collections range from mass-produced memorabilia and popular collectibles to one-of-a-kind curiosities, rarefied artefacts, and specimens. By presenting artists’ collections alongside at least one key example of their work, the exhibition provides insight into their inspirations, influences, motives, and obsessions. The collections are installed in accordance with the artists’ own display techniques, and the number of objects varies from less than 20 to more than 3,000 pieces. Individual collections include important examples of African art and Japanese samurai armour owned by Arman; Damien Hirst’s skulls, taxidermy and medical models; more than 1,000 scarves by the American designer Vera Neumann from Pae White; Andy Warhol’s cookie jars; and Martin Parr’s 20th century British postcards and Soviet space dog memorabilia.

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EXPLORING 20TH CENTURY PIONEERS

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The World of Charles and Ray Eames

Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK

21 October 2015 – 14 February 2016

Media View, Tuesday 20 October 2015, 10am –1pm

Charles (1907-1978) and Ray (1912-1988) Eames are among the most important designers of the 20th Century. This extensive new exhibition surveys their careers and the extraordinary work of the Eames Office: a ‘laboratory’, active for over four decades and where the Eameses and their collaborators and staff produced an array of pioneering and influential designs – from architecture, furniture and product design to film, photography, communication design, multi-media installation and exhibitions, as well as new models for arts education. The work of the Eames Office is characterised for most people by designs for furniture and products, yet their interest in addressing the needs of any given problem led them to design and communicate using a variety of tools and media. The story of the Eames Office is that of the trajectory of visual and material culture in the post-war period. Charles and Ray Eames moved fluidly between the mass-production of objects for everyday use and the transmission of ideas through exhibition, film or installation, in anticipation of the global Information Age. They were driven by philosophical ideals; embraced the potential of technology and science for the common good; and saw no separation between life and work. Charles and Ray Eames collaborated and associated with the leading artistic figures of the 20th Century and their immediate circle included Saul Steinberg, Alexander Girard, Billy Wilder, George Nelson, Buckminster Fuller, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi and Sister Corita Kent, among many others. Alongside a rich array of Eames designs the exhibition includes material which highlights the importance of these relationships to the Eameses life, philosophy and working processes.

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INTERNATIONAL BECKETT SEASON

Dedicated to the work of the great Irish author Samuel Beckett, over three weeks the Barbican presents nine pieces performed by six outstanding international companies and artists in four different locations.

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Lisa Dwan – Not I/Footfalls/Rockaby

Lisa Dwan is mesmerising in this solo performance of late Samuel Beckett works.  Not I: Floating above the stage in a near pitch-black void, a disembodied mouth spews a stream of consciousness at speed, capturing the despair of an outcast caught in a speechless existence. Footfalls: Pacing back and forth like a metronome outside her dying mother’s room, May is trapped in a moment of time, tormented by a ‘shudder of her mind’. Rockaby: Dressed in an evening gown, a prematurely aged woman sits in a chair that appears to rock of its own accord. Recounting moments from her past, she slowly withdraws from the world. Directed by Beckett’s long-time collaborator Walter Asmus, the trilogy transports audiences to a strangely beautiful, unsettling space where death and decay are never far away. Dwan makes the triple bill her own, in a virtuosic performance that is both chilling and absorbing.

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Sydney Theatre Company – Waiting for Godot

Australian screen and stage stars Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving give standout performances in Sydney Theatre Company’s remarkable production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, the absurdist masterpiece about everything and nothing. The quintessential comedy duo, Estragon and Vladimir, pass the time joking, bickering and musing on the profound as they wait patiently for Godot, interrupted only by brutish Pozzo and his hapless servant Lucky. Surrounded by a handsomely bleak set, suggestive of a charred, crumbling theatre, Weaving and Roxburgh draw out the vaudevillian energy, wild humour and poetry of Beckett’s writing. The down-and-out pair’s shared endurance test is a touching reminder of humanity’s talent for resilience. Sydney Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Andrew Upton works with an all-Australian cast including three-time Olivier Award-winner Philip Quast and Luke Mullins, recipient of both the Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Awards for his portrayal of Lucky. Richard Roxburgh also recently received the Helpmann Award for Best Actor for his performance in the production.

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Olwen Fouéré – Lessness

Leading Irish theatre artist Olwen Fouéré performs a reading of Samuel Beckett’s evocative short prose, simply staged in an intimate setting. One of the 20th century’s most enigmatic texts, Lessness was published in the same year Beckett won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Comprising 60 sentences that he placed in a container and randomly selected, once and then again, to determine their order, the piece is unpredictable yet surprisingly engaging.

Fouéré, a magnetic performer whose arresting physical presence is matched by her phenomenal vocal technique, has presented and appeared in Beckett’s works since 1976, including as part of the playwright’s centenary festival at the Barbican in 2006. Her most recent creation, riverrun, an adaptation of the voice of the river from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, has been touring internationally and was a hit at the National Theatre in 2014.

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Pan Pan Theatre – All That Fall

Pan Pan Theatre presents All That Fall, Samuel Beckett’s first radio play, as a communal auditory event. Seated in rocking chairs, audiences listen to an intricate composition of voices. Unsightly, ungainly and unwell, Maddy Rooney trudges laboriously from her home to Boghill Station, conversing with a richly conjured cast of characters along the way. She’s meeting her blind husband Dan off the train, but there’s been a delay. Weaving words and sounds to musical effect, recorded text comes out of the dark to reveal a bleakly comic account of one couple’s unending misery. Featuring outstanding vocal performances from Andrew Bennett and Áine Ní Mhuirí, the show won two Irish Times Theatre Awards for Best Sound and Best Lighting Design.

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Company SJ – Rough for Theatre I and Act Without Words II

Performed in the unique exterior environment of the Barbican, this is Beckett inspired by the people and city of Dublin, re-inserted into the architectural spaces of the City of London. Rough for Theatre I: Two vagrants, one blind, the other wheelchair bound, are locked in an uneasy encounter. For a brief moment, there is talk of joining up but hope slips away with a single gesture. Act Without Words II: Goaded into action by an unseen force, A and B emerge in turn from sleeping bags to begin contrasting routines. Although they never meet, they are somehow connected. Directed by Sarah Jane Scaife, who has been staging Beckett’s work for nearly 30 years in many different countries, these companion pieces have been presented to great acclaim in Dublin and Tokyo and respond to each location in a unique way. The all-Irish cast – Bryan BurroughsRaymond Keane and Trevor Knight – are at the forefront of physical theatre.

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Robert Wilson – Krapp’s Last Tape

Visionary director and visual artist Robert Wilson brings Samuel Beckett’s haunting one-man play to the stage in a sharply stylised show. Amid the cacophony of a torrential thunderstorm, an old man prepares to archive his last year on tape, as he has done on the eve of every birthday since his youth. Selecting an earlier recording, Krapp listens to his brashly confident younger self and is drawn into a chilling personal dialogue, his despair and isolation laid bare. During a tour de force performance as Beckett’s world-weary figure, Wilson recalls the movement of silent movie greats such as Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Audiences have been enraptured with every nuanced expression and gesture, set against a ghostly backdrop of shadow and light. Throughout his extraordinary theatre career, Wilson has always felt a kinship with Beckett’s work. For this revelatory realisation of Krapp’s Last Tape, he calls on the acting, directing and designing techniques he has developed over the past 45 years.

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Boulez at 90

The Barbican celebrates the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez, one of the most influential composers, conductors, thinkers and teachers of our time. The BBC Symphony Orchestra starts off the focus with Total Immersion: Pierre Boulez at 90 – a day of concerts, talks and film screenings providing an in-depth insight into the composer’s life and music. Péter Eötvös will conduct the LSO in a performance of Boulez’s Livre pour cordes and Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring completes the programme. The focus ends with a concert by the pioneering Ensemble Intercontemporain which was founded by Boulez in 1976. Led by Artistic Director Matthias Pintscher, the group will perform two works by Boulez (Mémoriale and Sur Incises), while looking back to Debussy and forward to the new voices of Yann Robin and Pintscher himself.

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INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

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Ninagawa Company – Kafka on the Shore

by Haruki Murakami

Nothing is quite as it seems in this adaptation of the mind-bending novel Kafka on the Shore, the international bestseller by one of Japan’s most widely read and highly regarded authors, Haruki Murakami. Meet 15-year-old Kafka. Accompanied by an imaginary friend, he’s run away from his Tokyo home to escape his screwed-up father and a dark prophecy. Then there’s elderly Nakata, seeker of lost cats. Long touched by a mysterious childhood affliction, he finds himself in need of some divine assistance. Fateful encounters abound as their parallel odysseys entwine in modern-day Japan where reality, dream and myth converge in this allegorical tale about waking up to one’s own life. Using a series of multi-layered sets, Yukio Ninagawa realises his long-held ambition to stage this epic story. His first-class ensemble includes the Japanese Academy Award-winning star of The Twilight Samurai, Rie Miyazawa, as well asNaohito Fujiki, and Nino Furuhata. Kafka on the Shore is performed in Japanese with English surtitles.

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Ninagawa Company – Hamlet

by William Shakespeare

One of the world’s greatest interpreters of Shakespeare’s work, Yukio Ninagawa once again turns to Hamlet, which he says ‘deals with the world’s vastness and depth.’ In this UK premiere, popular Japanese screen actor Tatsuya Fujiwara takes the title role. Fujiwara made his stage debut at the Barbican under the direction of Ninagawa in 1997 and six years later became the youngest actor to play Hamlet in Japanese theatrical history, aged just 21. The pair now revisit Shakepeare’s great tragedy to celebrate the director’s 80th birthday. The cast also includes Hikari Mitsushima as Ophelia. Over 40 years ago, Ninagawa directed his first Shakespeare play. Since then, his work has toured the globe and he has gained international acclaim for his ability to fuse Japanese and European cultural traditions. His productions are remembered for their emblematic approach, innovation and ravishing aesthetic. Hamlet is performed in Japanese with English surtitles

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Women and The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema

A season of classic Mexican films from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, featuring stars of the era such as Delores del Rio and Maria Felix. Glorious musicals, comedies and dramas, including work by leading directors Emilio Fernández and Fernando de Fuentes, and world-renowned cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa, will be presented in beautiful new prints and digital restorations. This golden age of Mexican cinema saw Mexico’s film industry become one of the most productive in the world; its films dominated all the Spanish speaking markets in Central and South America, as well as the Hispanic populations in the United States, where Mexican films also achieved a number of box office successes across the board. The programme is presented in partnership with the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE) and the Embassy of Mexico London and will be accompanied by an exhibition of lavish photographs of the Mexican superstar of the golden age, Maria Felix.

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Chilly Gonzales & Kaiser Quartett

Pianist, composer, and self-proclaimed ‘musical genius’, Chilly Gonzales returns to London for three concerts at Milton Court Concert Hall in spring 2015 (11, 12 & 13 April). Fresh from the release of his ‘Re-Introduction Etudes’ book – which brought new life to lapsed-amateur pianists everywhere – and following collaborations with Daft Punk, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and, most recently, James Rhodes at his London Masterclass in 2014, Chilly Gonzales presents a new show altogether, teaming up with the explosive strings of Hamburg’s Kaiser Quartett.  Together they perform material written especially for the quartet by Gonzales, once again showcasing his inimitable style and virtuosity.

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PREMIERING INNOVATIVE NEW WORK

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Nico Muhly / Oneohtrix Point Never / James McVinnie​– Twitchy Organs  

Organ music by young New York composer Nico Muhly mixes with the drone sounds of Brooklyn-based electronic artist Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never. The latter will perform his own tracks live, while Muhly’s organ music will be presented by English organist James McVinnie.  The event will culminate in a rendition of Muhly’s Twitchy Organs, performed by the three artists on stage together.

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English National Opera – Between Worlds by Tansy Davies

Between Worlds is the first operatic commission written by Tansy Davies, with a libretto by Nick Drake and directed by Barbican Artistic Associate Deborah Warner. It is the second ENO production to be co-commissioned by the Barbican, following Sunken Garden in 2013. A spiritual, poetic and ultimately uplifting drama, based on the events of 9/11 and focussing particularly on the relationships and emotions of the people affected, this new opera addresses one of the most significant events of the twenty-first century, bringing the universal operatic themes of tragedy, loss, courage, grief and healing into a contemporary context. Between Worlds follows on from Warner’s latest theatrical success, The Testament of Mary, at the Barbican, earlier this year, and celebrated ENO productions such as Death in Venice (2013).

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Unsuk Chin: Alice in Wonderland

The Barbican and the BBC Symphony Orchestra present the UK premiere of Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s opera Alice in Wonderland, in a new production by Netia Jones. The innovative production is a collaborative venture with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is Jones’ first Barbican project since her critically acclaimed staging of Britten’s Curlew River in 2013. Alice in Wonderland, premiered in 2007, was Unsuk Chin’s first opera, for which she co-wrote the English libretto with the American playwright David Henry Hwang. The riotous exhilaration and jet-black humour of Chin’s sound world meet their match in the darkly imaginative illustrations of acclaimed gonzo-artist Ralph Steadman, which Jones will combine with live action, interactive animated projections, eye-popping costumes and choreography to conjure Chin’s brilliant take on Lewis Carroll’s flights of imagination. For Netia Jones, Chin’s opera is ‘a collision between extraordinarily disparate ways of thinking. It renders a fable that is completely familiar to British audiences in a manner that is totally new but completely authentic: it’s riotously funny, but dark; it draws on a multiplicity of sources, but is coherent; it’s apparently chaotic, but mathematically precise and virtuoso in its engineering`

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Roman Signer

The Curve, Barbican Centre, London UK

March – May 2015 (exact dates tbc)

Admission Free

Swiss artist Roman Signer is internationally renowned for his sculptural installations and video works that take everyday objects and situations to absurd ends infused with his dry wit. Born in Appenzell, Switzerland in 1938, Roman Signer lives and works in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

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Eddie Peake

The Curve, Barbican Centre, London UK

October 2015 – January 2016 (exact dates tbc)

Admission Free

Eddie Peake’s varied practice encompasses performance, video, photography, painting, sculpture and installation. Peake’s work is an often-energetic spectacle in which the surreal and the erotic play a part, and in which the artist plays a central role. Born in London in 1981, Eddie Peake lives and works in London.

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STARS ON BARBICAN STAGES

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Ivo van Hove – Antigone

by Sophokles

Juliette Binoche stars in a new English language translation of Antigone, directed by the internationally renowned Belgian theatre director Ivo van Hove and translated afresh by TS Eliot Prize-winning poet Anne Carson. When her dead brother is decreed a traitor, his body left unburied beyond the city walls, Antigone refuses to accept this most severe of punishments. Defying her uncle who governs, she dares to say ‘No’. Forging ahead with a funeral alone, she places personal allegiance before politics, a tenacious act that will trigger a cycle of destruction. This Barbican co-production receives its world premiere at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg in February 2015 followed by the UK premiere at the Barbican in March 2015 and then embarks on a major international tour.

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Sonia Friedman Productions – Hamlet

by William Shakespeare

As a country arms itself for war, a family tears itself apart. Forced to avenge his father’s death but paralysed by the task ahead, Hamlet rages against the impossibility of his predicament, threatening both his sanity and the security of the state. Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the title role in Shakespeare’s great tragedy. Directed by Lyndsey Turner (PoshChimerica) and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, the Barbican presents an exclusive 12-week run of this compelling new production.

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Joyce DiDonato

The Barbican 14/15 Artist Spotlight celebrates American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, showcasing many facets of the singer’s artistry. In April the self-proclaimed “yankee diva” is both curator and performer in a Milton Court Concert Hall programme centred around the official European premiere of Camille Claudel: Into the Fire by Jake Heggie. The work is a song cycle for mezzo-soprano, string quartet (Brentano String Quartet) and piano (Heggie himself) written in 2012 specifically for DiDonato and inspired by the life and work of the French sculptor who was Rodin’s muse and lover. Also part of the evening – an exploration of music, culture and personalities of the Belle Époque – are Debussy’s String Quartet and Renaldo Hahn’s Venezia. DiDonato then joins the New York Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert in the opening concert of the orchestra’s Barbican International Associate residency, singing Ravel’s Shéhérazade as part of a programme also featuring music by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Strauss. Also part of the Artist Spotlight and highlighting DiDonato’s longstanding commitment to developing the careers of younger singers, the American mezzo shares her experience with students from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in a public masterclass.

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Berliner Philharmoniker: The London Residency 2015

The Barbican Centre and Southbank Centre are bringing Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker to London for a major residency in 2015.  Following the great success of the orchestra’s London concerts series in 2011, the week-long residency will feature performances in the Barbican Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall. At the core of the Barbican concerts is a complete cycle of Sibelius’s symphonies, performed in sequence, and violinist Leonidas Kavakos joins the orchestra for Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. As part of the residency and under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, the Barbican Guildhall and Southbank Centre are proud to be bringing together a Young Orchestra for London. Following an open day on 18 October at Southbank Centre, application to the orchestra will be open and by Christmas, 100 young people aged 11 – 21 will have been selected to take part, aiming to represent all 33 boroughs in London. This young orchestra will then come together for five days to present new and existing repertoire, rehearsed and conducted by Sir Simon Rattle on the Barbican Concert Hall Stage and Southbank Centre’s Clore Ballroom.

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The Etudes by Philip Glass

Performed by Philip Glass, Maki Namekawa and Timo Andres  

Philip Glass’s twenty Etudes for Piano are featured in a rare complete performance at the Barbican Hall on 29 April 2015, performed by the American composer himself and pianists Maki Namekawa and Timo Andres. Glass originally conceived the etudes as a set of 20 works for solo piano, a compositional undertaking that would allow him to expand his own technique and push the boundaries of piano tone and style. Throughout the 1990s, he completed 16 of the etudes, each of which take a unique approach to the instrument. The final four etudes were commissioned in celebration of Glass’s 75th birthday in 2012. An introspective portrait of the composer over two decades, The Etudes is an immersive journey into one composer’s personal soundscape as expressed in the depth and breadth of a single instrument.

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Marathon Weekend curated by The National’s Bryce Dessner

Following on from a weekend of performances celebrating the 50th birthday of Nonesuch Records in May 2014, spring 2015 will also feature a marathon weekend.  Curated by Bryce Dessner, composer, guitarist and member of rock band The National, the weekend will include performances in the Barbican Hall and at Milton Court Concert Hall. Highlights to include: new music by Dessner for Chicago-based ensemble Eighth Blackbird and New York City percussion quartet So Percussion; the world premiere of a new orchestral work by Dessner and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, written for Britten Sinfonia and featuring visuals by celebrated Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto; a performance of Black Mountain Songs, a multimedia song cycle inspired by North Carolina’s Black Mountain College – the  artistic playground of innovators such as  John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Robert Rauschenberg – and featuring music by Dessner, Richard Reed Parry, Caroline Shaw, Tim Hecker and others, presented by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Also part of the weekend will be performances of music by Michael Gordon, John Luther Adams, and others to be announced. Curator Bryce Dessner has collaborated with a wide range of artists in the past, which have included Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, Kim Deal, Kronos Quartet and Jonny Greenwood.

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This Made Me Laugh

The Barbican lets its hair down and invites seven well known faces to choose and introduce the film that left them so creased up with laughter they missed the next line!  The man behind QI and Blackadder John Lloyd will share why The Naked Gun (David Zucker, 1988) tickles him pink; comedian Mitch Benn will bring even more hilarity to Rob Reiner’s This Is Spinal Tap (1984) and author Jon Ronson will reveal what it is about The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967) that brings a smile to his face.   More endorphin heightening films to be announced soon…

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PARTNERING GREAT ORGANISATIONS

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London Symphony Orchestra – Resident Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle gives four concerts with the LSO in 2015 including a performance of Schumann’s oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri, and the UK Premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Monster in the Maze, a children’s opera. Conductors with whom the LSO has a long history return to the Barbican stage. LSO Principal Guest Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas celebrates his 70th Birthday with the LSO and soloist Yuja Wang with two concerts at the Barbican before a major tour to the West Coast of the US. Conductor LaureateAndré Previn performs Rachmaninov and his own work; Bernard Haitink performs Mozart, Beethoven and Mahler Principal Guest Conductor Daniel Harding conducts Brahms and Beethoven; and Marin Alsop conducts Bartók, Korngold and Rachmaninov. There is also a focus on conductors who are new to the LSO, or less frequent visitors. Krzysztof Urbański makes his LSO debut , and there are performances by Xian Zhang, David AfkhamDonald RunniclesTugan Sokhiev and Pablo Heras-CasadoThe LSO International Violin Festival runs from April–June and features 12 of the world’s finest violinists in concert with the LSO performing a broad section of the violin repertoire.

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BBC Symphony Orchestra – Associate Orchestra

In 2015 the BBC Symphony Orchestra continues to turn its attention to the works of Carl Nielsen, presenting the complete cycle of his six symphonies with Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo. The orchestra also present three complete operas: Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland produced with the Barbican; Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and Smetana’s Dalibor. Total Immersion days celebrate the life and work of Pierre Boulez and a day devoted to music for percussion.

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Academy of Ancient Music – Associate Ensemble

Highlights of the Academy of Ancient Music’s season at the Barbican in 2015 include a series of concerts exploring the great musical centres of Europe, an Easter performance of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion, two Mozart performances with keyboardist Robert Levinand the period instrument debut of trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth.

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Britten Sinfonia – Associate Ensemble

Britten Sinfonia’s role as an Associate Ensemble at the Barbican continues to blossom, with performances in 2015 at the Barbican Hall and Milton Court Concert Hall and internationally, with Britten Sinfonia/Barbican co-productions touring to Europe and to the USA. At the Barbican, there’s a strong focus on choral and vocal works, with giants of the choral repertoire, including James MacMillan’s St Luke Passion and Nico Muhly’s Sentences, starring Iestyn Davies.  An outstanding line up of soloists also includes Sarah Connolly inan American-infused programme and Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan, as soloist and conductor in a double-bill of concerts that embrace music from Mozart to Schoenberg. Associate Leader Thomas Gould directs an exploration of the complexities of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

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New York Philharmonic International Associate Residency

Barbican International Associate the New York Philharmonic returns to the Centre for its second residency in April 2015. Opening the week of the residency in the Milton Court concert hall, the orchestra’s Music Director Alan Gilbert presents the Royal Philharmonic Society Lecture on Orchestras in the 21st century: a new paradigm. The first New York Philharmonic programme features the UK premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Nyx together with late-Romantic orchestral works by Ravel (soloist Joyce DiDonato) and Strauss. The following evening Gilbert will introduce a concert at Milton Court presenting highlights from CONTACT!, the Philharmonic’s innovative new-music series which Gilbert launched in his first season as Music Director. The climax of the residency is a programme that includes three of the 20th century’s most glittering ballet scores. Concert performances of Bartók’s Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin and Debussy’s Jeux are followed by the European premiere of the theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky’s Petrushka by New York’s genre-bending production company Giants Are Small: live puppetry, circus, dancing and visuals interact with the orchestra in a carnivalesque spectacle that blurs the lines between reality and imagination, audience and performer. This production also features in a Sunday afternoon concert introducing Petrushka to young people and families, supported by a range of free performances and family activities. The Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning team will be working with young people aged 8 – 21 in London and New York who will communicate through music and art on postcards and create new pieces of work that will be performed during the residency.

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Royal Shakespeare Company – A Mad World My Masters

by Thomas Middleton

Continuing the Barbican and the RSC’s three-year relationship, A Mad World My Masters, which originally premiered at the Swan theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2013, comes to the Theatre. The production marks the first collaboration between English Touring Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company and receives a national tour before a two-week run at the Barbican. Sean Foley andPhil Porter’s edited version of Thomas Middleton’s play is faithful to the original text but adapts it to fit the seedy world of 1950s Soho, updating character names and including songs of the time to enhance the biting satire of lust and deception in the life of Bohemian London.

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Boy Blue Entertainment – Artistic Associate

A Night with Boy Blue

One of the UK’s most sought-after hip-hop dance companies presents an energy-fuelled showcase of astonishing moves and urban music. Whether krumping, house, old skool or street dance, Boy Blue Entertainment’s moves combine creative energy and absolute precision. From flowing, poetic solos to group set pieces, all are performed to a thumping beat. Since becoming a Barbican Artistic Associate in 2009, the company has been involved with hit film StreetDance 3D and the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. As hip-hop dance theatre pioneers, founders Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy and Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante have toured the UK with Olivier Award-winning Pied Piper and, most recently, The Five & the Prophecy of PranaA Night with Boy Blue features over twenty of the company’s most talented dancers, some as young as eight years old, to unleash thrilling sequences drawn from its most popular shows and conceived especially for this production.

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Cheek by Jowl – Measure for Measure

by William Shakespeare

Barbican Artistic Associate Cheek by Jowl returns to the Barbican with its new production of Measure for Measure. With his unique brew of laughter and high seriousness, Shakespeare dissects the nature of government, love and justice in a landscape of convents, prisons and brothels. Declan Donnellan’s taut modern-dress update is performed in Russian with English surtitles. This is the fifth time Cheek by Jowl have brought its Russian work to the Barbican, most recently with the critically-acclaimed production of The Tempest in 2011.

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Sherlock Holmes

A series of landmark silent films about the world’s most famous fictional detective, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The films,The Hound of the Baskervilles (UK 1921, dir. Maurice Elvey), The Sign of Four (UK 1923, dir. Maurice Elvey), and a selection from the 45 Holmes short films made between 1921 and 1923 by the Stoll film company at its studio in Surbiton, all-star Eille Norwood in the role of Holmes and Hubert Willis cast as Dr. Watson. Norwood was obsessed with portraying Holmes true to the written stories, and on seeing his portrayal of the detective in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle proclaimed that he “had never seen anything more masterly.” The series will be presented with live musical accompaniments by the three maestros of silent film music, Neil Brand, Stephen Horne and John Sweeney and will complement the Museum of London exhibition ‘Sherlock Holmes – The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die’.

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