2019/20 London Concert Season
Welcome to our 2019/20 season at Southbank Centre. We have another fine array of concerts for you to enjoy.
We begin the season with the second part of Isle of Noises, our exploration of landmark classics inspired by the British Isles. Other early season highlights include a performance of Mahlers mighty Resurrection Symphony, Verdi's glorious Requiem, and celebrated soprano Diana Damrau performing a selection of her favourite Strauss songs.
During the second half of the season, we present the first part of a new strand of concerts entitled 2020 Vision, and we celebrate Beethoven's 250th anniversary with some of his great masterpieces.
Do join us to experience the wonder of orchestral music.
Download the full brochure or visit our events pages to search for specific composers or soloists.
September 2019 - May 2020
Jurowski's Tchaikovsky | 27 September 2019
The season kicks off with Tchaikovsky’s blazing, autobiographical final symphony, alongside a homage to a great friend, the late Oliver Knussen, and Britten’s powerful Violin Concerto with Julia Fischer.
To the summit | 2 October 2019
Waterfalls, glaciers and an ear-splitting storm – experience Strauss’s vast hymn to nature, alongside Elgar’s profoundly romantic Violin Concerto, performed by Nicola Benedetti.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason plays Elgar | 5 October 2019
Join us as Susanna Mälkki conducts two Sibelius masterpieces – his warmest tone-poem, The Oceanides, and his gentlest Symphony No. 6, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year, performs Elgar’s much-loved Cello Concerto.
The Inextinguishable | 9 October 2019
‘Music is life, and like it, inextinguishable’. Edward Gardner conducts Nielsen’s depiction of the struggle of life itself (Symphony No. 4) alongside Bartók’s fiery Dance Suite and Walton’s Violin Concerto with James Ehnes.
Verdi's Requiem | 12 October 2019
Drums thunder, trumpets blast and a massed chorus cries out in terror. Verdi brings his dramatic power to bear on a story of tragedy, redemption, and the end of time. The result is one of the mightiest of all choral masterpieces in the repertoire.
The Resurrection | 19 October 2019
Mahler’s choice to tackle the subject of life itself may have indicated hubris, but the work he composed put any doubt to rest and gave us one of the grandest and breathtaking symphonies to date. From a funeral march to a world reborn; not a concert to miss.
Holst's The Planets | 23 October 2019
The celestial sounds of Holst’s The Planets are endlessly iconic. It takes an imposing figure to take on such an astronomically grand work; Thomas Adès conducts alongside premiering his new Piano Concerto in the UK with Kirill Gerstein. Experience musical history as it’s made.
The Apostles | 26 October 2019
As close as Elgar ever came to writing an opera, The Apostles delivers the story of early Christianity as a trilogy of stunning choral works, rich with heartfelt emotion. Who better to aid in the telling of this piece than Mark Elder?
A celebration of British cinema | 1 November 2019
British cinema has a long history of producing unforgettable films; and beyond that unforgettable scores. In this concert, film music maestro Anthony Weeden introduces a century of British music from the moving picture. You’ll never hear them played with more energy or flair.
Knights and angels | 6 November 2019
Escape to worlds of chivalry and castles, with Lawrence Renes conducting Strauss’s Don Juan and Elgar’s Froissart, as well as Juliette Bausor performing with Xavier de Maistre in Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto.
Belshazzar's Feast | 9 November 2019
Definitely not your average oratorio: big, brassy and shamelessly pagan - Belshazzar’s Feast pulls no punches. Hear what caused the scandal, along with Elgar’s Enigma Variations, masterfully conducted by Marin Alsop.
Damrau sings Strauss | 13 November 2019
Few living singers understand Strauss like Diana Damrau, whose performances of Richard Strauss’s orchestral Lieder are applauded for her interpretation. Mahler’s Fifth Symphony follows for expressive sound-worlds of despair and ecstatic joy.
Visions of England | 7 December 2019
Vaughan Williams sheds his respectable reputation to focus on the macabre, in a deliciously devilish ballet conducted by Andrew Manze (noted Vaughan-Williams scholar). Don’t miss this departure from the expected.
Revolution in the head | 11 December 2019
The immediacy of a film score but charged with massive symphonic power - Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 depicts a Russia on the brink of revolution. This is balanced with the breathtaking Dynamic Triptych by Foulds - the greatest 20th century piano concerto you’ve never heard.
Ravi Shankar's Sukanya | 15 January 2020
The late, great Ravi Shankar’s only opera won universal critical acclaim for premiere performances in 2017. Now the semi-staged production returns for a mythical dive into a rich tapestry of myth.
Fauré's Requiem | 18 January 2020
Passionate melodies and musical adoration have captivated audiences since the late 1800s, but the emotional impact Fauré’s Requiem has is no less potent today as 200 years ago. Poulenc follows with two 20th-Century masterpieces whose flippant image masked a profound religious faith.
Siegfried | 1 February 2020
Part three of the Orchestra’s journey through Wagner’s colossal Ring Cycle reaches into the sunniest part of the saga. Growing up deep in the forest, the orphan Siegfried has never known fear - but that’s all about to change ...
New century, new sounds | 8 February 2020
Join us for the debut concert in our 2020 Vision festival, as Vladimir Jurowski celebrates Beethoven’s birthday the way he would have wanted: a conversation between the past, the present and the future of music - as well as Beethoven’s First Symphony, of course!
Valentine in Paris | 14 February 2020
The city of romance visits the Royal Festival Hall for this perfect Valentine’s Day treat. Snuggle up with your partner (or a box of chocolates!) and listen to some of the greatest music written in, or inspired by, the City of Lights. Humperdinck; Ravel; Saint-Saëns - j’adore!
Three adventures | 19 February 2020
Beethoven and Sibelius’ Second Symphonies - arguably some of the 19th and 20th Centuries’ greatest symphonic triumphs - are accompanied by Petrenko and Josefowicz’s colourful performance of Knussen’s 2002 Violin Concerto.
Fantasy and revolution | 22 February 2020
A mainstay in any list of best symphonies, Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ threatens to overshadow any piece programmed with it. Widmann’s haunting Lied for Orchestra undoubtedly doesn’t allow that to happen, with Ravel’s escapist fantasy Shéhérazade completing the programme.
New visions | 26 February 2020
The late Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Book of Visions brings enchanting warmth to warm this late February concert, with the dreams of summer lingering in the air and music alike. Sergej Krylov champions Spohr in a show-stopping performance of his Violin Concerto No. 2.
Poetry and belief | 28 February 2020
Revolutions need not be noisy. Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto may not start loud, presenting an enigma that Osmo Vänskä and Jeremy Denk relish in teasing an audience with. A concert of music that - as Beethoven once put it - comes from the heart and goes straight to the heart.
Igudesman and Joo | 4 March 2020
Dynamic duo Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo bring their uncompromising charisma and creativity to the Southbank stage. Featuring some of your favourite famous classics, this laugh-until-you-cry extravaganza is not to be missed!
Mutter plays Beethoven | 11 March 2020
Anne-Sophie Mutter is joined by Khatia Buniatishvili and Pablo Ferrández for a world-class performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, before Mahler’s ‘Titan’ Symphony shakes Royal Festival Hall.
The new Bacchus | 25 March 2020
Harnessing the electrifying energy of two symphonies by Scriabin and Beethoven, Omer Meir Wellber is joined by cellist Johannes Moser for Saariaho’s ravishing Notes on Light.
Anne-Sophie Mutter and friends | 26 March 2020
Join us at Queen Elizabeth Hall as Mutter returns for her second concert of the season, framing the UK premiere of a new work by Jörg Widmann with Beethoven’s playful String Trio No. 1 and kaleidoscopic ‘Harp’ Quartet of 1809.
Beethoven's Fifth | 28 March 2020
The four notes that were heard around the world: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5’s opening is immediately recognisable and precedes a non-stop race to glory. Edward Gardner conducts another illuminating 2020 Vision concert, accompanying Sally Matthews for Dutilleux’s meditation on transience and love.
Landscape and memory | 1 April 2020
A symphony whose storms, bird-calls and hymns conceal eternal truths behind serenity - Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony brings to a close a concert opened by the perennial question of existence in Ives’s The Unanswered Question and an Adès’s adaption of the Book of Genesis in a piano concerto.
The undiscovered Beethoven | 4 April 2020
Truly Beethoven at his most radical and visionary, Jurowski conducts a selection of lesser-known works, including his Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II - a startlingly powerful meditation on mortality and enlightenment.
The Everest of piano concertos | 8 April 2020
Commended for his interpretation of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Nikolai Lugansky performs alongside Wigglesworth’s 2009 modern classic and a fiery 1809 rediscovery - Méhul’s Symphony No. 1.
Jurowski conducts Mahler | 17 April 2020
Two symphonies brimming with irrepressible life, with Jurowski acting as a guide through two of Mahler and Haydn’s most poignant, powerful and heartbreakingly sincere works - don’t miss out.
Crossing cultures | 22 April 2020
A concert of genre-defying musical creativity, Anoushka Shankar returns to reprise her solo part in her father's Symphony, alongside Philip Glass’s balletic Double Concerto and self-descriptive Stomp by John Corigliano.
Glagolitic Mass | 25 April 2020
A celebration for the whole of creation, Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass harnesses the elemental power of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir to its full capacity alongside works by Sibelius and Lutosławski.
Raising the roof | 29 April 2020
James McVinnie joins us in a celebration of the King of Instruments - the Organ - performing powerful and electrifying works by Saint-Saëns and Nico Muhly.
Levit plays Busoni | 1 May 2020
Join us as Igor Levit performs the colossal Piano Concerto by Ferruccio Busoni in an extraordinary concert conducted by Antonio Pappano, with his usual sense of drama.
Epic romance | 27 May 2020
Invoking the vast landscapes of Scandinavia and Russia, Ray Chen and Klaus Mäkelä breathe life into the works of Sibelius and Rachmaninoff: a fitting ending to our season.