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Zadie Smith and the BBC Symphony Orchestra

Black and white portrait photo of Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith, one of the most influential cultural figures in Britain joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a concert blurring boundaries between music and words.

Zadie Smith is one of Britain’s most notable living novelists. Her first work White Teeth, completed while the author was still a student, became an instant hit when it was published in 2000. Soon enough, Smith came to define what it was to live in Britain – and particularly London – at the turn of the new millennium. 

Music has always coursed through Smith’s works. At university she worked as a jazz singer while her 2016 novel Swing Time, long listed for the Booker Prize, explores her love of music and dance. In the latest of our collaborations with great writers, Smith joins the orchestra for this entertaining concert exploring the music, ideas and artists who have challenged, provoked and inspired her.

The performance ends at approximately 9.30pm, with a 20-minute interval.

This livestream will be available to watch back until Sun 24 Apr 2022 at 7.30pm. You can buy a ticket up until this point. The live stream is available globally.

Produced by the BBC Symphony Orchestra


Save 15–20% on in-person tickets with the BBC Symphony Orchestra Jan-Jul 2022 Multibuy.

Members enjoy 20% off streaming tickets.

No booking fees.

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£10 in person

£5 stream

Aged 14–25? Join Young Barbican for free.

Subject to availability

50% off

Please bring proof of age where possible


20% off for groups of 10 or more. Please email [email protected] to book group tickets.

Wheelchair spaces and free companion seats may now be booked online. 

Please select the relevant preferences on the access registration page during your booking so we can provide you with the correct information and discounts.

Booking a wheelchair space: Select a seat displaying the wheelchair user icon and then select wheelchair user ticket type. The ticket will be priced at the lowest price for that event. If you need an essential companion, please select the click the E icon next to the wheelchair space you have selected. 

Booking essential companion tickets: Please select at least two tickets and one of them will be automatically discounted to zero in the basket. 

Booking British Sign Language or Captioned Seats: Select seats in the area appropriate to your needs.

*Excludes £3 booking fee

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