Our programme


People enjoying a contemporary music gig

Cutting across all forms of music including work by contemporary musicians, experimental collaborations and leading orchestras and soloists from around the world.

We collaborate with the world’s best orchestras – our Resident Orchestra the London Symphony Orchestra and our family of associates: Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia; International Associates Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam. We also have a special relationship with our Associate Producer, Serious.

We invest in the artists of today and tomorrow through the commissioning of new work, showcasing young and emerging talent and through our partnership with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.


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Photo of Nils Frahm performing at the Barbican

Listen: Barbican Recommends

Not sure what to listen to? Every month we update our Barbican Recommends Spotify playlist with what we've been listening to in the office. Expect everything from Actress and Arcade Fire to Kamasi Washington and Omar Souleyman. 

Collection: Classical Music

From world-class international orchestras and ensembles, top soloists and musicians to innovative young talents, discover exclusive content from our classical programme and creative learning projects with Guildhall School of Music & Drama. 

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Photo of Nils Frahm performing at the Barbican

Podcast: Contemporary Music

Subscribe to our fortnightly podcast for exclusive interviews and music from the world's greatest artists in jazz, folk, soul, contemporary classical and the more experimental ends of rock, pop and electronica. 

Available on iTunes, Spotify and Acast

Resident orchestra

London Symphony Orchestra

Resident orchestra

The LSO was established in 1904 and has a unique ethos and an inimitable signature sound. As the Barbican’s Resident Orchestra the LSO performs 70 concerts a year here in London and a further 70 worldwide on tour. Its pioneering music education programme LSO Discovery offers musical experiences to 60,000 people every year, and the orchestra works alongside its partners in the City’s cultural hub - the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Museum of London to bring about the future of great music in London.

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Our associate orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Associate Orchestra at the Barbican and backbone of the BBC Proms, the BBC Symphony Orchestra is one of the UK’s finest. The BBC SO has a strong commitment to 20th-century and contemporary music and performs an annual season of concerts at the Barbican. 

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Associate ensembles

Academy of Ancient Music

The Academy of Ancient Music is an internationally renowned orchestra and choir, performing Baroque and Classical music in the style of the era, under the director of Richard Egarr. Creativity and spontaneity in performance is grounded in scholarship and a constant exploration of music in its broadest cultural context.

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Britten Sinfonia

Britten Sinfonia is acclaimed for its virtuoso musicianship, an inspired approach to concert programming that makes bold, intelligent connections across 400 years of repertoire, and a versatility that is second to none. Unusually it does not have a principal conductor or director but chooses to collaborate with a range of the finest international guest artists from across the musical spectrum as suited to each particular project.

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International associates

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is considered to be one of the best orchestras in the world. Founded in 1888, RCO Amsterdam is made up of 120 players hailing from over 20 countries. The Chief Conductor is Daniele Gatti. 

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New York Philharmonic

The New York Philharmonic plays a leading cultural role in New York City, the United States, and the world. The Orchestra’s performances are enriched by collaborations among today’s leading artists and institutions.

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Los Angeles Philharmonic

The Los Angeles Philharmonic, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music, through a commitment to foundational works and adventurous explorations.

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Gewandhaus Orchestra

The earliest roots of the Gewandhausorchester can be traced as far back as 1479. The orchestra is named after the concert hall in which it is based, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany. 

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Jazz at Lincoln Center

The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy.

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Associate producer


Serious create and produce jazz, world & contemporary music concerts, shows and tours, working with artists and musicians from the UK and internationally.

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