News: Spitalfields Music announces line up for 2020 festival

Artistic Curators Edmund Finnis, Kate Molleson, Errollyn Wallen CBE and CEO Sarah Gee have today revealed the programme for this year’s Spitalfields Music Festival, which returns to Christ Church, the site where the festival originated 43 years ago, over the weekend of 24-28 June.

Acclaimed artists from a range of musical styles will bring their extraordinary performances to the heart of East London for this year’s festival. World premieres and new music will sit side by side with classic repertoire of epic scale in a programme which celebrates the extensive range of classical music.

Titled Metamorphosis and Transformation, this year’s festival will bring together artists, audiences and communities to celebrate the power of music to speak across cultures, communities and language. The festival’s newly-appointed curators present music from many different traditions, countries and ages, in a weekend of unforgettable live music that will reimagine what classical music can mean for artists and audiences alike.

Programme highlights:

  • The dance music of Rameau will be vividly characterised by contemporary dancer, giving life to the statue at the heart of Pygmalion.  The Dunedin Consort are joined by soloists Nicholas Mulroy, Anna Dennis, Jessica Leary and Zoë Brookshaw. In addition, cellist Lucy Railton responds to the drama of the work with her own compositions to open and close the concert.
  • The world premiere of Aberdeen, a new collaboration from David Fennessy and Sonia Cromarty with Tim Cooper, will combine live cello, electric guitar, electronics and found sounds to form an immersive installation in Hanbury Hall
  • EXAUDI voice ensemble will present the World Premiere of Jürg Frey’s Landscape of Echoes and the UK premiere of Klaus Lang’s Veronika’s Thread as part of a programme of European choral music ancient and modern
  • A lunchtime concert – Fast Food, Fast Music – will present new commissions from nine emerging and established female composers, written for the Miller-Porfiris Duo and Siwan Rhys, as part of the festival’s pledge to Keychange, the international initiative to empower women to transform the future of music
  • Catherine Lamb Trio will challenge the limits of human perceptions with their custom-developed Secondary Rainbow Synthesiser in Prisma Interius IV
  • Dunedin Consort return alongside the National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain to perform two works for forty voices – Spem in alium, and When the Wet Wind Sings

Spitalfields Music’s year-round commitment to the co-creation of music with its communities is showcased and woven throughout the festival in projects including:

  • Song Club: Errollyn Wallen and Katie Melua will lead a song writing showcase open to composers and song writers of all levels
  • Big Sing: Over 100 students in years 7-9 (KS3) come together to perform at Spitalfields E1 Market, with music ranging from pop, folk and jazz to classical choral, accompanied by a professional band
  • Open Call: Three talented music creators from backgrounds under-represented in the industry have been commissioned by Spitalfields Music to develop new work in response to the festival theme of Metamorphosis and Transformation
  • Platform with Soundbox: Young musicians from across Tower Hamlets come together to perform at Christ Church. The programme features Soundbox, our inclusive music collective, which brings together disabled and non-disabled musicians aged 11+ from East London to make and create music using a mixture of traditional instruments, music technology and singing
  • Music and History Walks: Author S I Martin will join forces with the Chineke! Junior Orchestra for a two-hour walk around East London, lifting the lid on the black history of Spitalfields

Errollyn Wallen CBE commented: “A large part of my childhood was spent in the East End of London where I heard the tales of centuries past. Moving across its many cultures and customs, I witnessed at first hand the powerful energy that comes from migration, crossing borders and transformation. These themes are at the heart of my Spitalfields programming and I am both honoured and excited to have the opportunity to present them.”

Edmund Finnis said: “It’s a real joy to have been asked to curate some concerts for this unique and cherished Festival. It’s an opportunity to bring together performers and composers I greatly admire and to share some music that I love.”

Kate Molleson added: “I’m thrilled to present two fearless pieces of music theatre. Both are about image, imagination, heart, how to define ourselves (or not) in the world. Their composers span three centuries but that’s the timeless & urgent joy of Spitalfields: showcasing the world-class Dunedin Consort in a French baroque masterpiece alongside the latest invention from one of today’s most original composers, David Fennessy.”

Tickets go on general sale on Thursday 27 February at 10am. For booking and further information:

Photo credit: Andy Catlin

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