Santoor Maestro Tarun Bhattacharya comes to Southbank Centre

Santoor Maestro Tarun Bhattacharya has been a pioneering and revolutionary musician of the Maihar Gharana. His influence has changed the face of Indian classical music, and through his innovative techniques of playing the santoor he has developed a distinct style that has enthralled audiences around the world. On 1 December, he is joined by the prolific and widely admired musician Kousic Sen on tabla at Southbank Centre for a concert in the Purcell Room.


Catch Tarun Bhattacharya as part of Milapfest’s Music for the Mind and Soul concert series at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Saturday 1 December. Get tickets here. 


Listen to our Undiscovered India Spotify playlist

Milapfest return with a series of concerts exploring the best in Indian classical music featuring performances from Tarang, Alif Laila, Patri Satish Kumar and Tarun Bhattacharya. We’ve put together a Spotify playlist to give you a taster of what to expect.

Take a listen here.

Listen here

Take a look at Milapfest’s Undiscovered India series from 3 November – 1 December at Southbank Centre. More info and tickets here. 

Video – classical sitarist Alif Laila

See Alif Laila perform as part of Milapfest’s Undiscovered India series at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Thursday 29 November. Get tickets here. 


Coming up this November, we are very pleased to welcome back Ancient Roots New Leaves, a series of concerts representing two distinct music tranditions in Iran.

The first performance on 4th November in the Purcell Room celebrates Music of Yarsan, the pre-Islamic sufi order, which reflects a millennia-old music tradition from this most reclusive Kurdish culture.Headlining this concert is Maestro Ali Akbar Moradi, who has been praised as ‘one of the top 50 world musicians’ and ‘the best tanbour player alive’ by Songlines.

Maestro Moradi is joined by his two sons Arash and Kourosh Moradi and the talented kamancheh player, Mehdi Bagheri, perform both sacred songs of tanbour as well as new and ancient Kurdish and Iranian compositions.

For a preview of what’s in store, watch the trailer here:

The second performance on 28th November in Queen Elizabeth Hall showcases the talents of the leading Iranian composer and instrumentalist Hamid Motessem, who is renowned for his innovative approach to traditional Persian music.

Performing alongside him is the much-praised young vocalist Sepideh Raissadat. Raissadat left Iran to pursue her career as a solo vocalist and in a short time has become one of the focal points of the world music circuit.

For these performances we are offering a special discount on tickets:
20% off tickets for booking both events
20% off tickets for group bookings of 10 people or more
20% off tickets for unwaged, students and OAPs

To book your ticket call our box office on 0844 847 9910, or CLICK HERE to book tickets online.


Music by Piazzolla, Almeida and Villa-Lobos is being performed by flute and guitar duo Dagmar and Josef Zsapka next week at Southbank Centre. For a taste of what’s in store, just click on the webpage here and listen to clips of their performances!

And to get 50% off tickets, simply quote SOUTHAMERICAN when booking online, by phone or in person.


South American Music by Piazzolla, Almeida and Villa-Lobos

Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Monday 22 October 7.45pm

For more information and to book tickets see here.


The Musical Brain conference, The Beethoven Question: Can Art Make Life Worth Living? is about Beethoven’s music and how despite his deafness and failing health, he continued to compose some of the most sublime music ever written. Among a raft of distinguished speakers and performers, it features Lloyd Coleman, 20, an outstanding young musician, who is deaf and partially sighted. The Sacconis will perform his String Quartet and he will speak and join in panel discussions such as The Need to Compose at the conference on 27/28 October.

Lloyd performed at Southbank Centre earlier this month with the British Paraorchestra as part of Unlimited, our festival to celebrate the talent and imagination of deaf and disabled artists, as well as performing at the Paralympics closing ceremony.

The below video clip is taken from the BBC documentary Breaking the Wall, which follows Lloyd’s progress, after he was invited to write a new piece for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in celebration of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

For more info and to book tickets for The Beethoven Question click here
For additional information please visit:


Japanese violin player Mayuko Katumura will perform later this month in the Purcell Room alongside Noriko Kawai on the piano. We caught up with Mayuko ahead of the concert:

You grew up in Japan, but studied in London and have since gone on to perform all over the world. Can you tell us a bit more about your musical background?

My grandfather (my mother’s side) was a great classical music lover and every weekend at the family-get-together since I was a baby, I used to listen to LPs of all the major violin concertos. From this very early introduction to classical music,  I have never thought of any other profession than as a violinist.

When I studied at the music high school in Tokyo, I was lucky to have a wonderful violin teacher who studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He recommended I study with Professor Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall, who was his teacher.  So I came to London when I was 19 and studied with Yfrah for 6 years. It must have been difficult for him to talk with me at first as I did not speak English at all then. However, I was surrounded by kind, generous English friends at the Guildhall and I soon got used to all the aspect of living in London

What’s your earliest musical memory?
At my grandparents at the weekends, when my mother was trying to make me have an afternoon nap, she always play the LP of Schubert’s string quartet “ Death and Maiden “. When she let me listen to this, I always knew I was going to be left on my own while everybody else was together in the other room. I was only 2 years old. However, this memory stays very clear in my mind, and I still feel the same loneliness whenever I listen to this quartet!

What are you particularly looking forward to about your forthcoming concert at Southbank Centre? 
It is first time for me to perform at the Purcell Room, and I am very excited about it, as ever since I came to England and attended concerts at the Southbank Centre, I was saying to myself that I want to perform in this small and intimate hall in the future.

Is there a piece of music you would pick out as one of the ‘best’ works ever written? 
I would say Bach’s Chaconne from the Partita no. 2

What other talent or skill would you like to possess? 
I always imagine what would happen if I could speak French and German when I woke up next morning! It took 14 years for me to learn English, so I really wish I had a talent for languages!

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
Henryk Szeryng (I am a big fan) presented by Mr. Bean

What is the most played piece of music on your mp3 player or in your CD collection?
Currently it is Henryk Szeryng playing Handel’s Sonata in D. His playing is really heavenly.

Do you have any strange rituals you carry out before or after you perform? 
I always stretch out my legs like a Sumo wrestler before wearing my concert dress. This action is called “Matawari “in the Sumo world, and is very important in preparation for the fight!

We are a very limited number of tickets available at 50% discount. Simply quote the word ‘MAYUKO’ over the phone or online into the promo-code box on the event page before choosing your seats.

For more information about the concert and to book your tickets  click here