Sir John Eliot Gardiner celebrates 75th birthday by curating a Bach Weekend at the Barbican in June 2018

Portrait of Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Fri 15 – Sun 17 June 2018, Various venues, 11am, 3pm, 7.30pm  

To celebrate the 75th birthday of the internationally renowned conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Barbican has invited him to curate a weekend of music by JS Bach from 15 – 17 June 2018, which will feature a very personal selection of works and performers. The programme will incorporate highlights from the Bachfest Leipzig, where Gardiner himself is President. The weekend includes:

  • A three-concert cycle of cantatas in the Barbican Hall (each one focusing on a specific liturgical theme) performed by two outstanding groups for whom Gardiner is Artistic Director: the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists.
     
  • Baroque collective Solomon’s Knot performing motets by both JS Bach and his father’s cousin Johann Christoph in St Giles’ Cripplegate.
     
  • Internationally renowned soloists, including Jean Rondeau, Isabelle Faust, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Jean-Guihen Queyras, performing the composer’s chamber music.

The weekend forms the pinnacle of the Barbican Presents 2017/18 Baroque strand, and launches on 15 June 2018 with a concert of cantatas written for the Advent period, performed by the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists. These four extraordinary works (BWV 61, 70, 81 and 110), which Gardiner knows so intimately, demonstrate Bach at his most joyous, and are a fitting way to open a weekend that explores every aspect of the composer’s output. Soloists for the cantata cycle across the weekend include sopranos Hana Blažíková and Julia Doyle, countertenor Reginald Mobley and bass-baritone Peter Harvey.

On 16 June 2018 violinist Isabelle Faust and harpsichordist Kristian Bezuidenhout perform a selection of Bach’s violin sonatas (BWV 1004, 1014 and 1019), and his Toccata in D minor, BWV 913, in the intimate surroundings of LSO St Luke’s. Faust has made an impression for her bold interpretation of Bach’s violin repertoire, and the duo’s collaboration on all six sonatas has received great acclaim.

The same day sees eminent baroque collective Solomon’s Knot perform a selection of motets in St Giles’ Cripplegate by both JS Bach and his father’s cousin Johann Christoph (whom JS Bach described as “a profound composer”), in a juxtaposition that sheds light on the way that JS Bach was influenced by his family’s musical heritage. In the Barbican Hall that evening, the cycle of cantatas continues, with works from the liturgical period between Easter and Ascension (BWV 12, 20, 34 and 103,) once again performed by the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists.

On Sunday 17 June 2018, the charismatic and energetic harpsichord player Jean Rondeau performs Bach’s Goldberg Variations at Milton Court Concert Hall. Rondeau last performed at the Barbican during the Centre’s Sound Unbound Classical Music Weekender in 2017, where he made an impact with his “Shock of the Baroque” concert. Also at Milton Court that afternoon will be a performance of Bach’s first three Cello Suites from internationally celebrated French cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, who is widely respected for his own nuanced understanding of these wonderfully mutable pieces.

Drawing the celebratory weekend to a close that evening in the Barbican Hall is a final performance from the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, of four jubilant cantatas written for the Trinity period (BWV 19, 78, 101 and 140). Out of the composer’s 200 plus cantatas these are among his most cherished works – perhaps most notably the popular Wachet Auf (BWV 140).

Sir John Eliot Gardiner has become a central figure in the early music revival and a pioneer of historically informed performance, partly because of his work with the Monteverdi Choir, which he founded in 1964 for a one-off performance of the Monteverdi Vespers (1610) in King's College Chapel. Since this performance, the Choir have become globally renowned, embarking on milestone international tours including the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000.

Gardiner’s ensembles have since expanded to include the English Baroque Soloists (formed in 1978), now established as one of the world’s leading period instrument orchestras, and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique.

Listings:

Bach Weekend/Monteverdi Choir
Cantatas 1: Advent to Christmas
15 June 2018 / Barbican Hall / 19:30
Tickets £15 - £45 plus booking fee

‘Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland’ BWV 61
Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!’ BWV 70
Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen?’ BWV 81
Unser Mund sei voll Lachens’ BWV 110

Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Hana Blazikova soprano
Julia Doyle soprano
Reginald Mobley alto
Hugo Hymas tenor
Peter Harvey bass-baritone

 

Bach Weekend/Bach Violin Sonatas
16 June 2018 / LSO St Luke’s / 11:00
Tickets £17.50 plus booking fee

Sonata No 3 for violin and harpsichord in E major, BWV 1016 Partita in D minor, BWV 1004
Sonata No 1 in B minor, BWV1014
Toccata in D minor, BWV 913
Sonata No 6 for violin and harpsichord in G major, BWV 1019

Isabelle Faust violin
Kristian Bezuidenhout harpsichord

 

Bach Weekend/Motets
16 June 2018 / St Giles’ Cripplegate / 15:00
Tickets £17.50 plus booking fee

J C Bach 'Fürchte dich nicht'
J S Bach 'Fürchte dich nicht'
J S Bach 'Komm Jesu, komm'
J C Bach 'Lieber Herr Gott, wecke uns auf'
J S Bach 'Lobet den Herrn'
J C Bach 'Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener'
J S Bach 'Jesu, meine Freude'
J C Bach 'Der Gerechte, ob er gleich zu zeitlich stirbt'
J S Bach 'Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied'

Solomon’s Knot
Jonathan Sells & James Halliday artistic directors

 

Bach Weekend/Monteverdi Choir
Cantatas 2: Easter to Ascension
16 June 2018 / Barbican Hall / 19:30
Tickets £15 - £45 plus booking fee

Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’ BWV 12
‘O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort’ BWV 20
Ihr werdet weinen und heulen’ BWV 103
‘O ewiges Feuer’ BWV 34

Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Hana Blazikova soprano
Sarah Denbee alto
Reginald Mobley alto
Hugo Hymas tenor
Gareth Treseder tenor
Alex Ashworth bass
Peter Harvey bass-baritone
Samuel Pantcheff bass

 

Bach Weekend/ Goldberg Variations
17 June 2018 / Milton Court Concert Hall / 11:00
Tickets £17.50 plus booking fee

Jean Rondeau harpsichord

 

Bach Weekend/Cello Suites
17 June 2018 / Milton Court Concert Hall / 15:00
Tickets £17.50 plus booking fee

Cello Suite No 1 in G major
Cello Suite No 2 in D minor
Cello Suite No 3 in C major

Jean-Guihen Queyras cello

 

Bach Weekend/Monteverdi Choir
Cantatas 3: Trinity Season
17 June 2018 / Barbican Hall / 19:30
Tickets £15 - £45 plus booking fee

‘Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott’ BWV 101
‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’ BWV 140
‘Jesu, der du meine Seele’ BWV 78
‘Es erhub sich ein Streit’ BWV 19

Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Hana Blazikova soprano
Julia Doyle soprano
Emma Lewis alto
Ruari Bowen tenor
Hugo Hymas tenor
Graham Neal tenor
Alex Ashworth bass
Peter Harvey bass-baritone

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Barbican Box Office: 0845 120 7550
www.barbican.org.uk

Press Information

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Sabine Kindel, Senior Communications Manager
t - +44 (0)20 7382 7090
e – sabine.kindel@barbican.org.uk

Sean Harwood, Communications Manager
t - +44 (0)20 7382 6199
e – sean.harwood@barbican.org.uk

Rachel Coombes, Communications Officer
t - +44 (0)20 7382 6196
e – rachel.coombes@barbican.org.uk

About the Barbican

A world-class arts and learning organisation, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. Its creative learning programme further underpins everything it does. Over 1.1 million people attend events annually, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and more than 300 staff work onsite. The architecturally renowned centre opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, The Pit, Cinemas One, Two and Three, Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, foyers and public spaces, a library, Lakeside Terrace, a glasshouse conservatory, conference facilities and three restaurants. The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre.

The Barbican is home to Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra; Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia, Associate Producer Serious, and Artistic Partner Create. Our Artistic Associates include Boy Blue Entertainment, Cheek by Jowl, Deborah Warner, Drum Works and Michael Clark Company. International Associates are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

 

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