We have reopened some of our venues. Everyone who visits us will need a ticket in advance. Find out more

Press room

Barbican announces Echo Collective date + further line-up details for Antibalas and Darbar Festival

Echo Collective wearing black clothing against a white background

Echo Collective plays Jóhann Jóhannsson's 12 Conversations with Thilo Heinzmann
Sun 3 Nov 2019, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm 
Tickets £20 plus booking fee 

Echo Collective perform Jóhann Jóhannsson’s 12 Conversations with Thilo Heinzmann – a piece left unfinished before the composer’s sudden and untimely death in February 2018. The work will be released as an album on Deutsche Grammophon on 20 September 2019 – a day after the Icelandic composer would have turned 50.

Based on conversations between Jóhannsson and German painter Thilo Heinzmann over the course of four years,12 Conversations explores themes of arts, politics and unity. The score – unusual for Jóhannsson’s output – is written for string quartet only, without the composer’s trademark electronic threads.

Having worked with the Echo Collective on his 2016 album Orphée, Jóhannsson invited the group to be involved in finishing the 12 Conversations piece.

Founded and led by Neil Leiter and Margaret Hermant, Echo Collective is a diverse group of classically trained musicians based in Brussels. In addition to their own projects, the group has worked and collaborated with the likes of A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Stars of the Lid, Erasure, Dustin O'Halloran, Joep Beving and James Heather on concerts, tours, film scores, recording sessions, and original compositions.

Produced by the Barbican
Find out more



Antibalas: Respect to Aretha 
Featuring Bettye LaVette, Alice Russell, Zara McFarlane, NEW: Nona Hendryx and NEW: José James
Thu 12 Sep 2019, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
Tickets £20 – 30 plus booking fee 

Afrobeat ensemble Antibalas and special guest artists including American soul icon Bettye LaVette, American vocalists Nona Hendryx (Labelle) and José James, British soul singer Alice Russell and British jazz/soul singer-songwriter Zara McFarlane will honour the legacy of the ‘Queen of Soul’, Aretha Franklin, with a concert at the Barbican on 12 September 2019, featuring Franklin’s classic and timeless music.

Formed in 1998, Brooklyn-based music collective Antibalas (Spanish for "bulletproof") is modelled on Fela Kuti’s band Africa 70 and Eddie Palmieri’s Harlem River Drive Orchestra. Primarily recognised for their fluency in Afrobeat and funk music, the band is also known for their collaborations with a diverse range of artists including Angélique Kidjo, Jovanotti, Medeski Martin & Wood and Public Enemy. They also served as the house band at Carnegie Hall as part of the venue’s annual tribute series in 2014 (Music of Paul Simon), 2015 (Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads) and 2017 (Music of Aretha Franklin); and from 2007-2012 members of Antibalas participated in the Tony-Award winning Broadway musical FELA!. Antibalas have recorded six studio albums to date on the Daptone, Ninja Tune, Anti and Ropeadope labels as well as a number of singles and EPs. A new album is scheduled for September 2019.

Produced by the Barbican in association with Philharmonie de Paris
Find out more



Due to unforeseen circumstances, previously announced singer Bombay Jayashri will no longer be performing as part of Darbar Festival 2019 and Sudha Ragunathan will replace her.

Sudha Ragunathan + Sarod Duet
Fri 11 Oct 2019, Milton Court Concert Hall, 6.30pm
Tickets £20 – 50 plus booking fee

Audiences can sample Hindustani and Carnatic traditions in this evening of sublime ragas. Session one features two of today’s most respected emerging sarod – the stringed, lute-like instrument that is so prominent in traditional Indian music – soloists: brothers Abhishek and Praashekh Borkar whose music is inspired by Ustad Allauddin Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee and of course their father, Pandit Shekhar Borkar. Here they are accompanied by tabla master Parimal Chakraborty. For all three musicians, this is their first UK appearance.

Session two sees one of India’s most distinctive and Carnatic vocalists,Sudha Ragunathan. She was conferred the Kalaimamani award by the Government of Tamil Nadu and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India, two of India’s highest awards. Accompanied by a full Carnatic ensemble from Chennai and London, featuring Charumathi Raghuraman (violin), Sai Giridhar (mridangam) and RN Prakash (ghatam), she further explores the raga tradition.

Presented by Darbar in partnership with the Barbican
Find out more


Manjiri Asnare-Kelkar & Jayanth Flute
Sat 12 Oct 2019, Milton Court Concert Hall, 6.30pm 
Tickets £20 – 50 plus booking fee

This special double bill explores the Carnatic tradition of the Indian flute, the bansuri, and also sees the debut UK performance from one of India’s great contemporary Hindustani vocalists. Flute player J.A. Jayanth has established himself as one of South India’s most intriguing emerging artists. His training started at the age of five with his grandfather and guru, the late T. S. Sankaran. In this concert at Milton Court he is accompanied by Charumathi Raghuraman (violin), Sai Giridhar (mridangam) and RN Prakash (ghatam) in a programme featuring works by some of the finest Carnatic masters: Shyama Shastri, Thagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar. Manjiri Asnare-Kelkar is the rising star of the Jaipur–Gwalior khayal style of singing. This rare visit to the UK provides an opportunity for audiences to hear one of India’s greatest next generation artists. For this concert, she is accompanied by Gurdain Rayatt on tabla and Chinmay Kolhatkar on harmonium.

Presented by Darbar in partnership with the Barbican
Find out more  


Panel Discussion: Women in Indian Classical Music
Sun 13 Oct 2019, Fountain Room, 2.30pm
Admission Free

This special panel discussion with Kala Ramnath, Sudha Ragunathan, Manjiri Asnare-Kelkar and Charumathi Raghuraman sees the artists talk about their artistic journeys, insights and experiences, followed by an audience Q&A.

Presented by Darbar in partnership with the Barbican
Find out more