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Barbican announces line-up details for Live from the Barbican in spring 2021, with artists including Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason, Shirley Collins, The Sixteen, Moses Boyd, This is The Kit, Anna Meredith and Jonny Greenwood

Graphic of the Barbican with radio waves

The Barbican has today announced line-up details for its newly curated spring concert series as part of Live from the Barbican. The new series of concerts will be accessible for a reduced, socially distanced live audience in the Barbican Hall and online for a global digital audience through a livestream on a pay-per-view basis.

Following a successful series during autumn 2020, which will continue this Christmas, Live from the Barbican in spring runs from 10 January – 2 April 2021. Featuring an eclectic mix of artists across different genres, all reflecting the wide spectrum of the Barbican’s distinct music offer, programme highlights will include:  

Tickets are £20 – £30 for live audiences in the Barbican Hall (if Government guidance continues to permit live audiences) and £12.50 to access the livestreams or to re-watch within a 48 hour-window, once the ticket purchase has gone through.

Tickets for all events will go on sale to Barbican Patrons on Wednesday 9 December, Barbican Members on Thursday 10 December and on general sale on Friday 11 December. Please find information about how to book tickets here.  

Discounted tickets at £5 are available to 14 – 25-year-olds through the Young Barbican scheme and over 100 free stream passes are being offered to communities in London, Manchester, Harlow and Norfolk, through the Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning’s work in schools and communities.

Information about safety measures that are in place when visiting the Barbican, which is a Covid-secure venue, can be found here.

The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), the Barbican’s Resident Orchestra, also returns to the Barbican Hall for a programme of concerts from 7January, with artists including music director Sir Simon Rattle and guest soloists featuring Leonidas Kavakos, Mitsuko Uchida and Barbara Hannigan. Find out more

Huw Humphreys, Head of Music at the Barbican, said:

‘2020 has been such an exceptionally challenging year for everyone. In order to continue our commitment to supporting artists and partner organisations, we’ve had to adapt creatively to the current circumstances. This has meant finding new ways of programming, running events, making our spaces safe, and working with new technologies to connect with our audiences. As a result, ‘Live from the Barbican’ – our new concert series for socially-distanced live audiences as well as global streaming audiences that we developed and deliver in-house – was born. Following a successful run during the autumn, which will also continue this Christmas, I’m delighted to announce that the series will return in the first quarter of 2021.

‘It will feature another fantastic line-up of artists as well as the Barbican’s wonderful family of associate orchestras and ensembles, in a programme of trademark Barbican eclecticism. Many of the featured artists have been busy working on new music, programmes and albums over the last year, but haven’t performed regularly – if at all – in front of a live audience since March.  I’m therefore so pleased to see these musicians return to the stage and to present their work to both live and digital audiences. The highest quality broadcasting and production will bring the excitement of a live performance to viewers online, while audiences in the Hall can return to the Barbican concert-going experience. All of this has been a great team effort and we’re extremely grateful for the generosity of our own supporters, without whom none of this would be possible.’

The Barbican believes in creating space for people and ideas to connect through its international arts programme, community events and learning activity. To keep its programme accessible to everyone, and to keep investing in the artists it works with, the Barbican needs to raise more than 60% of its income through ticket sales, commercial activities and fundraising every year. Donations can be made at:


Live from the Barbican in spring 2021 – full event details below


Benjamin Grosvenor in recital: Live from the Barbican

Sun 10 Jan 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £20 & £12.50 (livestream)

Benjamin Grosvenor piano

Chopin Sonata in B minor, Schubert/Liszt Ave Maria, Ginastera Three Argentinian Dances, Ravel Gaspard de la nuit

Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor returns to the Barbican Hall with a vibrant programme following critically-acclaimed performances, most recently in 2019. With works by 19th Century giants of the piano: Chopin, Ravel, and Liszt, as well as by 20th century composer Alberto Ginastera, Grosvenor brings a recital instilled with lyricism and virtuosity to the Barbican stage. With his recent Gramophone Concerto Award win this year for his recording of Chopin’s Piano Concertos, this is an opportunity to see this brilliant young performer up-close.

Produced by the Barbican

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Moses Boyd: Live from the Barbican

Sun 17 Jan 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £20 & £12.50 (livestream)

South London artist, producer, composer and bandleader Moses Boyd presents material from his critically acclaimed 2020 debut solo album Dark Matter (independently released on his own label Exodus Records), which was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. He will be joined by his band featuring Artie Zaitz (guitar), Ranato Paris (keys) and Quinn Oulton (saxophone). 

2020 AIM Breakthrough artist of the year, double MOBO & Jazz FM Award winner, Boyd’s live and studio collaborations have been as varied as they have been prolific. He also is co-leader and co-producer of the ferocious semi-free group Binker and Moses with saxophonist Binker Golding, and he has collaborated with artists including DJ Lag (Beyoncé), Kelsey Lu, Klein, Nubya Garica, Obongjayar, Zara McFarlane, Sons of Kemet, Floating Points and Four Tet.

Alongside acclaimed solo projects though his Exodus record label he has produced original scores for film and major Paris fashion shows, hosted radio on BBC 1 / 1Xtra and co-presented the Jazz 625 TV special on BBC 4. 

Produced by the Barbican

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This is The Kit: Live from the Barbican

Sat 23 Jan 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £20 – 30 & £12.50 (livestream)

This is The Kit, the musical project lead by Ivor Novello nominated singer-songwriter Kate Stables, present material from their latest album Off Off On (Rough Trade, October 2020). Richly illuminating and acutely sensitive to the pulses and currents of life, Off Off On is a record that feels like a lifeline in difficult times, moving against the tide, standing against the storm and encouraging listeners to keep going.

Recorded at Wiltshire’s Real World Studios, this is the fifth album by the band and the follow up to 2017’s critically acclaimed album Moonshine Freeze

Kate Stables has toured with The National, and has earned the adoration of peers, including Guy Garvey and Anaïs Mitchell. Here she will be joined by band members

Rozi Plain (bass/vocals), Neil Smith (guitar), and Jamie Whitby-Coles (drum/vox).

Produced by the Barbican

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Shirley Collins: Live from the Barbican

Mon 15 Feb, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £20 & £12.50 (livestream)

Legendary folk singer and one of England’s most respected song collectors, Shirley Collins returns to the Barbican in a performance centred on material from her latest, critically acclaimed album Heart's Ease (Domino) which was released in Summer 2020. Shirley will be joined on stage by a band with music direction from Ian Kearey.

With Heart’s Ease Shirley delivers a record even stronger than the previous album Lodestar, having completely regained her confidence and singing so well that you can’t believe she was away for so long. The album is as compelling and original as Shirley’s great albums from the Sixties and Seventies, featuring traditional songs from England and the USA, alongside new, non-traditional tracks and a burst of experimentation that hints at possible new directions to come.

Shirley Elizabeth Collins MBE is an English folk singer, song collector and perhaps the greatest living embodiment of the musical threads that connect the country with its history. As a significant presence during the Second English Folk Revival, Shirley formed a duo with her sister Dolly, who accompanied Shirley's raw and direct voice on piano and portative organ. Following a period of silence spanning three decades during which she barely sang, Shirley released Lodestar, her first new material since 1978, in 2016.

This Live from the Barbican date marks Shirley’s return to the Barbican, following her live performance of Lodestar in February 2017.

Produced by the Barbican

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GoGo Penguin: Live from the Barbican

Sun 21 Feb 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £20 – 30 & £12.50 (livestream)

Cutting edge Manchester trio GoGo Penguin will present material from their latest, self-titled album GoGo Penguin, which was released in June 2020 (Blue Note) featuring junglist rhythms, beautiful melodies and thunderous sub-bass lines.  

GoGo Penguin are Chris Illingworth (piano), Nick Blacka (bass), Rob Turner (drums) and Joe Reiser (sound), who will be joined for this special Live from the Barbican concert by lighting engineer, Lewis Howell, whose sculpted, cinematic lightscapes have been a key component of their live shows since 2014.

The trio has been hailed as the “Radiohead of British Jazz”, but they draw equally on rock, jazz and minimalist influences, alongside the intricacy of Aphex Twin or Four Tet to create their punchy, experimental, but always beautiful music. GoGo Penguin’s 2014 album v2.0 (Gondwana Records) was named a Mercury Prize album of the year. In 2015 they signed to Blue Note Records and released the albums Man Made Object in 2016 and A Humdrum Star in 2018. Their EP, Ocean in a Drop (Music for Film) was released in October 2019 and their latest, self-titled album GoGo Penguin followed in June 2020.

The band returns to the Barbican’s music programme following GoGo Penguin: Koyaanisqatsi in October 2017, where they presented their new score to a live screening of Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 cinematic masterpiece Koyaanisqatsi; and their appearance as part of the 2015 EFG London Jazz Festival in a Gilles Peterson-curated night, collaborating with choreographer Lynn Page, creating a contemporary response to the 80s phenomenon of Jazz dance.

Produced by the Barbican

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12 Ensemble/Anna Meredith/Jonny Greenwood: Live from the Barbican

Thu 25 Feb 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £20 – 30 & £12.50 (livestream)


12 Ensemble

Anna Meredith electronics

Eleanor Meredith live drawing

Jonny Greenwood tanpura


Anna Meredith Moon

Jonny Greenwood Water

Shostakovich Chamber Symphony

One of the UK’s leading chamber orchestras, un-conducted 12 Ensemble, is joined on stage by composer, producer and performer Anna Meredith and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood for this special Live from the Barbican date.

The programme includes Anna Meredith’s Moon – a piece for chamber orchestra with electronics and live visuals, provided by her sister, artist Eleanor Meredith, who will be responding to the music with live drawing and assembling of collages for each of the different phases of the moon; and Jonny Greenwood’s Water, a work that came out of a collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra following Radiohead’s Australian tour in 2013 and which also found inspiration from Greenwood’s travels to India.

The concert concludes with Shostakovich’s familiar Chamber Symphony (after String Quartet No. 8), which the composer wrote over the span of three days in the summer of 1960, whilst working on the score of a Soviet-East German film in Dresden, inscribing it “In memory of victims of fascism and war.”

Produced by the Barbican

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AAM/Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Live from the Barbican

Tue 9 Mar 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £20 – 30 & £12.50 (livestream)


Academy of Ancient Music

Richard Egarr director & harpsichord

Rachel Podger violin


Corelli Concerto Grosso No 1 in D major, Op 6; Concerto Grosso No 2 in F major, Op 6

Vivaldi The Four Seasons

Grimani Sinfonia from Pallade e Marte

Richard Egarr gives his final Barbican performance as Music Director of Barbican Associate Ensemble AAM. Rachel Podger joins AAM on stage for Corelli’s Concerto Grosso No 1 in D major and No 2 in F major, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, plus a lesser-known gem of the early 18th century: the 'Sinfonia’ from Maria Grimani’s opera Pallade e Marte. This is performed as part of AAM’s ongoing From Her Pen project, revealing the work of female composers of the baroque and classical eras.

Produced by the Barbican in association with AAM
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Echoes of Scotland: Live from the Barbican

With the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo

Sun 14 Mar 2021, Barbican Hall, 3pm

Tickets £20 – 30 & £12.50 (livestream)


BBC Symphony Orchestra

Sakari Oramo conductor

Timothy Ridout viola


Mendelssohn Symphony No.3

Sally Beamish Under the Wing of the Rock: Viola Concerto No. 3 (2006) – London premiere

Peter Maxwell Davies An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise (version for chamber orchestra) (1985)

In this matinee performance, Associate Orchestra BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo present a programme inspired by Scotland: From Mendelssohn’s heartfelt homage to the nation, his Symphony No.3, inspired by a visit to the ruins of the Holyrod Chapel in Edinburgh to Peter Maxwell Davies’ raucous portrait of an Orkney Wedding, a piece which concludes with one of the great sunrises depicted in music (replete with bagpipes), via the London premiere of Sally Beamish’s Gaelic lullaby inspired third viola concerto, with sought-after BBC New Generation Artist viola player Timothy Ridout.

Produced by the Barbican in association with BBCSO

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Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason in recital: Live from the Barbican

Thu 25 Mar 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £20 – 30 & £12.50 (livestream)

Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello

Isata Kanneh-Mason piano

Works by Bridge, Britten, and Rachmaninov

Siblings Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello, and Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano, return to the Barbican for their Barbican Hall recital debut. Fresh from their joyful performance with the entire Kanneh-Mason family as part of Live from the Barbican in November 2020 and following Sheku’s recent win of the coveted 2020 RPS Young Artists award, the spotlight now focuses on the brother/sister duo as they perform works by Bridge, Britten, and Rachmaninov.

Produced by the Barbican

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Nadine Shah: Live from the Barbican

Tue 30 Mar 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £20 – 30 & £12.50 (livestream)

English singer-songwriter, musician and previous Mercury Prize nominee Nadine Shah returns in what will be her first Barbican show with her own band. Her music has been described as darkly powerful post-punk, and here she will present material from her fourth studio album Kitchen Sink (Infectious Music, June 2020), which has already received much critical acclaim.

Nadine Shah has previously appeared at the Barbican as part of the line-up for David Coulter’s world premiere performance of Swordfishtrombones Revisited, his reinterpretation of Tom Waits’ record, in October 2019.

Produced by the Barbican

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MacMillan’s Stabat Mater: Live from the Barbican

Fri 2 Apr 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £20 – 30 & £12.50 (livestream)

Sir James MacMillan Stabat Mater

Britten Sinfonia

The Sixteen

Harry Christophers conductor

This special Good Friday performance as part of the Live from the Barbican series sees Barbican Associate Ensemble Britten Sinfonia and The Sixteen with Founder and Conductor Harry Christophers CBE return to composer Sir James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater. Commissioned by the Genesis Foundation for Christophers and the choir, they gave the world premiere at the Barbican in October 2016 as part of a day celebrating MacMillan’s choral music.

The work owes its existence to the composer’s longstanding association with The Sixteen and it is profoundly shaped by his beliefs. The text is a 13th-century Christian hymn, meditating on the suffering of Mary, the mother of Jesus, which generations of composers have set to music. Sir James MacMillan said: I seem to have grown up with the Stabat Mater. I sang it as a boy, my perception of the crucifixion was coloured by its beauty and sadness.

MacMillan’s Stabat Mater for chorus and string orchestra is a powerful 21st Century evocation of Mary’s grief. The composition is divided into four sections, each with its distinct musical character, with nuances ranging from plangent dissonances to innocent melodies. Performances to date have received widespread critical acclaim.

Produced by the Barbican in association with Britten Sinfonia

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