Total Immersion: Oliver Knussen at 60
with the BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sunday 04 November 2012, 1pm
A day of music, talks and films celebrating the music of Oliver Knussen.
Oliver Knussen is one of the most inspirational figures in British music. Equally gifted as composer, conductor and teacher he has produced an extraordinary body of work whose vitality and quality seems to shine brighter with each passing year. As composer Julian Anderson has written, ‘Knussen is that rarity… a composer whose music is both complex and aurally coherent’; he combines the spontaneous and the constructed, the playful and profound.
Oliver Knussen himself is joined by some of the most celebrated performers of his music for this exploration of his jewel-like masterpieces. From the delightful Three little Fantasies for wind quintet, to the intricate, multilayered Océan de terre, the programmes span 40 years of his art, and trace the chain of works inspired by Ophelia’s tragic descent into madness and death, Ophelia’s Last Dance and the Symphony No. 3. Barrie Gavin’s affectionate film prefaces two evening concerts in which soprano Claire Booth sings the dreamlike Whitman Settings.
1.15pm, Music Hall, Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Three Little Fantasies
Songs without Voices
Océan de terre
Richard Baker conductor
Olivia Robinson soprano
Maud Millar soprano
Martha Lloyd flute
Richard Uttley piano
Guildhall New Music Ensemble
This concert by students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama features music from the 1960s and 1970s including the touching piano solo Sonya’s Lullaby, written for the composers daughter, and vocal works including his intricate multi-layered setting of poems by Apollonaire, Océan de Terre, and Trumpets, written for soprano and three clarinets.
Please note that Olivia Robinson has replaced the originally advertised Jenavieve Moore.
Tickets £12 (unreserved seating)
3pm Film & Discussion, Barbican Cinema 2
Sounds from the Big White House: Oliver Knussen at 50
UK, 2001, Dir: Barrie Gavin, narrated by Julian Anderson.
A film made to celebrate Oliver Knussen’s 50th birthday. The composer talks about the perils of early fame, about meeting Stravinsky and demonstrates his amazing collection of mechanical toys. Music performed by the London Sinfonietta and BBC SO includes excerpts from Where the Wild Things Are and the Horn Concerto.
Followed by a discussion on Oliver Knussen and his influence on British music led by composer Julian Anderson, with guest speakers Gillian Moore, Barrie Gavin and Tom Service.
6pm, Music Hall, Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Autumnal for Violin and Piano
Prayer Bell Sketch
Ophelia's Last Dance
Alexandra Wood violin
Ryan Wigglesworth piano
Huw Watkins piano
Music spanning Knussen’s composing career from the 1970s to the 1990s including Ophelia’s Last Dance, part of the chain of works following Ophelia’s tragic descent into madness and death, Prayer Bell Sketch for solo piano, written in memory of Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu and Autumnal for violin and piano.
Tickets £12 (unreserved seating)
8pm, Barbican Hall
Flourish with Fireworks
Requiem - Songs for Sue
Symphony No. 3
Oliver Knussen conductor
Claire Booth soprano
Martin Owen horn
BBC Symphony Orchestra
The Total Immersion weekend comes to a close with a concert featuring major works from across Knussen’s career including the Third Symphony, the dreamlike Whitman Settings, which sets the poetry of Walt Whitman and the moving Reqiuem: Songs for Sue, both of which were written for tonight’s soloist, Claire Booth to perform.
Please note that Leila Josefowicz, who was to perform Oliver Knussen’s Violin Concerto, is unable to travel to the UK for this concert due to conditions caused by Hurricane Sandy and is therefore no longer able to perform in this concert. It has been necessary to change the programme as above.
Tickets £24 £20 £16 £12 £8
Oliver Knussen Day Pass
Save money and guarantee entry to all events on Sunday 4 November with a Total Immersion Day Pass. Day Passes are available by telephone or in person only.
Day Pass £48 £45 £42 £38 £35
Saturday 3 November 2.00pm and 7.00pm, Barbican Hall
The Barbican presents Oliver Knussen's two fantasy operas Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop!
Friday 2 November, Garden Room, Barbican
Oliver Knussen at 60
A symposium presented by the Institute for Musical Research. Speakers include Julian Anderson, George Benjamin, Arnold Whittall and Paul Griffiths.
How to get there
- The nearest Underground station is Barbican, on the Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines.To reach the Barbican,exit the station and cross Aldersgate Street in front of you. Walk through the road tunnel (Beech Street) before taking the first turning right into Silk Street. The Barbican is straight ahead of you. Alternatively, exit the station using the stairs to the first floor, crossing the road using the footbridge before following the signs to the Barbican. Other Underground stations nearby are Moorgate, St Paul's, Bank, Liverpool Street and Mansion House.
- Bus Route 153 stops outside the Barbican in Silk Street. Starting from outside Liverpool Street Station, it runs daily to the Barbican, Angel and Finsbury Park. Other services running near the Barbican are as follows: 8, 11, 23, 26, 35, 42, 43, 47, 48, 55, 56, 76,78, 100, 133, 141, 149, 172, 214, 242, 243, 271, 344 (7 days a week); 4, (Mon-Sat); 21, 25, 521 (Mon-Fri).
- The nearest rail stations are Liverpool Street, Farringdon and Blackfriars. City Thameslink services serve Barbican, Moorgate and Cannon Street.
- The Barbican is clearly sign-posted and has four car parks. Two are off Beech Street (westbound access only) and two are off Silk Street near the main entrance. Please allow plenty of time for your journey. All car parks have a height restriction of 6'1". If the Barbican car parks are full, alternative parking is available in Aldersgate Street.
- The Main entrance at Silk Street is ramped and lifts give access to all levels. All our venues have seating for wheelchair users - please inform us of any access requirements on booking. There are three wheelchairs for visitors' use, subject to availability; these can be pre-booked by calling the Box Office on 020 7638 8891.