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Britten Sinfonia and the Marian Consort

Portrait of Carlo Gesualdo in profile

Aristocrat, murderer and composer of extraordinary music hundreds of years ahead of its time – join for an exploration of the 16th-century Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, Carlo Gesualdo.

Britten Sinfonia performs arrangements of Gesualdo’s motets, whose extremes of expression lead to harmonies that even today feel moving and refreshingly new. British vocal ensemble the Marian Consort sets the scene with some of Gesualdo's remarkable motets and madrigals, as well as works by Portuguese-African Vicente Lusitano, whose motets published in Rome in 1551 paved the way for Gesualdo’s own audacious experiments with harmonic chromaticism.

In Carlo, composer Brett Dean draws on Gesualdo’s sound-world and dark life story in a powerfully atmospheric work for string orchestra, recorded voices and electronics. Finally, a UK premiere from Lisa Illean which, she says, ‘evokes an intermingling of distant sounds – music heard partially, and far away’.

The end time for this performance will be added closer to the performance date

Promoted by Britten Sinfonia


Aged 14–25? Join Young Barbican for free.

Subject to availability

£8 tickets for students and under-18s.

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.

20% discount for groups of 10+. Contact [email protected] to make a group booking.

Subject to availability.

*Excludes £4 booking fee

Pre-concert screening

5.45pm, Milton Court

Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices, directed by Werner Herzog.

Free and unticketed

Maker of cult films including Aguirre, Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo starring, Werner Herzog also has a fascination with music, winning acclaim for his opera productions over several decades at the Bayreuth Festival, the Opera Bastille in Paris and La Scala, Milan. His 1995 documentary about the life of composer Carlo Gesualdo is typically idiosyncratic.

Milton Court Concert Hall