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Barbican announces its classical music programme for spring and summer 2024

Gustavo Dudamel conducting the LA Phil

Today (19 September) the Barbican announces its spring and summer 2024 season of classical music. From January to July next year, the Barbican will play host to emerging talent, radical ensembles, world-renowned orchestras, and outstanding soloists across a season packed with daring and joyful musicmaking in the Barbican Hall and Milton Court Concert Hall.

The Barbican’s Resident Orchestra the London Symphony Orchestra, Associate Orchestra the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Associate Ensembles Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia will also feature across the season. Throughout spring and summer, the Barbican’s family of orchestras will present new works, showcase groundbreaking artistry, and perform beloved pieces - from grand masses to monumental symphonies.

Will Gompertz, Artistic Director says: “The announcement of our wonderful classical music season today is a celebration of the depth and breadth of live performance across musical genres. We are looking forward to welcoming extraordinary soloists, charismatic conductors, and powerful ensembles – both established and emerging – alongside mighty performances by some of the world’s great orchestras. We can’t wait to welcome our audiences to the Barbican Hall and Milton Court for the coming season.”


  • Barbican International Orchestral Partner, the Los Angeles Philharmonic return, led by Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, to give a landmark performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio joined by Deaf actors from Deaf West Theatre and the White Hands Choir of Venezuela as well as a programme of John Williams, Gabriela Ortiz and Anton Dvorak’s Symphony No 9 (2 & 3 Jun)
  • Barbican Resident Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor Designate Sir Antonio Pappano perform the UK premiere of Wynton Marsalis’s Trumpet Concerto with Alison Balsom, plus the complete Daphnis et Chloé with vocal ensemble Tenebrae (11 Apr)
  • Artist Spotlight residency with cellist Abel Selaocoe exploring string instruments, musical roots and beyond (Jan, Feb & Mar)
  • Manchester Collective are joined by soprano Héloïse Werner and mezzo sopranos Fleur Barron and Katie Bray to present the first full-scale performance of Freya Waley-Cohen’s Spell Book (1 Feb)
  • BBC Symphony Orchestra present a Total Immersion Day focusing on visionary composer Missy Mazzoli, with concerts led by Dalia Stasevska and Sofi Jeannin (25 Feb)
  • Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason return to give a Barbican Hall recital (28 May)
    One of the greatest violinists alive, Leonidas Kavakos embarks on J. S. Bach’s complete violin Sonatas and Partitas (
    2 & 3 May)
  • Dunedin Consort present Reformations: Concerto with guitarist Sean Shibe, the first of a three-year commissioning project in partnership with the Barbican, plus the world premiere of Cassandra Miller’s new concerto (11 Apr)
  • Vocal brilliance from Hera Hyesang Park (1 Mar) and Fatma Said (22 May) who also joins Il Pomo D’Oro and Joyce DiDonato as they present Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (2 Feb)
  • Britten Sinfonia are joined by cellist Abel Selaocoe as part of Selaocoe’s Artist Spotlight residency for a programme of Tavener’s modern classic The Protecting Veil, and works by Beethoven and Bartók (15 Feb)
  • London Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus Sir Simon Rattle perform the world premiere of new work by John Adams: Frenzy (3 Mar)
  • Pianist sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque present a staging of Glass/Cocteau: Philip Glass’s Cocteau Trilogy arranged for two pianos in a special collaboration with the Philharmonie de Paris (17 Jun)
  • Culmination of NY Phil principal clarinettist Anthony McGill’s artist residency at Milton Court (23 & 26 Mar)
  • Academy of Ancient Music brings its Golden Anniversary season to a close with a performance of Handel’s Orlando, starring outstanding countertenor Iestyn Davies in the title role (30 Jun)
  • Piano recitals from international superstar performers Khatia Buniatishvili (21 Mar) and Evgeny Kissin (17 Feb)

Details of the full spring/summer 2024 Barbican Classical Music programme with click-throughs to event pages follow below.

Public booking opens on Friday 29 September 2023 with advance priority booking for Principal and Premier Patrons from Thursday 21 September 2023 to Barbican Patrons from Monday 25 September 2023, Barbican Members Plus from Wednesday 27 September 2023 and Barbican Members on Thursday 28 September.


Barbican Classical Music spring and summer 2024 full programme:


  • Il Pomo d’Oro return for an evening of Baroque masterpieces as they pair Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Giacomo Carissimi’s Jepthe, with conductor Maxim Emelyanychev leading a star cast of Joyce DiDonato, Andrew Staples, Carlotta Colombo, Fatma Said, Beth Taylor, Hugh Cutting, Massimo Altieri, Alena Dantcheva, Anna Piroli (2 Feb).
  • Scottish guitarist and lutanist Sean Shibe and the Dunedin Consort, Scotland’s foremost Baroque ensemble, join forces for Reformations: Concerto, a feast of early and recent repertoire including the world premiere of Cassandra Miller’s new concerto. The concert marks the first instalment of a major three-year commissioning project in partnership with the Barbican (11 Apr).
  • With superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel at the helm, the Los Angeles Philharmonic return to the Barbican with landmark performances and UK premieres. On Sunday 2 June, the LA Phil present a programme of adventure and Americana with music by John Williams, the UK premiere of Gabriela Ortiz’ Violin Concerto, and Anton Dvorak’s iconic Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”. On Monday 3 June, they will be joined by Deaf West Theatre and the White Hands Choir of El Sistema Venezuela for a performance of Beethoven’s opera Fidelio. The Deaf actors will perform centre-stage in this production, drawing on both the expressive power of sign language and Beethoven’s music. The chorus for this performance will be comprised of Barcelona’s Cor Del Gran Teatre del Liceu and Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Musica. (2 & 3 Jun).
  • Belgian ensemble Collegium Vocale Gent and its founder and conductor Philippe Herreweghe return to the Barbican for the first time since 2019 to perform J. S. Bach’s B Minor Mass. Completed in the last years of Bach’s life, this all-encompassing piece is regarded as one of the greatest classical works of all time. Collegium Vocale Gent will be joined by sopranos Dorothee Mields and Hana Blažíková, countertenor Alex Potter, tenor Guy Cutting and baritone Johannes Kammler (14 Jun).


This season’s Barbican Artist Spotlight residency shines on South African cellist Abel Selaocoe, whose redefinition of the cello will be explored in three concerts in 2024 in the Barbican Hall and Milton Court Concert Hall. Selaocoe’s playing moves across a plethora of genres and styles, combining virtuosity with improvisation and singing while exploring the tendrils that join Western and non-Western musical traditions.

  • Abel Selaocoe begins his trio of concerts in 2024 at the Barbican with African Strings – a project counterpointing Terry Riley’s In C with improvised and Baroque works, all performed on African string instruments. This new collaboration will represent a mesmerising fusion of musical worlds for a concert both transcendent and profoundly rooted in the vibrant cultural tapestry of Africa. (21 Jan).
  • Abel Selaocoe and Britten Sinfonia sees the star cellist joined by the orchestra for a powerful performance of works by Tavener, Beethoven and Bartók in Milton Court Concert Hall (15 Feb).
  • To bring the residency to a close, Abel Selaocoe presents Chesaba. Formed in 2016, Chesaba is a trio specializing in music from the African continent, including many compositions of Selacoe’s own. The performance will also feature guest artists BCUC - a 7-piece collective from South Africa, whose explosive live energy and all-embracing musical philosophy recently earned them the WOMEX artist award 2023. (26 Mar).

The three concerts in 2024 join Selaocoe’s already-announced performance in the Artist Spotlight residency where he performs in the EFG London Jazz Festival 2023 joining the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Duncan Ward for jazz and folk infused evening of music by Carpenter, Bartók, Barber and Selaocoe’s own, all preceded by free foyer performances by Guildhall Jazz (16 Nov 2023).


New York Philharmonic principal clarinettist Anthony McGill returns to Milton Court to bring his artist residency for the Barbican’s 2023-24 season to a close. In two final concerts, McGill will be joined by the ever-shifting, flexible chamber ensemble Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, as well as musicians from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

  • Anthony McGill and Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective is the first of two concerts with the collective which will see them perform two deeply personal works of chamber music: Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet and Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time) (23 Apr).
  • Anthony McGill: Gran Partita concludes McGill’s residency with an iconic, soaring work for paired wind instruments: Mozart’s Gran Partita. Now a mainstay of the Milton Court Artist-in-Residence programmes, this will be a side-by-side performance with McGill joined on stage by musicians from Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Preceding the Gran Partita, McGill will be joined again by Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective to perform Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Clarinet Quintet – a piece that he was challenged to write without the influence of Brahms’ own quintet, succeeding with a work bursting with invention. (26 Apr).


  • Redefining the way people experience classical music, Manchester Collective present the first dramatically-staged performance of composer Freya Waley-Cohen’s beguiling Spell Book – a series of musical spells derived from the poetry of Rebecca Tamás (1 Feb).
  • GRAMMY Award-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion return to the Barbican to present Metamorphosis, joining forces with the groundbreaking choreography of Movement Art Is (Lil Buck and Jon Boogz) to blend street dance with new music by Jlin, Tyondai Braxton and Philip Glass (22 Feb).
  • Internationally acclaimed singers Allan Clayton, Alice Zawadski & Héloïse Werner are joined by pianist Kit Downes and cellist Colin Alexander in a semi-improvised and specially devised programme of new works by each of the five artists for this Barbican performance (17 Apr).
  • Legendary sibling pianists Katia and Marielle Labéque bring their instrumental suites of Philip Glass’ operas: Orphée, La belle et la Bete, and Les Enfants Terribles for two pianos. This special staging will be heightened with lighting and stage design by Artistic Director Cyril Teste and stage designer Nina Chalot in the form of an elegant chandelier suspended above the pianists, creating an intimate atmosphere for the audience and opening up limitless creative possibilities for stage design. Produced by Philharmonie de Paris in this co-production with the Barbican National Concert Hall - Dublin, Cité Musicale – Metz and Opéra national de Bordeaux. (17 Jun).


  • Evgeny Kissin: One of the finest pianists of our age gives a recital of formidable complexity and range with a programme of Beethoven, Prokofiev, Brahms and Rachmaninov (17 Feb).
  • Hera Hyesang Park: Joined by pianist Bretton Brown, soprano Hera Hyesang Park gives a far-reaching recital of works from Rossini and Respighi to contemporary music and Korean folksong (1 Mar).
  • Khatia Buniatishvili: international piano sensation Khatia Buniatishvili brings formidable passion to a recital of Beethoven, Stravinsky and transcriptions by her musical hero, Liszt (21 Mar).
  • Leonidas Kavakos plays Bach: Over two nights, internationally celebrated violinist Leonidas Kavakos performs the entirety of J. S. Bach’s Six Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas in a display of precision, technique, and sublime musical mastery. (2 & 3 May). Kavakos will also host a masterclass, open to the public, for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s most talented violinists at Milton Court Concert Hall (30 Apr).  
  • Fatma Said: Joined by pianist Joseph Middleton, soprano Fatma Said perform a recital of music of day and of night as they counterpoint nocturnal pieces by Mozart, Schubert and Robert Schumann with sun-evoking Spanish music by De Falla, Obradors, and Serrano, tied together with Lebanese composer Najib Hankash’s Aeteni al Naya Wa ghanni (Give me the flute and sing) (22 May). Said will also host a public masterclass with Guildhall School of Music and Drama musicians at Milton Court Concert Hall (23 May).
  • Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason: the cellist and pianist siblings return to the Barbican, joining forces once again on the Barbican Hall stage in a programme of cello sonatas by Felix Mendelssohn, Fauré, Chopin and Beethoven (28 May).

ECHO: Rising Stars

Each year the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), an active network bringing together the concert halls of Europe, including the Barbican, selects a group of outstanding artists to become its Rising Stars. The Rising Stars receive professional development support and perform a concert tour across the halls of the ECHO network. The ECHO Rising Stars series has existed since 1995/1996 and has shaped the musical careers of many of today’s world class artists including Janine Jansen, Igor Levit, Khatia Buniatishvili, Renaud Capuçon, Belcea Quartet and Cuarteto Casals.

This season’s ECHO Rising Stars performances conclude with:

  • Sonoro Quartet: String quartet Sonoro Quartet present a programme of new works (including a commission by Annelies van Parys) alongside music by Guillaume Lekeu and Shostakovich’s searing String Quartet No 8 (8 Feb).
  • Mathis Stier: Alongside pianist Rie Akamatsu, bassoon player Mathis Stier takes us from the 18th century through to the present day in a recital that includes a new work and ECHO-commission by Maria Sigfúsdóttir (29 Mar).


Barbican Resident Orchestra and Associate Ensembles spring and summer 2024 highlights:


In April 2024 London Symphony Orchestra Chief Conductor Designate Sir Antonio Pappano returns to the Barbican Hall to conduct a varied programme of concerts, joined by some leading guest soloists: trumpet player Alison Balsom joins him and the LSO for the UK premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ Trumpet Concerto (11 Apr), paired with Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé. Next, violinist Janine Jansen performs Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto in a programme also featuring Lili Boulanger’s D’un matin du printemps, and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No 2 (14 Apr). Pappano then turns to further exploration of Vaughan William’s symphonies with Symphony No. 5, in both a Half Six Fix short concert (17 Apr) and a full evening including David Rasken’s The Bad and the Beautiful, and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major this time with pianist Bertrand Chamayou, the subject of an LSO Artist Portrait, as guest soloist.

LSO Conductor Emeritus Sir Simon Rattle conducts another season high-point with an all-American concert (3 Mar) featuring the world premiere of a new work by John Adams, Frenzy. The concert also includes Roy Harris’ Symphony No 3, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto with guest pianist Kirill Gerstein, in addition to Gershwin’s Overtures to Let ‘em eat Cake and Strike Up the Band.

LSO Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda conducts Prokofiev’s Symphony No 7 (19 & 20 June), with the 20 June programme also including the long-awaited UK premiere performance of Sally Beamish’s Distans: Concerto for Violin and Clarinet, with Noseda’s regular collaborators, violinist Janine Jansen and clarinettist Martin Fröst. Noseda later rounds off the 2023/24 LSO Season at the Barbican with two performances of a double bill of Shostakovich’s Symphony No 3 and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (23 & 25 June).

In March, LSO’s other Principal Guest Conductor François-Xavier Roth continues his exploration of Beethoven’s symphonies with the 2nd and 8th symphonies together in a programme featuring Unsuk Chin’s Piano Concerto with Bertrand Chamayou (14 Mar). It is an LSO tradition to focus on new work during the month of April with François-Xavier Roth presiding over the well-established LSO Panufnik Composers workshops at LSO St Luke’s on the 4th of the month, followed by the LSO Futures concert on Sunday 7 April featuring LSO Panufnik commissions by Christian Drew and Stef Conner, alongside the UK premiere of Donghoon Shin’s Cello Concerto, and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. Michael Tilson Thomas, LSO Conductor Laureate conducts Mahler’s Symphony No 3 with guest soloist Alice Coote (12 & 16 May).

Guest Conductor Thomas Sǿndergård brings Finnish music to the Barbican on his welcome return to the LSO (4 Feb), with a programme that opens with the UK premiere of Lotta Wennäkoski’s Helsinki Variations, continuing with Sibelius’ Symphony No 2, and Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes joining for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 5, Emperor. Four days later (8 Feb) Nathalie Stutzmann teams up with Leif Ove Andsnes for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 22 K482 in a double bill with Bruckner’s Symphony 7, with a further exploration of Bruckner’s Symphony No 9, with his Te Deum as its finale (11 Feb). 

With next guest conductor Daniel Harding, the LSO performs the UK premiere of Jörg Widmann’s Towards Paradise featuring trumpet soloist Håkan Hardenberger, with Mahler’s Symphony No 5 to complete the programme (24 Mar). In May Thomas Adès conducts the UK premiere of his own Violin Concerto: Air with Anne-Sophie Mutter guest soloist.  The full programme includes Witold Lutosławski’s Partita, and two Stravinsky ballets, Agon and Orpheus (30 May).

In June 2024, the LSO will present the first of a series of concerts exploring film music that the LSO has recorded over the decades since the first film score recording in 1930 (Things to Come, which was recently performed on 26 March 2023 at the Barbican). This new series focuses on the music itself without film clips, but with narrative by an actor, including anecdotes from members of the Orchestra to introduce the various excerpts. The series is curated and conducted by the Belgian artist Dirk Brosse, who has worked with the LSO on numerous film projects over the years.


The BBC Symphony Orchestra opens the spring season with an eclectic programme led by rising star Nicholas Carter; Helen Grime’s Near Midnight, Strauss’s Oboe concerto performed by BBC SO principal oboe Tom Blomfield, and Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique symphony (1 Feb). Kahchun Wong conducts Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony and two Japanese masterworks: Toru Takemitsu’s Requiem for Strings and Toshio Hosokawa’s violin concerto Prayer, performed by violinist Sayaka Shoji (9 Feb). Hannu Lintu leads the orchestra for the World Premiere of Bernard Rand’s Symphonic Fantasy, two showpieces by John Adams and Stravinsky, and Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto, performed by Alexander Malofeev (16 Feb). And a Total Immersion day explores the work of pianist, musical dramatist and Grammy-nominated composer Missy Mazzoli. The day includes concerts led by BBC SO Principal Guest Conductor Dalia Stasevska and Sofi Jeannin, who conducts mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately, musicians from the orchestra and the BBC Singers in Mazzoli’s opera Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt (25 Feb).

Sakari Oramo leads the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Brahms’s German Requiem, alongside two rediscoveries from post-war Finland (8 Mar). James MacMillan’s Fiat Lux receives its UK Premiere, conducted by the composer himself and featuring soloists Mary Bevan and Roderick Williams. The concert also includes works by Pärt, Britten and Rautavaara (15 Mar). Sir Andrew Davis conducts Raymond Yiu’s powerful new violin concerto (20 Mar) and Daniele Rustioni conducts Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique (19 Apr).

The orchestra continues their series of concerts of music and words with leading writers. This season, Kate Atkinson, one of the best-loved storytellers of the 21st century and creator of the Jackson Brodie series of detective novels reads from her own works and shares the music that has moved and inspired her (26 Apr).

In May, the BBC SO delivers a Total Immersion day that explores composers who redefined a nation post-World War Two: Maderna, Nono, Berio and Dallapiccola. An odyssey into their works will be conducted by Martyn Brabbins (5 May). Then, Martyn Brabbins will lead an adventure that spans oceans: Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and a majestic choral masterwork from 19th century Brazil, José Maurício Nunes Garcia’s Missa de Santa Cecilia with the BBC Symphony Chorus and with soloists April Koyejo-Audiger, Marta Fontanals-Simmons, Joshua Stewart and Ross Ramgobin (10 May); Alexander Soddy conducts Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with soloist Lise de la Salle (17 May), and Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo present Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony with the BBC Symphony Chorus, Britten’s Double Concerto and the London premiere of Oliver Knussen’s Cleveland Pictures (24 May). 


Britten Sinfonia is joined by multi-faceted star cellist Abel Selaocoe to perform John Tavener’s modern classic The Protecting Veil in a programme that also includes Beethoven’s late Grosse Fuge and Bartók’s Divertimento for strings (15 Feb). Britten Sinfonia is renowned for its early-career support of composers, and its Magnum Opus Composer Showcase features concertos written by David John Roche, Crystalla Serghiou and Daniel Soley, performed by a chamber ensemble and soloists including jazz/soul singer Cherise Adams-Burnett and Ryan Corbett, the first accordionist to become a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist. (2 Mar). Charismatic and versatile tenor Nicky Spence and young star horn player Ben Goldscheider join Britten Sinfonia for Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for horn, tenor and strings, Judith Weir’s Paul Klee-inspired Heroic Strokes of the Bow, Mozart’s “Haffner” Symphony, and a newly commissioned Horn Concerto from long-time Britten Sinfonia collaborator, Huw Watkins. (9 Apr). The same day Britten Sinfonia presents a Family Concert: Once Upon a Tune, based on author and illustrator James Mayhew’s book.

The orchestra’s final date at the Barbican for the season, Renaissance Moderns, is a collaboration with vocal ensemble The Marian Consort starting from the life and extraordinary harmonic innovations of 16th century prince, composer and, infamously, murderer Carlo Gesualdo. In addition to Gesualdo’s own motets and madrigals, the programme includes Brett Dean’s darkly brilliant Carlo, inspired by Gesualdo’s life story, and there is a pre-concert screening of cult filmmaker Werner Herzog’s typically idiosyncratic 1995 documentary, Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices. We also hear music by an even earlier African-Portuguese composer Vicente Lusitano who may have influenced Gesualdo, and a newly-commissioned work from Lisa Illean (11 May).


Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) continues its 50th-anniversary celebrations with a series of performances showcasing excellence in baroque and classical music. The orchestra, led by Bojan Čičić, explores the Italian concerto in all its wildly entertaining forms (7 Mar), followed by JS Bach’s sublime St Matthew Passion (29 Mar). Later in the season, AAM joins Baroque dance experts Mary Collins and Steve Player to recreate the sounds and sights of the court of Louis XIV of France (18 Apr), and countertenor Reginald Mobley and AAM explore a different vision of the English Baroque through Sons of England (30 May), in which the music of Purcell, Handel and Ignatius Sancho redefined the culture of a nation. AAM brings its Golden Anniversary season to a close with a performance of Handel’s Orlando (30 June), starring the outstanding countertenor Iestyn Davies in the title role. The 50th-anniversary celebrations continue off stage with the completion of a landmark Mozart cycle with scholar-pianist Robert Levin 30 years after it first began. The final two volumes in the series will be released in February and June 2024. Upon completion, this cycle will become the first-ever recording of Mozart's complete works for keyboard and orchestra.