Listen to the BBC Concert Orchestra’s podcast, exploring two extreme states; EXSTATICA & H7STERIA

Presenter Christopher Cook introduces the BBC Concert Orchestra’s two concerts exploring extreme emotional states; EXSTATICA & H7STERIA

Experience EXSTATICA on Monday 19 November, 7.30pm at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall when the BBC Concert orchestra explores ecstatic states in music from incandescent bliss to pure, un-paralleled lust.

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And on Monday 3 December, 7.30pm, the BBC Concert Orchestra return to Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall to delve into the depths of the human psyche playing with fear, anxiety, disturbance and madness, in H7STERIA.

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Listen to the International Piano Series podcast with Alice Sara Ott

The young German pianist Alice Sara Ott talks from Japan (via Skype) about Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, her sense of home, and the Rubix cube.

You can hear Alice Sara Ott in her Royal Festival Hall debut performance on Tuesday 12 February 2013, as part of the International Piano Series.

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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. 


Watch Alice Sara Ott perform Pictures at an Exhibition

You can see Alice Sara Ott perform Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ at Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday 12 February, 7.30pm.

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‘Patri Satish Kumar mesmerised listeners with his rhythmic excellence’ (The Hindu)

Patri Satish Kumar is a Carnatic musician and mridangam player, whose performances have given him great recognition all over the world. He has toured extensively with many high profile Indian musicians, and carved a place for himself as one of the leading mridangists of our time.

Have a listen to Tani Avartanam by Patri Satish Kumar from a concert on 28 February 2010 at the Panchanatheeswara Temple Mandapam, Thiruvaiyaru, as part of the Prakriti Foundation’s annual, Festival of Sacred Music.

Hear Patri Satish Kumar at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday 30 November as part of the Undiscovered India series. Get tickets here. 

Speed-date the OAE

The next event in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s captivating The Works series takes place tonight. The Orchestra’s leader Margaret Faultless, and principal horn player Roger Montgomery, will navigate Mozart’s Symphony no.36 (Linz) and Horn Concert no.4, providing a step-by-step guide to these pieces.


Speed-date the OAE!

Got a burning question for a bassoonist? Dying to find out more about the double bass? Have a chat with a horn player at the OAE’s ‘Speed-Date the Orchestra’ where members of the orchestra will be waiting on stage to answer your musical queries. Just choose who you want to speak to first, and when that bell chimes, get chatting. You have until the event ends at 10pm to talk to as many musicians as you wish!

For a list of which players will be at your musical disposal, see the OAE’s blog.

Five questions with composer Juliana Hodkinson

Juliana Hodkinson’s Stills is featuring in the London Sinonfietta’s forthcoming one day festival New Music Show 3 on Sunday 2 December at Southbank Centre. Find out more about Juliana and her work below.

What was the first recording you bought?
A tape cassette of Sibelius’ Lemminkäinen Legends and Swan of Tuonela – after hearing the Legends in Mrs. Parsons’ school music lesson.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background? How did you start in composing?
Originally, I guess it was a desire for more pocket money. There was a competition where you could win £50. I think I got second prize, which must have been £25. My violin teacher and his wife played in my piece, for piano and string quartet. Devon County Council ran residential youth-orchestra courses where composition was one of the afternoon activities, so I got my first taste there. The council also employed a composer-in-residence, Christopher Williams, who gave me lessons and pointed me towards Renaissance madrigals, Balinese music and contemporary music. I would never have formulated the idea of composing music if it had not been for these local frameworks, which gave me the opportunity to work with professional musicians on my ideas and get professional feedback, criticism and encouragement.

Who or what inspires you?
That’s an endless list, because it’s always changing. Working together with musicians is a key source of inspiration for each piece in the development process. And the work of other artists; works in other media often provide me with metaphors for compositional concepts or processes that I can then put into sound. I’ve spent the last 14 years chewing over two video pieces I saw in Belgium by David Claerbout. But Varèse’ Ionisation repeatedly packs an immediate punch.

If you could pick a favourite project or personal career highlight to date, what would it be?
That would be All the time, an instrumental theatre production I developed in 2001. It was an extreme meeting between the most reduced artistic material I had ever worked with before, and the most extensive/intensive rehearsal and production process. Together with 4 musicians and a theatre production crew, we spent weeks putting soooo much effort into lighting matches, dropping feathers, splitting near-silent tones, unpacking a clavichord in the dark, tuning, tuning and re-tuning ancient instruments… I was exhausted, I had never spent so many hours in a black-box space before, and my music was getting quieter and more sparse, day by day. By the time the journalists came to interview me for the pre-show PR, I hardly had a score left to put on the coffee-table. It was a low point and a high point at the same time. The delicate and pain-staking production of All the time was the moment I learnt how much artifice and rehearsal is required for the simplest expressions, and how rewarding it is to bring the integration of sound and light under control in the same gesture. The next main production I did after that was a huge, loud orchestral electro-acoustic video extravaganza …

 And finally, name your 3 most listened to pieces of music at the moment…
1. Deep Purple’s Smoke on the water (coming from my son’s bedroom)

2. Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf (a musical toy that hangs over my daughter’s cot)

3. And everything in between: all kinds of radical contemporary music and sound art that I’m researching for my curatorship of Spor Festival in Denmark next May – so I can’t tell you about it, as we want the programme to be A Surprise.

You can hear Juliana Hodkinson’s Stills performed by the London Sinfonietta alongside music by John Cage & Andrew Hamilton on Sunday 2 December, 4.30pm at the Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

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