98% of recent visitors felt safe while at the Barbican. Here’s what you need to know ahead of your visit. Find out more

Press room

Live music and live audiences return to the Barbican this autumn – line-up announced

The Kanneh-Mason Family smiling with the Barbican tower illuminated on them

The Barbican today announced the line-up for its new autumn concert series Live from the Barbican. For the first time, a series of Barbican concerts will be accessible online for a global digital audience through a livestream and, also, for a reduced, socially distanced live audience in the Barbican Hall.

The newly programmed series runs from 4 October – 13 December 2020 and features an eclectic mix of artists across different genres, all reflecting the wide spectrum of the Barbican’s distinct music offer:

  • Celebrated bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel in Concert with Barbican Associate Ensemble Britten Sinfonia (Sun 4 Oct 2020)
  • Multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper and his ensemble (Sat 10 Oct 2020)
  • Revered chamber pop group The Divine Comedy (Wed 14 Oct 2020)
  • Singer-songwriter Emmy the Great performing material from her upcoming album April / 月音 (Sat 17 Oct 2020) 
  • The seven brothers and sisters of the The Kanneh-Mason Family in concert (Thu 22 Oct 2020)
  • Northumbrian songsmith Richard Dawson with a special solo set (Sun 25 Oct 2020)
  • Award-winning tenor saxophonist and composer Nubya Garcia performing material from her new album SOURCE (Thu 29 Oct 2020) 
  • Sir Antonio Pappano at the piano in concert with friends and collaborators tenor Ian Bostridge, mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly and the Carducci Quartet (Sun 1 Nov 2020)
  • Barbican Associate Orchestra BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo and soprano Anu Komsi give the world premiere of the chamber orchestra version of Magnus Lindberg’s Accused (Fri 6 Nov 2020)
  • Cassie Kinoshi/SEED Ensemble mark the 80th birthday of spiritual jazz icon Pharoah Sanders (Sat 14 Nov 2020)  
  • Saxophonist, clarinettist, composer and band leader Shabaka Hutchings performs Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with Britten Sinfonia (Wed 18 Nov 2020)
  • Physicist Professor Brian Cox joins the BBC SO and Principal Guest Conductor Dalia Stasevska to explore the questions raised by music and the Cosmos (Sun 13 Dec 2020)

All performances will be streamed live from the Barbican Hall on a pay-to-view basis, with 48 hours to view or re-watch the concert after it begins. Tickets for the live experience in the auditorium will also be available for all concerts, if Government guidance continues to permit this. 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. Please see below for full concert details.

The Barbican’s resident orchestra the London Symphony Orchestra also returns to the Barbican Hall with its own series of eleven concerts from 29 November and throughout December. Sir Simon Rattle conducts the concerts which feature all five Beethoven piano concertos with guest soloist Krystian Zimerman. The concerts are performed twice per day in front of a live audience and recorded for future broadcast.

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

As it became apparent that the show couldn’t go on as planned this autumn, we realised we had to start over and create an entirely new season that’s right for here and now. At the Barbican we exist to connect the arts and artists with our audiences and so, in this new autumn concert series, we want to make the most of the technology available to achieve that. We’re now able to present a great digital offer, which has the potential to reach an even bigger global audience, while also making sure that audiences can visit the Barbican Hall in person for a live experience once again. The programme we offer this autumn is what the Barbican stands for: it is eclectic and diverse, it features superstars and newcomers, it offers the best of classical, contemporary classical, jazz, pop, folk, indie – just like the programme our audiences know and love. We are fortunate to have not just a loyal audience but also strong artistic partnerships across the genres. These partnerships are now perhaps more vital than ever, and we’re committed to doing all we can to support artists and partner organisations – and the unique ecosystem that is the UK’s music industry. We’re extremely grateful for the generosity of our own supporters, without whom none of this would be possible.

The Live from the Barbican series will be streamed using the same technology as the Barbican’s new cinema streaming service – which will enable audience members to view the concerts through the Barbican website on their computer or mobile device. The concerts have been designed and produced with both digital streaming and live audiences in mind and have been developed entirely in-house. Viewers at home will see the Barbican Hall as never before, with the highest quality broadcasting and production to bring the excitement of a live performance to them, while audiences in the Hall will be given a long-awaited return to the Barbican concert-going experience. All performances will be filmed using the Barbican’s multi-camera broadcast technology, which has been significantly expanded for this concert-series. This technology will also enable us to bring the Barbican’s music programme to new and wider audiences into the future.

Tickets are £20 for live audiences in the Barbican Hall, and £12.50 to access the livestreams. Discounted tickets at £5 are available to 14 – 25-year-olds through the Young Barbican scheme. Tickets will go on sale to Barbican Patrons on Wednesday 9 September, Barbican Members on Thursday 10 September and on general sale on Friday 11 September. Please visit the event pages below to find information on how to book tickets. Information about safety measures that are in place when visiting the Centre can be found here.

Please find full event details for Live from the Barbican series in date order below.

Sun 4 Oct 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Sir Bryn Terfel and Britten Sinfonia: Live from the Barbican
Bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, oboe Nicholas Daniel, Britten Sinfonia
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)
Bach: Cantata No. 82, Ich habe genugFinzi: Let Us Garlands Bring
Selection of Welsh traditional songs and songs by Ivor Novello

Celebrated bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel performs in an evening of music that is close to his heart, alongside oboist Nicholas Daniel and Britten Sinfonia. The programme features Bach’s consoling cantata No. 82 Ich habe genug, and Finzi’s optimistic Shakespeare song cycle Let Us Garlands Bring, in the composer’s own string orchestra version. The evening concludes with some of Sir Bryn’s favourite Welsh traditional songs plus songs by Ivor Novello, all in specially commissioned orchestral arrangements by Iain Farrington.
Co-produced by the Barbican and Britten Sinfonia.

Sat 10 Oct 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Erland Cooper: Live from the Barbican
An Orkney Triptych with soloists from the London Contemporary Orchestra + Mary Anne Hobbs Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)

Hailing from the archipelago of Orkney in Scotland, Erland Cooper explores the natural world of birds, landscape and place, manifesting in an immersive collection of music, words and imagery.  His triptych of records (2018’s Solan Goose, 2019’s Sule Skerry, 2020’s Hether Blether) explores themes including birdlife, air, sea, land, community, dialect, myth and mythology.

For the Live from the Barbican series this autumn, Erland Cooper will collaborate with a small ensemble consisting of his NEST of musicians, supplemented with an additional quartet of soloists and new arrangements from the London Contemporary Orchestra and director of photography and close collaborator, Alex Kozobolis (Ólafur Arnalds, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Cooper) to perform special versions of songs from his Orkney Trilogy of albums. The show, which is designed specifically for live broadcast, will be introduced by Mary Anne Hobbs and incorporates film and spoken word contributions by Scottish artist Kathryn Joseph, real-time live performance and pre-recorded projected materials to bring nature and the outside, inside.

Erland Cooper said; “An audience should always feel transported somewhere else for a moment, whether real or imagined. Music, live performance and venues have the power to do that. I’d like the Barbican Hall itself to feel like a ferry, crossing the North Sea to Orkney. To be able to broadcast simultaneously to a remote community north as well as a large city south, feels like a bird's migration"
Produced by the Barbican

Wed 14 Oct 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
The Divine Comedy: Live from the Barbican
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)

The Divine Comedy present a selection of songs from across their career, performed by a six-piece band, to mark the release of the Venues, Cupid, Folly and Time 30th anniversary reissues of their back catalogue this autumn.

The Divine Comedy will also return to the Centre next year, taking up residency at the Barbican in September 2021 (postponed from September 2020), presenting Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time – Thirty Years of The Divine Comedy, a celebration of the band’s thirtieth anniversary. This five-night concert-run will see them performing as an eleven-piece ensemble, and they will play two albums in full each night in chronological order.

Founder Neil Hannon signed his first deal in 1990 and started releasing records under the name The Divine Comedy. Thirty years, twelve great albums and hundreds of mesmerising live shows later, Hannon is rightly adjudged one of the finest singer-songwriters of his generation. To mark the anniversary, Divine Comedy Records are remastering and reissuing nine of the band's classic albums on CD, LP and digital. The reissued albums plus a new twelve volume CD boxset entitled Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time - Thirty Years of The Divine Comedy will be released in October 2020.
Produced by the Barbican

Sat 17 Oct 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Emmy the Great: Live from the Barbican
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)

Emma-Lee Moss aka Emmy the Great performs material from her upcoming fourth studio album April / 月音 (out on 9 October 2020, Bella Union). The new album is a further evolution of Emmy’s sound and details the true story of how her life changed under the patronage of the Mid-Autumn moon, during a period of peace in pre-protest Hong Kong.

Her Live from the Barbican performance is in celebration of the mid-Autumn Moon Festival (also known as the Lantern Festival) in Hong Kong, and Emmy has curated a Barbican-commissioned mini-series around this, which will also include a free guided lantern making workshop, suitable for families, which will be available via the Barbican’s Read, Watch, Listen page; a panel discussion about mythology, women and worship with authors Rowan Hisayo-Buchanan and Jessica Lee; and HK SOIREE, a celebration of Hong Kong through its people and its culture. The soirée is planned as a digital symposium, centred around a dinner party theme where over the course of an evening guests will meet to share stories, food and music as they come together in an open discussion of the city – its future, hopes and dreams. HK SOIREE will be moderated by Emmy the Great and Jenny Lau, founder Celestial Peach and will feature special guests, to be announced.

Since her third album was released in 2016, Emma-Lee Moss has worked as a critically-acclaimed composer for radio, TV, film and stage. As a journalist, she contributes writing to the Guardian, Vice, British GQ, Wired and others, and presented and composed music for A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea for BBC Radio 4, nominated for the Prix Europa in 2019.
Produced by the Barbican

Thu 22 Oct 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
The Kanneh-Mason Family in Concert: Live from the Barbican
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)

Piano Isata Kanneh-Mason
Violin Braimah Kanneh-Mason
Cello Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Piano and violin Konya Kanneh-Mason
Piano and cello Jeneba Kanneh-Mason
Violin Aminata Kanneh-Mason
Cello Mariatu Kanneh-Mason

Fresh from their Facebook Live performances, the entire Kanneh-Mason Family emerge from lockdown onto the Barbican platform for their first public concert in London. Introducing their wide-ranging programme from the stage, the seven brothers and sisters (aged from 10 to 23 years old) will perform an eclectic selection of their favourite music in a variety of combinations, culminating in a medley from Fiddler on the Roof arranged for the whole family. Included in the stream ticket is a conversation between the children and parents of this talented family as they discuss the insights in Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason’s new book, House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons.

Full programme:
Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 1 in C minor, Op. 8 – Braimah, Sheku, Isata Schubert Impromptu No. 4 in A-flat major, D. 899 - Konya
Schubert Impromptu No. 4 in F minor, D. 935 - Jeneba
Tchaikovsky Mélodie, Op. 42 No. 3 - Braimah, Isata
Mozart Piano Trio in B-flat major, K. 502, 3rd mvt - Jeneba, Aminata, Mariatu
Barber Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 6, 1st mvt – Sheku, Isata
Gershwin Three Preludes - Isata
Eric Whitacre The Seal Lullaby - all seven
Fiddler on the Roof Medley, arr. Kanneh-Masons – all seven
Produced by the Barbican

Sun 25 Oct 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Richard Dawson: Live from the Barbican
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)

Celebrated Northumbrian songsmith Richard Dawson was set to curate a special evening – Delight is Right – at the Barbican in March 2020, which couldn’t happen at the time due to Covid-19 restrictions. It would have been a gathering of his friends, fellow travellers and favourites, culminating in a headline Richard Dawson set in the Barbican Hall. We will hopefully be able to reschedule this for 2021, with more details to be announced soon.

We are however pleased to welcome Richard this autumn as part of our newly devised streaming concert offer, where he will be playing a special solo set, presenting material from his latest album 2020 alongside a selection from his back catalogue.

2020 is Dawson’s sixth studio album which was released in October 2019. It is a hard-hitting state-of-the-nation study on contemporary Britain which introduces the listener to grand themes through small lives and portraits of human beings struggling with recognisable concerns, conflicts and desires. Dawson’s music has been described as a blend of traditional English and jazzy psych folk and North Country Blues.
Produced by the Barbican

Thu 29 Oct 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Nubya Garcia: Live from the Barbican
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)

Award-winning saxophonist and composer Nubya Garcia will perform as part of Live from the Barbican this October.

Garcia is renowned for her powerful, inspirational live performances and will be playing material from her widely-acclaimed and recently released debut solo album, SOURCE.  For this special hometown show, Garcia will be joined by her band which features Joe Armon-Jones on keys, Daniel Casimir on double bass, and Sam Jones on drums.

Nubya Garcia was born and raised in North London, just up the road from the Barbican Centre.  She won the Jazz FM 'Breakthrough Act of the Year Award' and the Sky Arts 'Breakthrough Act of the Year Award' in 2018, plus the Jazz FM 'UK Jazz Act of the Year Award' in 2019.  In addition to her endeavours as a solo artist, Garcia is a member and co-founder of contemporary septet Nérija and the spiritual jazz group Maisha.  An incredible live performer, Garcia has toured extensively all over the world.  She has a growing reputation as a DJ, and currently has a residency on NTS Radio. 

Following Nérija’s opening set for Ernest Ranglin in summer 2016, Nubya Garcia returns to the Barbican’s music programme with her own headline show.
Produced by the Barbican

Sun 1 Nov 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Sir Antonio Pappano & Friends: Live from the Barbican
Mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly, tenor Ian Bostridge, Carducci Quartet
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)
Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge (tenor and ensemble)
Chausson: Poème de l’amour et de la mer (mezzo-soprano and ensemble)

Sir Antonio Pappano has curated a personal programme of music for himself at the piano, the Carducci Quartet, and friends and long-time collaborators tenor Ian Bostridge and mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly. Love, loss, nature and nostalgia unite the evening’s two song cycles, both bursting the boundaries of their chamber forces with operatic intensity: Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge, a quintessentially English pastoral idyll, and Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer (here in first UK performance of a new chamber version by Franck Villard), the epitome of sophisticated French polish. Included in the stream ticket will be a conversation in which the performers share their insights into these two works.
Produced by the Barbican

Fri 6 Nov 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
BBC SO/Oramo: Live from the Barbican
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)
Anna Clyne: Within Her Arms
Haydn: Symphony No 49 La PassioneMagnus Lindberg: Accused (world premiere of chamber orchestra version)

The BBC Symphony Orchestra’s first live concert of the season at the Barbican consists of powerful and passionate music by Anna Clyne, Haydn and Magnus Lindberg.

Within Her Arms by Anna Clyne was composed in 2008 in memory of her late mother, while Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 earned its nickname The Passion as a result of its dark-hued and sombre character. Soprano Anu Komsi sings Magnus Lindberg’s powerful statement in support of human rights and democracy, Accused, conducted by the BBC SO’s Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo.
Co-produced by the Barbican and BBC SO

Sat 14 Nov 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
SEED Ensemble and Special Guests Celebrating the music of Pharoah Sanders: Live from the Barbican
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2020
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)

Celebrating the life and work of spiritual jazz icon Pharoah Sanders (who turns 80 this October), Cassie Kinoshi and SEED Ensemble perform from his much-revered songbook, live streamed from the Barbican Hall as part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2020.

A vital part of London’s thriving jazz scene, SEED Ensemble is a Mercury Award nominated ten-piece band, led by alto saxophonist and composer Cassie Kinoshi. Their style comes from the bustle of the city alongside the West African and Caribbean influences of Kinoshi’s heritage, exploring a blend of genres through original compositions and improvisation: a truly Black British sound. The band’s line-up features some of London’s most exciting and innovative young jazz musicians including trumpeter Sheila-Maurice-Grey (Kokoroko) and guitarist Shirley Tetteh (Maisha).
Co-produced by the Barbican and Serious in association with EFG London Jazz Festival

Wed 18 Nov 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
Shabaka Hutchings with Britten Sinfonia: Live from the Barbican
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2020
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)

Saxophonist, clarinettist, composer and band leader, Shabaka Hutchings, is one of the foremost proponents of the current British jazz scene. In this special concert as part of the Barbican’s newly devised autumn concert series, Shabaka Hutchings’ background as a classically trained artist will take centre stage. Blurring the lines between jazz and classical music and exploring the jazz idiom, he performs Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, written for the legendary ‘King of Swing’ Benny Goodman, alongside Britten Sinfonia, followed by Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet, and a solo improvisation on clarinet.
Britten Sinfonia will conclude the programme with a performance of Copland’s musical portrait of 19th century pioneers, Appalachian Spring, which brings together traditional Shaker melodies with his quintessentially American sound.

London-born and Barbados-bred, Shabaka studied classical clarinet at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and has established himself as a central figure in the London jazz scene, which is enjoying its greatest creative renaissance since the breakthroughs of Joe Harriott and Evan Parker in the 1960s. Hutchings has a restlessly creative and refreshingly open-minded spirit, playing in a variety of groups, most notably: Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming, and Shabaka & the Ancestors, which he distinguishes less by the music they make than by the different combination of personalities. Hutchings embraces influences from the sounds of London’s diverse club culture, including house, grime, jungle, and dub.

Shabaka Hutchings was set to curate Propaganda – a Barbican weekend of music, art, spoken word and some very special collaborations – in May 2020, which couldn’t happen due to Covid-19 restrictions. Following his autumn appearance with Britten Sinfonia, he is scheduled to return to the Barbican Hall in January 2021 with Shabaka & the Ancestors, presenting material from their second studio album We Are Sent Here By History, which explores African and Afro-Caribbean traditions and can be described as a modern-day griot.

Full programme:
Copland Clarinet Concerto
Stravinsky Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet
Copland Appalachian Spring  
Co-produced by the Barbican and Britten Sinfonia

Sun 13 Dec 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm
The Cosmos with Professor Brian Cox & BBC SO
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)
Sibelius arr. Iain Farrington: Symphony No. 5 Mov. 3
Ives: The Unanswered Question
Mahler arr. Michelle Castelletti: Symphony No.10 Mov. 1

One of the world’s pre-eminent physicists embarks on a mind-bending musical voyage through space and time, set to a soundtrack inspired by the great unknowns of the Universe.
What does it mean to live small, finite lives in an infinite Universe? Prepare to confront some of the biggest questions of them all: questions of life, death and the very meaning of our existence.
Physicist Professor Brian Cox joins the BBC SO and Principal Guest Conductor Dalia Stasevska to explore the questions raised by music and the Cosmos concerning eternity, death, rebirth and meaning.
Professor Brian Cox returns to the Barbican for this concert, following a critically-acclaimed performance with the BBC SO of Holst’s The Planets in 2018.
Co-produced by the Barbican and BBC SO
 

London Symphony Orchestra – Beethoven Piano Concertos

29 Nov-17 Dec 2020
London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle / Krystian Zimerman
The Barbican’s resident orchestra the London Symphony Orchestra makes a welcome return to the Barbican Hall with Music Director Sir Simon Rattle for a special series of eleven concerts from 29 November - 17 December.
Sir Simon Rattle conducts all the concerts which feature the five Beethoven piano concertos with guest soloist Krystian Zimerman. Each programme is performed twice in one day at 3.30pm and 6.30pm and recorded for future broadcast. This series marks the return to and the conclusion of the LSO’s celebration of Beethoven 250 at the Barbican which began with performances of Beethoven Symphony No 7 and his oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives which was performed on Sunday 19 January.
The Beethoven concertos are paired with works by Stravinsky for every concert. Audiences will be able to hear Stravinsky’s Apollon musagète, composed for the Ballet Russes, Four Norwegian Moods, his Octet for Wind Instruments, Suite Nos 1 & 2 for small orchestra, Concerto in D for Strings, Symphonies of Wind Instruments, and his ballet music composed for New York City Ballet Orpheus and Agon.
For the final LSO concert of 2020 on December 17 Krystian Zimerman will play all five Beethoven piano concertos in one extended programme with intervals.