The Southbank Centre in London has shed more light on its plans for a mammoth year-long series of events to re-tell the story of the 20th century, focusing its gaze through the transformations and modernisations witnessed in the era’s classical music. The series of events were inspired by Alex Ross’ award-winning book ‘The Rest Is Noise’, and aims “to capture the spirit of a century and how music reflected its discords, wars and revolutions”.
The Southbank Centre have clearly decided that if they’re going to do this, they might as well do it properly, and as a result have called upon a record 18 orchestras, and will feature 100 concerts, 150 talks, and a host of other debates and film screenings. The festival will commence on Saturday 19th January with a keynote lecture by Shirley Williams, which will uncover the tumultuous events that shaped the century’s cultural output, with talks then set to feature leading academic lights such as Alain de Botton and Jonathan Cross. The concert series will chronologically chart the innovations and developments in the era’s classical music, featuring performances of works by Igor Stravinsky, Duke Ellington, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Philip Glass, amongst others.
If this all feels like too much to miss out on, you will soon be able secure yourself a year-long pass to all of the events for the hefty sum of £500, but there will also be countless individual tickets available for what promises to be a thorough and fascinating festival programme. Head here for more information and to sign up for email updates on festival highlights.