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Barbican announces The Death of Stalin live in concert, plus Songlines magazine’s 25th anniversary celebration

Stalin's peers stand on a concrete balcony dressed in military uniform

The Death of Stalin – In Concert

In March 2024, the Barbican and BBC Symphony Orchestra will bring Armando Iannucci’s biting comedy satire, The Death of Stalin (2017) to the Hall. This unique and cinematic evening will present a screening with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, who will be playing Christopher Willis' score in synchronisation with the film for the first time, conducted by Matt Dunkley.

The Death of Stalin recounts the turmoil following Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin’s demise in 1953 as the remaining members of the Secretariat of the Communist Party jostle for power.  Balancing hilarity and horror, with a stellar ensemble cast delivering compelling performances, The Death of Stalin paints a picture both amusing and unsettling.

Christopher Willis, a regular Iannucci collaborator (Veep, The Personal History of David Copperfield), wrote a score that echoes the brilliant 20th-century Russian symphonists such as Shostakovich and Myaskovsky and underpins the film with power, elegance, and wit. 

The live screening will be followed by a Q&A featuring director Armando Iannucci, composer Christopher Willis, producer Kevin Loader and members of the principal cast including Jason Isaacs and Michael Palin.

Co-produced by the Barbican and the BBC Symphony Orchestra

The Death of Stalin - In Concert is a Big Screen Live production in association with Entertainment One Group.  

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Songlines @ 25

Songlines magazine celebrates its remarkable 25-year history with a special anniversary concert in the Barbican Hall. With a stellar lineup of some of the very best of music from around the world, each act will present separate performances to mark 25 years of this world-leading publication for contemporary and traditional music.

From beloved Songlines favourites to trailblazing newcomers, the evening will feature an eclectic blend of musical mastery, with each artist presenting a 30-minute set.

Salif Keita, the “golden voice of Africa”, will be joined on the kora by Mamadou Diabate - paying tribute to their rich Malian heritage in an intimate performance together.

A driving force behind Québec’s progressive Francophone folk movement, Le Vent Du Nord bring their rhythmic and soulful music to the line-up.

Divanhana, who are paving the future of sevdalinka (Balkan Blues), pay tribute to their heritage with a performance of urban traditional music from Bosnia & Herzegovina.

And finally, Mandé jazz sensations, Balimaya Project and bandleader Yahael Camara Onono return to the Barbican Hall to perform their infectiously rhythmic fusions of West African tradition and London's new jazz sound.

Produced by the Barbican

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Max Cooper presents Seme

+ Odalie

Electronic music producer, acclaimed musician, sound designer and creative Max Cooper will give the UK premiere performance of Seme – the latest project in the London-based audio-visual artist’s vast portfolio of work – on two dates in April 2024

Returning to the Barbican for the first time since 2019’s Yearning for the Infinite, Cooper’s new project Seme (or “Seed”) was developed originally for its world premiere at the Saltzburg Easter Festival directed by Sir Antonio Pappano, based around the passion and spirit of Italy. Working to this theme, Seme takes inspiration from, and centres around, an exploration of rich Italian foundational aesthetics. Combining historical Italian musical and visual elements with their counterparts from the history of science, philosophy and art, Cooper’s Seme mines Italy’s rich cultural past to create a meditation on the form which yields us, and the world we live in 

For this performance in London, Cooper will be joined by soprano Kim Sheehan, cellist Niels Orens, pianist Tom Hodge, with visuals by multi-disciplinary design studio Architecture Social Club, Yoshi Sodeoka, and Davide Quayola.

Support comes from Odalie who crafts mosaics of sound that range from uplifting to melancholy, touching on a world of emotion in between.

Produced by the Barbican

Generously supported by Trevor Fenwick and Jane Hindley

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