Paris in the 1920s, Venice in the Baroque, Enlightenment Vienna and present-day New York: four evocative times and places when classical music crossed paths with the alternative, the exploratory, the outlandish and the glitz of worlds that are very different from the world of the formal concert hall. In Worlds Colliding this spring, we explore what happened when classical music met the jazz culture of the Parisian ‘Crazy Years’, the New York of Philip Glass and Steve Reich, and Mozart and Vivaldi as the rock ‘n’ roll stars of their day.

Queen Elizabeth Hall: Radio Rewrite & 1920s Paris

Robert Ames and David Greilsammer
Robert Ames and David Greilsammer

In two concerts at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, we’ll explore the blurred lines between classical music and popular culture within the context of two different times and places: present-day New York and 1920s Paris.

In Radio Rewrite on Monday 16 March, Robert Ames will direct and conduct a transatlantic programme of US and UK music from present-day composers, including Philip Glass (Echorus), Steve Reich (Radio Rewrite), The National’s Bryce Dessner (Rafael) and Mica Levi (Love). Rob and the Orchestra will also be joined by Bishi Bhattacharya, who will be play tanpura in ‘Water’ by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.

In 1920s Paris, the Crazy Years on Tuesday 28 April, David Greilsammer will direct a programme dedicated to the Parisian ‘Crazy Years’; 1920s Paris. Music includes Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte, Poulenc’s Piano Concerto (both featuring David on piano) and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite. We’ll also be joined by a star narrator who will tell an original story based on Pulcinella and Les Mariés de la tour Eiffel.

Wilton’s Music Hall: I’m a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star

Robert Levin and Terje Tonnesen
Robert Levin and Terje Tonnesen

In I’m a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star at Wilton’s Music Hall (20-23 May), we’ll present music by Mozart and Vivaldi the original rock ‘n’ roll stars with artists who will each recapture the party spirit and decadence of the composers’ cities: Mozart’s Enlightenment Vienna and Vivaldi’s Baroque Venice.

In programme one (20-21 May), pianist Robert Levin performs two Mozart concertos, improvising solos and using ideas and tunes suggested by the audience – just as, legend recalls, Mozart did. In programme two (22-23 May), Norwegian violinist Terje Tønnesen performs a unique take of Vivaldi’s most famous work, The Four Seasons, and music by violin virtuosos Heinrich Biber and Dmitri Shostakovich. There will also be a relaxed, Saturday matinee.


Dates and booking information

Queen Elizabeth Hall

Tickets available at cls.co.uk and southbankcentre.co.uk.

Wilton’s Music Hall

  • I’m a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star 20-23 May
    • Mozart with Robert Levin 20-21 May, 7.30pm
    • Vivaldi with Terje Tønnesen 22-23 May, 7.30pm
    • Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ (Relaxed Concert) 23 May, 2.30pm

Tickets available at cls.co.uk and wiltonsmusichall.org.uk from 3 February 2020.


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