Fiona Shaw to Bring THE TESTAMENT OF MARY to Barbican in May; Full 2014 Line-Up Announced
The Barbican today announced a stellar program of events for spring and summer 2014, pushing the boundaries of all major art forms for its diverse audiences. This new program builds on the most successful year ever for the Barbican, with attendances for events at the Centre exceeding 1 million for the first time, an increase of 36% on 2011/12. In this Olympics year, box office receipts also rose 33%, and the Barbican's commercial income increased by 35%.
Following this, the Barbican also had a landmark summer in 2013, with the Beyond Barbican offsite programme reaching 116,000 people in east London, including over 50,000 visitors to Dalston House and around 50,000 attending the Open East Festival in the Olympic Park on the first anniversary of the Games. Research showed that 26% of attendees at Beyond Barbican events had previously low arts attendance, demonstrating the Barbican's ability to attract significant new audiences to the arts.
Also announced today is a major grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to develop an east London and City Culture Partnership. This ambitious new partnership between the Barbican and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and six music education hubs aims to create plans to give every young person in east London the chance to experience the best of musical and cultural education.
Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director, Barbican, said:
"Where else can audiences encounter artists ranging from will.i.am to Fiona Shaw, Jean-Paul Gaultier to Bernard Haitink or Toni Servillo to Wynton Marsalis? The Barbican's commitment to offer world-class arts and learning for all is taken to a new level in this season. It reflects the Barbican's commitment to presenting an outstanding international programme featuring the best artists and performers from across the globe. It also demonstrates the diverse partnerships the Barbican has built, ranging from lasting relationships with leading companies, to supporting the artists of tomorrow. The latest of these partnerships is an ambitious new collaboration that aims to develop plans to give every young person in east London the chance to experience a high quality musical and cultural education. At the Barbican we think this is the right of every child and we're hugely grateful that the Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation has generously supported us to help develop this ambition.
"We're also working with our partners in and around the City of London to transform the area into an exceptional arts and learning destination. The opening of new Barbican cinemas and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama's Milton Court are just two of the exciting recent development of this, alongside the welcome announcement from the City last week, that the area surrounding the Barbican will be given special planning status to allow for street improvements that will improve access and enliven the area to create a more welcoming environment for visitors as Crossrail approaches. The future here has huge potential."
Louise Jeffreys, Director of Arts, Barbican, said:
"The immersive new exhibition at the heart of our spring and summer programme is the latest chapter in the Barbican's rich history of championing pioneering artists across all art forms that use digital technology within their work - a history which takes in Merce Cunningham, Robert Lepage, Ryoji Ikeda, Brian Eno, Complicite and Aphex Twin, as well as the recent phenomenon, Rain Room by Random International. It also reflects the Barbican's increasingly close relationship to the artists, businesses and entrepreneurs of nearby Tech City, which led to the recent Hack the Barbican collaboration between artists and technologists. Our new season follows an extraordinary summer for the Barbican, where we continued to increase our reach in east London with large-scale events that reached huge new audiences for the arts."
Digital Revolution explores and celebrates the transformation of the arts through digital technology since the 1970s. The exhibition brings together for the first time a range of artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers pushing the boundaries of their fields using digital media. It also looks to the future considering the impact of creative coding, DIY culture, digital communities and the creative possibilities offered by technologies including augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence, wearable technologies and 3D printing.
The exhibition includes new commissions from artists Umbrellium(Usman Haque and Nitipak 'Dot' Samsen); Universal Everything; global music artist and entrepreneur will.i.am; and a collaboration with Google in the form of digital art installations called DevArt, pushing the possibilities of coding as a creative art form, featuring four new gallery commissions, an online inspiration hub and a competition for undiscovered creative coders. It also presents work by Oscar-winning VFX Supervisor Paul Franklin and his team at Double Negative for Christopher Nolan's groundbreaking filmInception; artists and performers including Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin, Fred Deakin & Company, Amon Tobin and Philip Glass and game developers such as Harmonix Music Systems (Dance Central).
Digital Revolution comprises immersive and interactive art worksalongside exhibition-based displays. Usman Haque and Nitipak 'Dot' Samsen from Umbrellium, known for their large-scale mass-participatory outdoor events will produce their first work within a theatre setting. This immersive experience takes over The Pit, filling the space with a series of magical interactive laser sculptures, set within an otherworldly sound environment.Universal Everything, one of the UK's leading media art studios, will produce a piece for the Barbican's Silk Street entrance. Taking digital drawing as its theme, visitors will be able to contribute the work both in the venue and online. Film-maker and artist Chris Milk's major interactive work The Treachery of Sanctuary is presented for the first time in the UK. This three-screen shadow play installation explores life, death and rebirth through a moving onscreen narrative which visitors can interact with. Also a UK premiere, Electricity Comes from Other Planets by Fred & Company (Fred Deakin) invites people to jam with each other in a playful audio-visual piece that creates new musical arrangements through their movements. A new commission by will.i.am explores the interface between analogue and digital music in a live gallery experience.
Digital Revolution is the most comprehensive presentation of digital creativity ever to be staged in the UK. Digital Revolutiontakes place across the Barbican with ticketed and non-ticketed elements, and will include an offsite commission. It is accompanied by a talks and events programme and a dedicated catalogue.
The exhibition builds on the Barbican's rich history of championing pioneering artists using technology. It is the focus of a series of events presented by the Barbican throughout the spring and summer of 2014 that focuses on artists using digital media. Projects include:
United Visual Artists (UVA): Momentum
Multi-disciplinary art and design studio United Visual Artists have been commissioned to create a new work for The Curve. Coinciding with their 10th anniversary, UVA present Momentum, an installation that combines light, sound and movement. Drawing on physics and digital technology, UVA are turning The Curve into a spatial instrument, installing a sequence of pendulum-like elements throughout the 90 metre long gallery to create an evolving composition of light and sound. The pendulums - sometimes moving in unexpected ways - project shadows and planes of light across the six metre-high walls and curved floor of the space. Visitors are invited to explore the room at their own pace, and their movement through the gallery shapes their individual experience. UVA are an art and design practice based in London, creating work that lies at the intersections of sculpture, architecture, live performance and installation.
Tim & Barry: Just Jam
For the past three years, online music channel Just Jam has been celebrating the current thriving electronic music scene, showcasing cutting edge talents of the UK's underground Bass, House and Grime scenes. Tim & Barry, the photographers and film-makers behind Just Jam, will curate an evening of live performance, video and audience participation with the musicians and performers who have built and solidified Just Jam's reputation, including Loefah, Chunky, Big Narstie, Newham Generals, Kurupt FM, Marawa the Amazing, and more to be announced. Influenced by cult music TV shows like The Word andDance Energy, Just Jam's joy in the chaotic and improvised will ensure an unpredictable evening.
We Create: technology for self-expression
In March 2014 the Barbican Weekender returns to explore image and identity through arts and technology. This theme is explored with a host of digital tools and activities including 3D printing withBlack County Atelier, mixing tunes with Music Jelly and the physics meets dance installation Dance Spectroscopy. From music and art, to dance and fashion the free, two-day event offers workshops and games for all ages.
Charleroi Danses: Kiss & Cry
Alone on a station platform, a woman recalls her great, lost loves. Her memories take shape in a miniature world where toys, figurines and everyday objects have the power to delight.
Scaled-down sets provide the backdrop for a duo of dancing hands that flirt and intertwine, becoming tender characters in their own right. This innovative and poetic performance from prizewinning filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey uses digital technology and captures the most minimalist expressions of emotion and intimacy. Caught on camera by a bustling film crew with sound effects created by onstage foley artists, the ballet of hands is projected on a panoramic screen, lending dual perspectives to an event in which artistic disciplines collide.
Darren Johnston: Zero Point
Artistic experimentation is given free rein as Darren Johnstontakes up residency for a week in the Theatre. Known for controversial, multifaceted work that blurs the boundaries between dance, theatre and the visual arts, the British choreographer puts his innovative software through its paces. Using motion-sensing technology, it bathes the bodies of dancers with graphic texture and light. Audiences are invited to share the results of his exploration; a kaleidoscope of projections, choreographed performance and electronic soundscape from a piece presented mid-creation.
Historypin: Barking and Dagenham 1914 - 2014
We Are What We Do
A community project focused on an area in Barking and Dagenham in east London, History Pin will gather 100 years of history from 1914 to the present day, resulting in an in-depth online archive and a number of public events in east London. Commissioned by the Barbican and Create London, History Pinwill work with local people and both local and national organisations, inviting participants to contribute pictures, videos, memories and stories of the area via an online space where they can interact and immerse themselves in local history. Community events will also take place around the area including schools, community centres and local spaces, gathering information and using both digital tools and live performance to explore themes including migration, industry and employment, architecture and regeneration. Bringing together people from the community, across all generations, and celebrating the local history, the project aims to provide both a greater understanding of the area and a learning resource for all to enjoy. The project will culminate in August 2014 with a public event. A local space will be transformed into a virtual time machine exploring the contributions of over 5,000 materials and memories from over 2,000 people and organisations. This experience will use digital projection, audio visual presentations and live performance to bring to life the events and stories revealed throughout the project.
The tenth annual international Wikimania conference, produced in association with the Barbican, brings together the worlds of academia, culture, technology experts and enthusiasts and will include a multi-track programme of lectures, discussions, workshops and hackathons over the course of five days.
MAJOR NAMES ON STAGE
Deborah Warner/Fiona Shaw
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín
The Barbican brings The Testament of Mary to London for its only UK performances in May 2014 following its 2013 run on Broadway which achieved three Tony Award nominations. Fiona Shaw and Deborah Warner, one of the most richly creative partnerships in theatrical history, collaborate to create this powerful, subversive and exquisitely emotional work which mesmerised audiences and critics alike. Fiona Shaw delivers a bold and affecting portrayal of the Virgin Mary struggling with the loss of her son and the events leading up to his death. Directed by Barbican Artistic Associate Deborah Warner, The Testament of Mary unfolds with the urgency of a news story framed by dreamlike sets, painterly lighting and evocative sound. Mary, more familiar to us through images than words, is given a powerful voice in this poignant meditation on a mother's loss. The Testament of Mary is adapted from the 2013 Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel by Colm Tóibín.
Colm Tóibín said: "I have admired the work of Fiona Shaw and Deborah Warner for many years. Working with them has been exciting and inspiring, and I have learned a great deal. I am delighted that their production of The Testament of Mary is coming to the Barbican."
Fiona Shaw said: "It's a chance in a life time to play the Virgin Mary and not in a nativity play! This is a most secular piece where a mother is deserted by her son and she in turn deserts him. The playing of this universal mother-son story has in it the spirit not of religion, but of ordinary life - the loss of a child as he grows and leaves and the self-loathing of not being the mother she wanted to be. Mary's anger and despair are all new emotions rarely associated with the woman who was washed clean by church history. And of course it is fiction so the truths are of the imagination not of history. I am delighted to play this at the Barbican where London meets the world."
Deborah Warner said: "The Barbican stage feels a very natural home for The Testament of Mary and it will be wonderful to introduce this work and Fiona's astonishing performance to the London audience. I relish the opportunity to revive work as it always represents, for me, a chance for further exploration."
Inner Voices (Le voci di dentro) by Eduardo De Filippo
Directed by and starring Toni Servillo
The Italian playwright, actor, director, screenwriter, author and poet, Eduardo De Filippo's insightful black comedy Inner Voices (Le voci di dento) highlighted the corruption of human relationships in the aftermath of the Second World War. Confusing a dream with reality, protagonist Alberto accuses the family next door of murder. His mistake triggers a chaotic chain of events. Husband turns against wife, sister against brother, as suspicion and betrayal beset an impoverished Neapolitan neighbourhood. Toni Servillo, star of the hit films The Great Beauty (nominated for a Palme d'Or in 2013), Il Divo (winner of the Prix du Jury at Cannes in 2008) and Gomorrah (winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2008), brings the 20th-century Italian classic to the stage in a razor-sharp reading that transcends time. Directing and playing Alberto, he leads a 14-strong ensemble whose superlative performances are at the heart of this enthralling stage production. Inner Voices is performed in Italian with English surtitles.
It Was the Son (È stato il figlio) + ScreenTalk with Toni Servillo
Toni Servillo also takes part in a ScreenTalk in the Cinema. Debut film director Daniele Cipri's tragicomic It Was the Son tells the story of a family living in a dilapidated, gangster-dominated housing project in Palermo, Sicily. Based on the novel by Robert Alajmo, it stars Toni Servillo as the gesticulating and emotional Nicola who scrapes a living by salvaging scrap metal. A family tragedy leads to good luck and back to catastrophe.
The London Symphony Orchestra in spring 2014
The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, will give the world premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' Symphony No 10, a work for chorus and orchestra, on 2 February at the Barbican. The performance forms the centrepiece of a focus on new music with the LSO in January and February, which also sees a showcase concert for emerging composers from the LSO Soundhub scheme (11 Jan, LSO St Luke's), and the LSO Panufnik Young Composers workshop (7 Feb, LSO St Luke's). The LSO marks Andrzej Panufnik's centenary in 2014 with a concert featuring his work on 5 February at the Barbican, conducted by Michael Francis. With Daniel Harding conducting, the LSO performs the world premiere of Huw Watkins' Flute Concerto on 23 February at the Barbican, commissioned by the orchestra for its Principal Flute Adam Walker, with support from the Borletti Buitoni Trust. All of Scriabin's orchestral works will be featured by Valery Gergiev and the LSO in March and April 2014. The LSO gave the first UK performance of Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy in 1910, and they perform it on 30 March 2014 alongside the composer's First Symphony and Liszt's Piano Concerto No 2 with soloist Denis Matsuev. Scriabin's Second Symphony, and his Prometheus, Poem of Fire are performed alongside Messiaen's L'ascension on 10 April and on 13 April 2014, Daniil Trifonov is soloist in Chopin's Piano Concerto No 2. Messiaen's Les offrandes oubliées and Scriabin's Symphony No 3 The Divine Poem complete the programme.
BBC Symphony Orchestra in spring 2014
The BBC Symphony Orchestra continues its extremely successful series of Total Immersion days; full days of concerts, talks and events in spring 2014. In her 85th year, distinguishEd Scottish composer Thea Musgrave will be celebrated with performances of her chamber and choral works as well as full orchestral scores, conducted by Martyn Brabbins on 15 February. In contrast to Musgrave, on 8 March Brazil's most famous composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos, will get the Total Immersion treatment led by the orchestra's new chief conductor Sakari Oramo.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra residency
Between 30 June - 2 July 2014, the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (JLCO) return to the Barbican for their third international associate residency. Following on from their critically acclaimed visits in 2010 and 2012, the third visit marks a new phasing in the residency which will now become annual and will give audiences the opportunity to experience music performed by some of America's finest jazz musicians in concerts, workshops and masterclasses. The programme in 2014 features a collaborative concert with the Sachal Jazz Ensemble from Pakistan and a concert focusing on the music of Benny Carter and Spike Hughes. The residency also includes a Creative Learning collaboration with local boroughs and jazz musicians of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama to source young players for a new east London big band. Formed of young people who will receive coaching from the JLCO musicians, the new band will perform important repertoire from the jazz canon on the Barbican stage during the residency. After the residency - with support from the Barbican and the east London Music Services - the group will inspire others to explore the genre, creating a legacy from the JLCO's visit.
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam residency
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam's second Barbican residency is conducted by chief conductor Mariss Jansons and takes place from 3-5 April 2014. Jansons conducts the orchestra in Bruckner's Symphonies Nos 4, 7 and 9. Symphony No 4 is paired with Mozart's Violin Concerto in G major (with soloist Frank Peter Zimmermann), Symphony No 7 is paired with Haydn's Cello Concerto in C (with soloist Truls Mørk), and Symphony No 9 is paired with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 1 (with soloist Lars Vogt). The residency also includes open masterclasses, pop-up performances by small chamber ensembles from the orchestra for primary school children in east London, as well as 'the virtual classroom' which links The Players of the orchestra to secondary schools in the UK.
Cheek by Jowl: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore by John Ford and Ubu Roiby Alfred Jarry
Barbican Artistic Associate, Cheek by Jowl, brings back two hits to the Barbican this season. Transposed to a contemporary, visceral setting, John Ford's potent tragedy 'Tis Pity She's a Whore charts an incestuous relationship. Vivid and violent, it examines one of society's last taboos through a brother and sister's descent into hell. Morality, religion and corruption collide, ensuring the Jacobean drama remains as shocking and controversial as it was almost 400 years ago. Renowned for reinvigorating the classics, Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod's company Cheek by Jowl staged this piece at the Barbican in 2012. Alfred Jarry's menacing depiction of a despot, Ubu Roi, was outlawed after its first performance in 1896. Causing outrage with scandalous language and animalistic brutality, its satire showed the worst excesses of greed and abuse of power. Ubu has seized control of a kingdom, abetted by his equally monstrous wife. But an invading army threatens his petty dictatorship. Cheek by Jowl's version is set within the civilised chic of a bourgeois dinner party. Any veneer of respectability soon fades into a hallucinatory parade of the grotesque. Ubu Roi moves to the main stage after a sell out run in the Silk Street Theatre as part of the Barbican'sDancing around Duchamp season in spring 2013. Ubu Roi is performed in French with English surtitles.
For the 2014 festival, LIFT partners with the Barbican to bring visionary director Dmitry Krymov and his Moscow-based collaborators to London for the first time. Provocative international work is also performed in The Pit with daring LIFT shows from celebrated German and US artists:
Dmitry Krymov: Opus No.7
Considered one of Russia's most influential directorial voices, Dmitry Krymov and his collaborators devise visually majestic theatrical experiences. Rarely seen in the UK, his work conjures images of epic proportion from simple materials. Seated up close and personal on the stage, audiences enter a world of transformation where objects, sounds and people can change in the blink of an eye. Depicting the oppression of Soviet Jews followed by the censorship of Shostakovich under Stalin, Opus No.7 sees larger-than-life puppets, duelling pianos, living walls and blizzards of newsprint form part of a genre-defying double bill. Performed in Russian with English surtitles.
She She Pop (and their fathers): Testament
Jewellery, legal succession, family trees, care for the elderly, gas receipts... just a few of the topics that come to the fore when fathers and daughters lay their relationships bare. Taking to the stage with their real dads, the award-winning German performance collective She She Pop shines a spotlight on the absurdly complex dynamics between generations. Shakespeare's King Lear serves as a backdrop, ingeniously propelling the dialogue of an audacious show in which the modern realities of ageing, inheritance and parenthood are confronted head-on. It integrates filming, personal testimony, big band covers, Shakespearean readings and light-hearted dance. Testament is performed in German with English surtitles.
Young Jean Lee: The Shipment
Young Jean Lee is one of New York's most adventurous downtown playwrights. She began by setting herself the most uncomfortable challenge she could imagine: to make, as a Korean-American playwright, a work about African-American identity and politics. Developed in collaboration with an all-black cast, this biting satire invites audiences on a rollercoaster ride through the assumptions, clichés and distortions that arise when exploring the experience of African-Americans today. Cultural caricatures, from a foul-mouthed comedian to a drug dealer-turned-rapper superstar, are parodied in a series of variety numbers reminiscent of a minstrel show.
English National Ballet: Choreographics
English National Ballet invites five company members to take the choreographic lead for a showcase that places emerging talent centre stage. Charged with devising new work in response to the Great War, the aspiring choreographers collaborate with five composers, setting their pieces to original music. Under the direction of Associate Artist George Williamson, the event also provides a platform from which young dancers shine, including the current winner of English National Ballet School's prestigious Choreographic Competition. English National Ballet's second programme marking the centenary of the First World War at the Barbican follows Lest We Forget in the Theatre in April.
Royal Shakespeare Company: Henry IV, Parts I & II and three Live from Stratford-upon-Avon screenings in Barbican Cinema
Continuing the three-year collaboration with the RSC, Henry IV, Parts I & II will be performed in the Theatre in 2014, following their premieres in Stratford-upon-Avon and subsequent UK tour. The productions will be directed by Gregory Doran, who continues his exploration of Shakespeare's history plays. RSC Associate Artist,Antony Sher, returns to the RSC to play the infamous knight Falstaff, Alex Hassell also returns as Prince Hal, with Jasper Britton playing the part of Henry IV. In the Cinema, the Barbican presents three Live from Stratford-upon- Avon transmissions of RSC productions direct from the stage at Stratford. Henry IV Part I(May) Henry IV Part II (June) and The Two Gentlemen of Verona(September) - the first time in 45 years that The Two Gentlemen of Verona has been performed in full production on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage.
INNOVATIVE FILM PROJECTS
The Film World of Jean Paul Gaultier
Complementing The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalkin the Art Gallery, the Barbican presents a film season curated by the celebrated French couturier. Jean Paul Gaultier's selection includes films in which he worked as costume designer, from early titles such as Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989) to his extensive collaboration with Pedro Almodóvar in films such as Kika (1993),Bad Education (2004) and The Skin I Live In (2011). The season also includes films which have inspired and influenced Gaultier's life and work, such as Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire(1951), Jacques Becker's Falbalas (1945), Robert Hamer's Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Stephen Frears' My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and Federico Fellini's La Strada (1954) andSatyricon (1969). The programme will be crowned with a ScreenTalk with Jean Paul Gaultier when he will formally open the season.
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk , the first major exhibition devoted to Jean Paul Gaultier opens in the Art Gallery on 9 April 2014. This dynamic installation of more than 140 cutting-edge couture and ready-to-wear garments explores Gaultier's fashion world, from his witty and boundary-pushing designs to his ceaseless interest in society, identity and a beauty borne of difference. The exhibition includes costumes for film and performance including iconic pieces such as the conical bra and corsets Madonna wore during her 1990Blond Ambition World Tour, stage costumes designed for Kylie Minogue as well as pieces created for the films of Pedro Almodóvar and Luc Besson's The Fifth Element. The exhibition also features a wealth of photography by collaborators such as Miles Aldridge, Richard Avedon, David LaChapelle, Pierre et Gilles, Herb Ritts, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol, as well as footage of catwalk presentations, concerts, music videos, films, dance performances and Gaultier's cult television show, Eurotrash. Tickets for the show have just gone on sale.
Blow The Bloody Doors Off
Music by Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, John Barry and Roy Budd from Michael Caine's classic films
Blow The Bloody Doors Off is a celebration of the music featured in the films which cemented Michael Caine's reputation as iconic movie star. The four films singled out for concert performances here are classics featuring the music of great musicians -Alfie(Sonny Rollins), The Ipcress File (John Barry), The Italian Job(Quincy Jones) and Get Carter (Roy Budd). These composers represent the best of British and American music of the time. Musical director Terry Edwards (whose recent Barbican performances include Beck: Song Reader Live and Big Star's Third) has assembled a crack team of versatile musicians from places as far-flung as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Polar Bear and Madness. The evening places the music centre stage, intercut with excerpts from the films.
The Miners' Hymns
The former coal mining communities in North East England are the subject of The Miners' Hymns, a film by American artist-filmmaker Bill Morrison. The silent film screening in the Hall on 9 March 2014 includes a live performance of the original score by the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Using rarely-seen footage from the BFI, the BBC, and other archives, The Miners' Hymnscelebrates the social, cultural, and political aspects of the mining industry. Focusing on the Durham coalfield, it depicts the hardship of pit work, increasing mechanisation, the role of trade unions in organising and fighting for workers' rights, and their annual Miners' Gala in Durham. Jóhann Jóhannsson's score for the film draws upon the brass music tradition that was so intertwined with the mining communities. Each colliery had its own brass band, comprised of miners, which played at social and union events. Performed live alongside the film by an 18-piece brass ensemble and a string quartet, the score adds an emotional and at times visceral impact to the imagery. As part of his visit, Jóhann Jóhannsson will also collaborate with the Barbican's Creative Learning division who will later explore the work with primary school students in east London, introducing the music and the history of the work to over 200 young people aged 7-12 years.
New film programmes: Who's Afraid of... and Cinema in Depth
Starting in April 2014 the Barbican introduces two new strands to the cinema programme. Who's Afraid of... is a provocative bi-monthly series, providing a spotlight for debate and the revisiting of essential film classics and contemporary work. Always fearlessly themed, the first installments will feature controversial German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and the French Situationist theorist whose work became a foundation stone of psychogeography and urban wandering, Guy Debord. Cinema in Depth is a new monthly thematic programming strand looking at film in a deeper context. The subjects covered relate to the world of cinema - and beyond. Upcoming themes include Desperate Housewives, Gumshoe America, The Paris You Don't Know andCinema's Baddest Girl Gangs. The series will feature films from the classic, mainstream and avant-garde of European, American and world cinema, as well as contemporary films not in UK distribution. All screenings will take place on Saturday/Sunday matinees in the Barbican Cinemas on Beech Street.
Birtwistle at 80
2014 marks the 80th birthday of Sir Harrison Birtwistle, a leading voice in British music. The Barbican celebrates the composer in May 2014 with five concerts that offer an opportunity to hear some of his greatest music ranging from major orchestral works to opera and chamber music. On 16 May, the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins gives a semi-staged concert performance of Gawain, Birtwistle's magnificent opera based on the Arthurian story Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The part of the Green Knight was modelled on the range of Wagner's Wotan and will be sung by Sir John Tomlinson in this rare opportunity to hear Birtwistle's modern classic in a concert staging by John Lloyd Davies. The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Principal Guest Conductor Daniel Harding, performs Birtwistle's Earth Dances which takes its title and structure from a geological metaphor. On 25 May, Oliver Knussen conducts the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in an all-Birtwistle concert at Milton Court Concert Hall. Britten Sinfonia is conducted by Baldur Brönnimann in two performances of a semi-staged concert performance of Birtwistle's chamber opera Yan Tan Tethera, which takes its title from a traditional sheep counting rhyme. Finally there will be a typically stimulating concert which probes pastoral influences in the music of Birtwistle, Vaughan Williams and Holst. A BBC SO Plus Birtwistle Study Afternoonexploring his music on 25 May complements the concert offering in the series.
Bernard Haitink at 85
2013/14 is the 60th season of Bernard Haitink's conducting career, which he began with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in his native Holland. Bernard Haitink will also turn 85 in this season and his birthday will be marked at the Barbican by two performances with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe on 5 and 7 June 2014. Haitink conducts the orchestra in works by composers with which he has had a personal affinity throughout his long career: Beethoven's Symphony No 6 - Pastoral; Berg's Violin Concerto (with soloist Isabelle Faust), Schumann's Manfred Overture, Mozart's Symphony No 40, Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major (with soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet), and Ravel's Suite Le tombeau de Couperin.
Marathon weekend celebrating Nonesuch Records at 50
Following previous May weekends dedicated to the influence of Steve Reich (2011) and curated by Nico Muhly (2013), the Barbican's marathon weekend in 2014 celebrates Nonesuch Records - one of the most respected, innovative and diverse record companies around - in their 50th anniversary year (17 and 18 May 2014). The curated weekend of events includes six concerts taking place in LSO St Luke's, Guildhall School's new Milton Court (daytime sessions) and the Barbican Hall (evening sessions) and features the BBC Concert Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Kronos Quartet, pianist Timo Andres and music by Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Brad Mehldau, John Adams, George Crumb, Henryk Górecki, Jonny Greenwood and more. The marathon weekend is part of a wider Nonesuch celebration at the Barbican which will include further one-off concerts and collaborations throughout May 2014, featuring a breadth of artists associated with the label and in the spirit of it. Nonesuch Records was founded as a budget classical label in 1964 by Jac Holzman, head of the then-independent Elektra Records, and it has grown over the last nearly five decades to pursue a broad mission, including classical music, contemporary music, jazz, traditional American and world music, popular and alternative music, music theatre and dance. There will also be a Creative Learning programme including `the virtual classroom' which links the artists with secondary school students, performances in primary schools to introduce students to music released on Nonesuch, as well as work with emerging young musicians and Nonesuch artists to inspire a future generation of music makers.
BEYOND OUR WALLS
East London and City Culture Partnership
The Barbican Centre Trust has been awarded a major grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to establish an East London and City Culture Partnership, a new partnership with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama together with six music education hubs in east London. This ambitious partnership aims to develop plans to give every young person in east London the chance to experience the best musical and cultural education. The eight partners will work together to address the following areas: entitlement - giving every young person opportunities to experience the arts; progression - giving every young person the chance to develop their creative and technical skills as far as they can; professional development - ensuring the arts and education workforce have the skills and tools to provide the best possible experience to young people.
The partners will combine the local knowledge and expertise of the music and cultural education hubs with the Barbican and Guildhall School's world class arts and learning programme. This will include creating new projects and initiatives that deliver high quality, inspiring learning opportunities for all young people across eight east London boroughs and the City of London. The partnership also aims to ensure opportunities are delivered strategically where they are most needed, and where they will have the broadest and deepest impact. The project's impact will be shared widely in order to support all arts and education organisations in their efforts to achieve the shared goal of strengthening cultural provision for all children and young people in England.
Developing a cultural hub in the heart of the City of London
The Barbican is working with partners in and around the City of London to transform the area into an exceptional arts and learning destination. With the Barbican, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Museum of London at its core, the growing cultural hub around the Barbican area offers a richly varied range of venues and performance spaces - the Barbican Cinemas and Guildhall School's Milton Court the newest additions. Situated between the dynamic areas of Tech City, Whitecross Street, Clerkenwell and east London it is at the heart of new urban development, supported by the arrival of two new Crossrail stations in 2018. The Centre welcomes the recent announcement from the City of London that the area surrounding the Barbican will be given special planning status to allow for street improvements that will improve access and enliven the area to create a more welcoming environment for visitors.