Music of Exile: Genesis Suite & Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra

London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle


Sir Simon Rattle conducts two works from the 1940s, including a rarely-heard collaboration between some of the biggest composers of the day, with visual projections from director Gerard McBurney.

1945: the world is reeling from war and persecution on a scale never seen before. Seven composers – many of them Jewish, with Schoenberg and Stravinsky among them – have left Europe, taking refuge in the US and finding opportunities in Hollywood’s glittering film industry.

These seven composers came together to create something never heard before: the Genesis Suite, musically depicting dramatic stories from the first book of the Bible. It’s a work of incredible ambition with political themes that still resonate in 2017. The Tower of Babel, Adam and Eve, the Flood – these are stories of displaced peoples, broken promises and destruction. 

And in this rare performance these stories of Genesis, war and our current political climate will be brought to life through visual projections by Gerard McBurney and Mike Tutaj, transforming the Barbican Hall in a new realisation as innovative as the Genesis Suite itself.

Part of our 2018 Season, The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and can potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.


The Art of Change

Can the arts change the world? How does the role of artists and the arts help bring about change? How does culture borrow from society – and vice versa? We look ahead at some of the highlights from our 2018 annual theme

Barbican Hall