Southbank Centre: September classical highlights

Launching the UK’s first Black and Minority Ethnic orchestra as part of Africa Utopia, Chineke! Orchestra (pictured, above) is the brainchild of leading double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku. The day’s events include a free pre-concert performance at The Clore Ballroom by the Chineke! Junior Orchestra, alongside an informal discussion with Chi-chi Nwanoku and conductor Wayne Marshall about the foundation of the new orchestra. These are followed by the early evening (5pm) concert itself, featuring Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade for orchestra, Philip Herbert’s Elegy: In memoriam – Stephen Lawrence, Brahms’ Variations on a theme by Haydn (St Anthony) and Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 under the baton of Wayne Marshall (13 September 2015).

Opening the 15/16 season, Darbar Festival – the biggest celebration of Indian classical music outside of south Asia and the only festival in the world to regularly unite artists from Hindustani, Carnatic and Dhrupad traditions – celebrates its 10th anniversary with over 30 of the world’s top Indian classical musicians. Highlights include the addition of a dance programme, a focus on exceptional female artists (including the winner of the 2015 BBC World Music Award – vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty) and a new mobile app Musical Wonders of India featuring ancient instruments held by V&A Museum and unseen by the public for the past 130 years (14–20 September 2015).

The new series of in-depth sessions exploring the music being performed at Southbank Centre, ‘What You Need to Know’, starts with Berg’s Wozzeck on 27 September 2015 and includes speakers Gillian Moore, Southbank Centre Director of Music, and Professor Julian Johnson from Royal Holloway University (27 September 2015 – 26 June 2016, more information here).

Bedroom Community and James McVinnie present a showcase of organ music featuring works by Nico Muhly, Marc Silver, Philip Glass, Bach, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Daniel Bjarnason, as well as a new work by Bryce Dessner (The National) commissioned by Southbank Centre to launch the 15/16 International Organ Series. Performers include James McVinnie, Nadia Sirota, Borgar Magnason, Liam Byrne, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Chris Thompson and Puzzle Muteson (24 September 2015).

Vladimir Jurowski opens the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s season with the continuation of his Mahler symphony cycle and a performance of Symphony No.7 (23 September 2015). Also this month, the LPO and Vladimir Jurowski perform music inspired by tragedy with Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini, Taneyev’s cantata John of Damascus and Sibelius’ Symphony No.2 in D (26 September 2015).

The Philharmonia Orchestra’s 70th anniversary season opens with conductor Christoph von Dohnányi and a programme of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 (Choral) and Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor performed by Martin Helmchen (27 September 2015).