Southbank season features year-long festival

Southbank Centre has announced its 2016-17 classical music season with a year-long festival, new digital partnership and special BBC Radio 3 broadcasts some of the highlights. Marin Alsop, Martha Argerich, Yuja Wang and Esa-Pekka Salonen are all booked to appear.

Belief and Beyond Belief, a festival of themed weekends across the entire year, is a follow on from the successful The Rest is Noise festival in 2015-16. The programme includes poetry, debate and performance focused on what it means to be human in the 21st century. The work of Richard Dawkins, Philip Pullman and Primo Levi is under discussion, as part of a partnership between London Philharmonic Orchestra and artistic advisor Vladimir Jurowski.

‘Southbank Centre’s belief is that everyone should have access to classical music,’ said artistic director Jude Kelly. ‘We constantly seek new ways to do this, from providing a platform to explore the very essence of human existence in Belief and Beyond Belief to enticing audiences with free encounters with classical music.’

Esa-Pekka Salonen and Philharmonia Orchestra are working together on a classical music virtual reality project, which takes the form of a digital installation in the Royal Festival Hall foyers. Meanwhile, Radio 3 are hosting pop up broadcasts from Southbank Centre from 23 Sep to 7 Oct 2016 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Third Programme.

‘I’m excited at the sheer volume and range of work on offer this season and the opportunities for audiences to explore classical music – whether through cutting-edge digital technology, the greatest orchestral film scores, or reaching a global audience through BBC Radio 3’s residency,’ commented director of music Gillian Moore.

Other highlights include an under-30s cheap ticket scheme, a cycle of four Sibelius concerts, a concert by early music pioneer Jordi Savall, a film score concert series and a festival of Indian classical music.

Southbank Centre attracts over 6m visitors per year, with 95,000 tickets available at GBP20 (€26) or less. It will continue to host events at St John’s Smith Square while Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room are closed for maintenance.