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Le grand Inconnu

The Sixteen

Few living composers communicate with the emotional directness of James MacMillan, and the opportunity to hear two substantial new works in one concert is genuinely rare.

Imagine a vision too wondrous for eyes alone – ‘the lady more brilliant than the sun’. ‘The lady’ is the Virgin Mary, and The Sun Danced is an ecstatic choral celebration of the Miracle of Fatima. It’s no secret that MacMillan’s profound religious belief drives his creativity, but music this powerful conveys a universal message, and the title of his new symphony Le grand Inconnu suggests many possible interpretations. But with Harry Christophers conducting the Britten Sinfonia and The Sixteen, the music will speak eloquently for itself.

This performance will end at approximately 9.35pm, including a 20 minute interval.

Pre-concert talk 6.15pm

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‘Music of astonishing beauty and clarity‘
‘There’s a London performance at the Barbican in October, and you should try and hear [it]. I could be very wrong... but right now, it feels important.‘
‘Le grand Inconnu needs to become well known, and widely heard‘
‘The world needs more composers like MacMillan: powerful, communicative composers who never hide where they come from, what they believe in, or what they feel‘


Photo of Harry Christophers talking to the camera about James Macmillan

Watch: Harry Christophers on MacMillan's Fifth Symphony

Hear why Harry Christophers thinks we're 'witness to a masterpiece' in MacMillan's new choral symphony.

Photo of Sir James Macmillan looking into the camera

Listen: Sir James MacMillan on his Fifth Symphony

Sir James MacMillan and Cardinal Vincent Nichols talk about the Holy Spirit and MacMillan’s Fifth Symphony.

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