March Highlights – The Barbican
Enjoy Music – Concert Recommendations for March 2013
As usual on Friday, we’re making concert recommendations for the upcoming month. Let’s see what there is to see at the Barbican in March, shall we?
The “big ticket” for the month is most certainly the residency of the Los Angeles Philharmonic mid-month. You may have heard of the conductor- Gustavo Dudamel. His appointment to the LA Phil was noteworthy not just because he’s very young but also because of his reported near $1million/yr salary. Dudamel is undoubtedly worth every penny, contributing to a 21% increase in ticket sales in his first year. But it’s unfair to boil him down to this sort of commentary. He is a product of the much-discussed El Sistema system in Venezuela and brings a focused and passionate musical intelligence to his conducting and speaking. He has rightly earned his reputation and these concerts will be a great opportunity to see a great conductor in action. On the 17th of March, the LA Phil present a concert featuring Debussy’s La Mer and Stravinsky’s Firebird. Both these pieces are sizzlers and easy to enjoy. For those of you more interested in the mechanics of playing, there are a series of masterclasses being held on March 15th by LA Phil players.
Skipping back earlier in the month, on March 8th, Les Talens Lyriques, a French Baroque Orchestra present Lully’s Phaëton in a concert performance. If you enjoy opera, you might enjoy this trip back to the beginnings of the art form. The choruses in particular are quite hummable so mind yourself on the Tube on the way home. 🙂
On the 22nd of March, the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Vedernikov present works by John Adams, Tippett and Shostakovich. The Tippett piano concerto is infrequently programmed but is really worthwhile hearing. Shostakovich 8 is also infrequently programmed but is considered amongst his finest symphonies. Written in the summer of 1943, it has clear military motifs and is almost unremittingly bleak. Ok, this isn’t a concert for a romantic first date but if you’re looking for something juicy to chew on, you will love this.
Finally, on March 23rd, the Aurora Orchestra present a wonderful creative programme entitled “Insomnia“. It’s written up as “a unique and haunting theatrical concert built around Britten’s Nocturne. The programme charts a course through the darkness of a troubled night, with other repertoire including Vivaldi’s La Notte (‘The Night’) and James MacMillan’s Deep but Dazzling Darkness with solo violinist Thomas Gould…” We’re big fans of multi-displinary concerts and this one sounds particularly intriguing with just the right mix of new and old music.
We really want everyone to start enjoying more music, and we know that the incredible amount of choice we have here in London can sometimes be overwhelming. We hope that these concert recommendation posts help – if so, why not let us know in the comments below?