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Barbican announces rescheduled concerts for 2021

Shabaka Hutchings wearing a patterned top and hat, looking to his left.

The Barbican today announced that a selection of concerts that were due to take place at the Centre between March and July have now been rescheduled for 2021, subject to Government guidance.

Huw Humphreys, Barbican’s Head of Music says:

This is an extraordinarily challenging time for the arts and artists. At the Barbican, we exist to bring artists together, to create together and to connect people across the world, and so this current situation goes against everything we’re here to do. By putting these rescheduled concerts on sale, we want to support artists and our partners in the music industry, and make sure we’re able to get up and running as soon as the guidance allows us to. Until then we are looking how we can stay connected to artists and audiences in different ways.

The rescheduled concerts and artists include:

  • Shabaka & the Ancestors, featuring Shabaka Hutchings, one of the foremost proponents of the current British jazz scene (now on 24 January 2021)
  • Irish-American vocalist and songwriter Aoife O’Donovan (now on 28 January 2021)
  • Celebrated violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter in recital performing Beethoven sonatas (now on 23 February 2021)
  • Singer, songwriter and composer Damon Albarn’s new project The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows (now on 30 March 2021)
  • A MoodSwing Reunion, featuring generation-defining jazz musicians and long-time collaborators Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride and Brian Blade (now on 11 July 2021, produced by the Barbican in association with Serious)
  • Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter and Jim Molyneux are joined on stage by Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris in Spell Songs, a musical celebration of wild nature inspired by Macfarlane and Morris's book The Lost Words (now on 3 February 2021, produced by Serious)
  • Britten Sinfonia & Opera Rara collaboration, Donizetti’s rarely performed Italian opera set in the West Indies, Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo (now on 8 July 2021, promoted by Britten Sinfonia)

Please see below for further information on the individual concerts. All concerts are subject to Government guidance at the time and in the case of a concert cancellation, ticketholders will be eligible for a full refund.

Tickets will go on sale from 1 June to previous ticket holders, to Barbican Members from 3 June, and on general sale from 5 June. Tickets booked previously for Anne-Sophie Mutter and MoodSwing will remain valid for the new dates.

Due to the most recent Government guidance on social distancing measures, the remaining concerts due to take place at the Barbican in July have now been cancelled. Ticketholders are eligible for a full refund.

Inspired by its international arts programme, the Barbican’s website features a curated mix of podcasts, playlists, films, videos, talks and articles that enables audiences to continue to enjoy the Centre’s rich and varied programme during the temporary closure. The Barbican digital content is available at and via the Barbican’s social channels.


Please find below further information on the rescheduled concerts, promoted by the Barbican. For further information and photos, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Barbican Communications Team.

Shabaka & the Ancestors
Sun 24 Jan 2021, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £17.50 – 20 plus booking fee

Shabaka & the Ancestors will present material from their second studio album We Are Sent Here By History (Impulse! Records, 13 March 2020), which explores African and Afro-Caribbean traditions and can be described as a modern-day griot.
Shabaka & the Ancestors formed in 2016. Shabaka Hutchings – one of the foremost proponents of the current British jazz scene, Guildhall School of Music & Drama alumnus, saxophonist, clarinettist and band leader – had been flying to Johannesburg to play with trumpeter and bandleader Mandla Mlangeni, who connected him to a group of South African jazz musicians that Hutchings admired. After several sessions, their first album Wisdom of Elders was made and established them as a sudden force in spiritual jazz.

The original concert was scheduled as part of the cancelled Propaganda weekend of music, art and spoken word curated by Shabaka Hutchings, 8-10 May 2020.
Produced by the Barbican

Aoife O’Donovan
Thu 28 Jan 2021, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £20 – 25 plus booking fee

Sought-after Irish-American vocalist and songwriter Aoife O’Donovan makes her Barbican music programme debut in Jan 2021, in an intimate concert at Milton Court Concert Hall, performing solo and with a string quartet featuring fiddle player Jeremy Kittel.
Recognised for her ethereal voice and substantive songwriting, Aoife O’Donovan is also known for her collaborations. Her most recent one being the band project I’m With Her, comprised of O’Donovan and fellow singer-songwriters Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz. Their debut album, See You Around, was released in February 2018 to critical acclaim. 
As a solo artist, O’Donovan has released two studio albums: In the Magic Hour (2016) and her debut solo album, 2013's Fossils.
O'Donovan spent the preceding decade as co-founder and front woman of the bluegrass string band Crooked Still. She is the featured vocalist on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the Grammy-winning album by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile and is one-third of the female folk-noir trio Sometimes Why. Throughout her career, Aoife O’Donovan has also collaborated with artists such as Alison Krauss and jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas and is currently a member of the house band on Chris Thile’s Live From Here public US radio variety show.

The original concert was scheduled for 22 May 2020.
Produced by the Barbican

Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lauma Skride
23 February 2021, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £15 – 46 plus booking fee

Celebrated violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter returns to the Barbican to perform three Beethoven violin sonatas together with pianist Lauma Skride: Numbers 4, 5 (Spring) and 9 (Kreutzer).

The original concert was scheduled for 8 April 2020.

Damon Albarn: The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows
Tue 30 Mar 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm 
Tickets £20 – 40 plus booking fee 

Singer, songwriter and composer Damon Albarn’s new project The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, which is inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, will receive its UK premiere at the Barbican in March 2021. The title is taken from a John Clare poem entitled Love and Memory.
Albarn has been a frequent visitor to Iceland for almost three decades and has in this time found musical inspiration in its nature and landscapes. This new piece – inspired by Albarn’s long-time love for Iceland – will see the musician perform this very personal piece in its entirety with an ensemble and specially commissioned visuals.
Damon Albarn is a singer, songwriter, composer and producer, and founder member of Blur, Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad & The Queen.
On Sunday 17 May 2020, Damon Albarn performed music from The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows as part of Boiler Room’s ‘Streaming From Isolation’ series in support of The Global FoodBanking Network. Available to watch here.

The original concert was scheduled for 26 May 2020 as part of Inside Out.
Produced by the Barbican in association with Rain Dog Productions

Redman, Mehldau, McBride, Blade: A MoodSwing Reunion
Sun 11 Jul 2021, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Tickets £30 – 49.50 plus booking fee

Generation-defining jazz musicians and long-time collaborators saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Brad Mehldau, drummer Brian Blade and bassist, composer and arranger Christian McBride return to the Barbican in summer 2021 to revisit their classic 1994 album, MoodSwing.
Performing tracks from the record, along with new material, the jazz supergroup reunites for this very special show. MoodSwing broke the mould for jazz recordings in the 1990s, creating a sound that reached beyond cerebral arrangements and delivered contemporary jazz with emotion and expression.

The original concert was scheduled for 9 July 2020.
Produced by the Barbican in association with Serious


The Barbican is temporarily closed until further notice due to UK Government advice on Coronavirus/Covid-19. All events taking place until Tuesday 30 June 2020 have now been cancelled or postponed, with concerts also cancelled for July. Everyone who has booked a ticket for a Barbican event during this period is eligible for a full refund. Information on how to claim this is published here. Anyone who has tickets up until the end of June has been contacted by the Box Office.

The Barbican is encouraging audiences to make a donation so it can keep investing in the artists and organisations with whom it works. Audiences are also being asked to consider donating to the Centre’s Resident and Associate companies to support them through these difficult times.