A Place to Call Home

The music of exile and belonging

What do we mean by ‘home’? A safe haven behind carefully-guarded walls? Or can it mean something broader – a culture, a place, a time or simply a feeling of belonging? And what is the meaning of home to people who have experienced exile, displacement, homelessness or despair? For an artist, a sense of home can be central to finding an individual voice – to the stories they tell, and the language in which they tell them. 

Music is no exception, and throughout our 2022/23 season the LPO and its guests will be exploring these questions and re-telling these stories – whether Dvořák, Smetana and Janáček wrestling a new and often joyful national voice out of the political and cultural ferment of 19th- and early 20th-century Central Europe, or an outsider like Elgar, expressing inner doubts in the midst of national celebration. Other composers faced crueller choices. Rachmaninoff’s piano concertos became a financial lifeline for a composer who lost everything except his genius when he fled Communist Russia. For Erich Korngold, writing music for Hollywood was literally a matter of life or death – an American visa was all that stood between his family and murder at the hands of the Nazis. 

The music of Bartók, Prokofiev and Hindemith echoes the tensions between new homes and old – between hope and despair – that shaped so much of 20th-century life and art. Few major composers were unaffected by that experience: Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time focuses on one particular 20th-century injustice, ‘Kristallnacht’, but draws its power from the African-American choral tradition, as well as Tippett’s own experiences of alienation as a gay man and a pacifist. Henri Dutilleux meditates on the words of Russian dissidents; an experience of inner exile that would have been familiar to Galina Ustvolskaya, who compared artistic life under Soviet rule to working ‘in a black hole’. 

And the story hasn’t ended, as wars, political instability, racial tension and economic suffering continue to force refugees across the globe to seek what might – or might not – be a better life. 21st-century music exists at a crossroads between ethnicities, traditions and identities, and although it has some tragic stories to tell, that intersection is also a place of tolerance, creativity and hope. We’ll be hearing from composers who’ve created a musical home that reflects their own identity and experience: the Syrian soul of Kinan Azmeh’s new Clarinet Concerto, Vijay Iyer’s cross-cultural visions, and Brett Dean’s powerful reckoning with Australia’s past. 

We’ll hear George Walker, Douglas J Cuomo and Derrick Skye all speaking honestly (and hopefully) about their dreams for America. And we’ll give the UK premiere of Heiner Goebbels’s A House of Call – a major, genre-defying new work that dismantles the traditional borders between performers and audience, drawing upon voices from across Europe and Asia to create a place where diversity, imagination, tradition and innovation can come together to form a new kind of harmony. A place, perhaps, to call home.

Wed 28 Sep | Exiles and Dreamers

Tchaikovsky - Romeo and Juliet (Fantasy Overture)
Dutilleux - Correspondances
Walker - Lilacs
Dvořák - Symphony No. 7

Edward Gardner - conductor
Jennifer France - soprano

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Sat 1 Oct | Grand Passions, High Ideals

Wagner - Overture, Tannhäuser
Vijay Iyer - Human Archipelago (world premiere)
Mendelssohn - Symphony No. 5 (Reformation)

Edward Gardner - conductor
Inbal Segev - cello

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Wed 26 Oct | Visions of England

Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Tom Coult - Violin Concerto: ‘Pleasure Garden’ (London premiere)
Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending
Vaughan Williams - Symphony No. 9

Andrew Manze conductor
Daniel Pioro violin

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Sat 29 Oct | Twilight in Vienna

J Strauss II - Overture, Die Fledermaus
Korngold - Violin Concerto
Korngold - Märchenbilder
R Strauss - Der Rosenkavalier Suite

Andrés Orozco-Estrada - conductor
Arabella Steinbacher - violin

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Wed 2 Nov | American Dreams

Copland - Appalachian Spring
Douglas J Cuomo - Saxophone Concerto: ‘a raft, the sky, the wild sea’ (UK premiere)
Derrick Skye - Prisms, Cycles, Leaps
Bernstein - Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Joshua Weilerstein - conductor
Joe Lovano - saxophone

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Fri 4 Nov | Randall Goosby plays Bruch

Chen Yi - Momentum
Bruch - Violin Concerto No. 1
Brahms - Symphony No. 3

Alpesh Chauhan - conductor
Randall Goosby - violin

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Wed 9 Nov | Sounding a Century

Lutosławski - Symphony No. 4
Agata Zubel - Piano Concerto
(world premiere)
Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring

Edward Gardner - conductor
Tomoko Mukaiyama - piano

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Sat 26 Nov | A Child of Our Time

Vaughan Williams - Serenade to Music
Tippett - A Child of Our Time

Edward Gardner - conductor
Nadine Benjamin - soprano
Sarah Connolly - mezzo-soprano
Kenneth Tarver - tenor
Roderick Williams - baritone
London Philharmonic Choir
London Adventist Chorale
Soloists of the Royal College of Music

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Wed 18 Jan | Rachmaninoff’s First

Brett Dean Amphitheatre
Kinan Azmeh Clarinet Concerto
(UK premiere)
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 1

Enrique Mazzola conductor
Kinan Azmeh clarinet

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Sun 22 Jan | Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion

Tan Dun - Buddha Passion (UK premiere)

Tan Dun - conductor
Sen Guo - soprano
Huiling Zhu - mezzo-soprano
Kang Wang - tenor
Shenyang - bass-baritone
London Philharmonic Choir
London Chinese Philharmonic Choir

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Wed 25 Jan | Three Britons

Coleridge-Taylor - Solemn Prelude (London premiere)
Tippett - Piano Concerto
Elgar - Symphony No. 1

Edward Gardner - conductor
Steven Osborne - piano

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Fri 10 Feb | My Homeland

Glinka - Overture, Ruslan and Ludmilla
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 2
Smetana - Má Vlast (movements 1–4)

Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider - conductor
Kirill Gerstein - piano

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Sat 4 Mar | Gardner conducts Rachmaninoff

George Benjamin - Sudden Time
Grieg - Piano Concerto
Rachmaninoff - Symphonic Dances

Edward Gardner - conductor
Leif Ove Andsnes - piano

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Sat 18 Mar | Tears and Laughter

Victoria Vita Polevá - Nova (world premiere)
Elena Langer - The Dong with a Luminous Nose (world premiere)
Shostakovich - Symphony No. 5

Andrey Boreyko - conductor
Kristina Blaumane - cello
London Philharmonic Choir

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Sat 25 Mar | A House of Call

Heiner Goebbels - A House of Call (UK premiere)

Vimbayi Kaziboni - conductor

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Fri 31 Mar | Heroes and Heroines

Tania León - Stride (UK premiere)
Mendelssohn - Piano Concerto No. 1
Sibelius - Lemminkäinen Suite

Dima Slobodeniouk - conductor
Beatrice Rana - piano

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Wed 19 Apr | War and Peace

Ustvolskaya - Symphonic Poem No. 1
Hindemith - Violin Concerto
Prokofiev - Symphony No. 6

Vladimir Jurowski - conductor
Gil Shaham - violin

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Sat 6 May | Hymn of the Forests

Dvořák- Four Slavonic Dances
Bartók - Violin Concerto No. 1
Janáček - Glagolitic Mass

Edward Gardner - conductor
Alina Ibragimova - violin
Sara Jakubiak - soprano
Madeleine Shaw - mezzo-soprano
Toby Spence - tenor
Matthew Rose - bass
Catherine Edwards - organ
London Philharmonic Choir

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