Our programme

Music

People enjoying a contemporary music gig

Our boundary-pushing music programme cuts across all genres, including work by contemporary artists, experimental collaborations and visits from the world’s best orchestras and soloists.

Alongside our resident, associate and international ensembles and other partners we provide some of the finest musical experiences the capital has to offer, from Baroque operas to cutting-edge electronic music. Together we create projects which would otherwise be unfeasible, and at the heart of a multi-arts centre we produce concerts which go beyond the standard live music experience, presenting music which hovers at the edges of classification.

We showcase and invest in emerging talent through commissions, learning programmes and through our partnership with the Guildhall School. Our concerts are open and accessible to all; we offer thousands of discounted tickets to 14 – 25 year olds through our Young Barbican scheme and present music all over the city, from the main stage at Walthamstow Garden Party to the Beech Street tunnel.

Discover

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photo of satu vanska in barbican theatre

Barbican Sessions #10: Satu Vänskä

 

In an empty Theatre, Satu Vänskä, Principal Violinist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, performs JS Bach's ‘Allemande’ from Partita II in D minor.

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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. 

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keaton henson playing the piano in our library

Barbican Sessions #8: Keaton Henson

 

For our latest Barbican Session, English folk rock musician Keaton Henson performs an Impromptu on a theme from Six Lethargies in our Library.

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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 ensembles

Los Angeles Philharmonic

International Orchestral Partner

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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Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

International Associate Ensemble

The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy. Led by Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis the ensemble come to the Barbican most years, and have performed here with the likes of Wayne Shorter and have worked with young people from across East London.

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Australian Chamber Orchestra

International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court

The Australian Chamber Orchestra, led by Artistic Director Richard Tognetti, have made waves around the world with their explosive performances and brave interpretations, embracing celebrated classics alongside new commissions and adventurous cross-artform collaborations.

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Associate producer

Serious

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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