Southbank Centre Announces 2023 Classical Music Programme

The Southbank Centre’s classical season delivers an expansive and diverse programme in 2023 that features over hundred events from a breadth of highly acclaimed international musicians and forward- thinking creatives.

Audiences can expect staggering symphonic works from leading orchestras including the Budapest Festival Orchestra under the baton of Iván Fischer, with Mahler Symphony No.9 (17 May, RFH), to ambitious boundary-breaking collaborations from resident artist Manchester Collective; featuring the award-winning vocalist, violinist and composer Alice Zawadzki (Bag of Bones, 4 February, Purcell Room) and star guitarist Sean Shibe (13 May, QEH).

Brand new Southbank Centre co- commissions include a collaboration with experimental violinist Daniel Piro (Resident Artist) and Icelandic record label Bedroom Community. Written and performed by Pioro, Liam Byrne, Valgeir Sigurðsson are joined on stage by Studio Collective Ensemble, the piece explores the Southbank Centre’s iconic Brutalist architecture (24 March, PR).

An inspirational family programme brings the magic of childhood storytelling to the stage. Prepare for a cutting-edge digital production of the Beano presented in partnership with the BBC Concert Orchestra, CBBC and Beano Productions.

Artist Residences

Daniel Pioro (Resident Artist) and a range of collaborators will perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons alongside acclaimed author Michael Morpurgo, who will perform newly written texts between the seasons (21 May, QEH). Pioro will then be joined by Resident Orchestra London Sinfonietta to perform Gérard Grisey’s Vortex Temporum.

Alice Sara Ott will make her season debut, taking inspiration from a traditional Schubertiade by mixing Schubert’s Trout Quintet with songs by Beethoven, Schubert and Vaughan Williams alongside an international ensemble of voice and strings including baritone Benjamin Appl (19 March, QEH). Ott performs Messiaen’s mystical Quartet for the End of Time (22 June, PR) with the backing of Thomas Reif, Sebastian Klinger and Sebastian Manz.

After sell out performances at the Southbank Centre in 2021/22 following the release of his debut album ‘Where Is Home (Hae Ke Kae)’, Resident Artist Abel Selacoe returns to perform alongside Dudù Kouate and Kit Downes in Abel Selaocoe and Friends: Mokete wa Badimo (24 February, QEH).

Resident Orchestras

Following sold out performances in 2021, Aurora Orchestra (Resident Orchestra) returns to the one of the UK’s best- known electronic music venues Printworks for a major immersive production of Beethoven Fifth symphony in collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Nwando Ebizie (23 March).

Key highlights from Chineke! Orchestra (Resident Orchestra) includes a performance with conductor Andrew Grams and Elena Urioste (9 March, QEH) and a new concerto with Abel Selaocoe and Seckou Keita, that explores the interplay between the cello and kora(12 May, RFH). Chineke! will be joined by Stewart Goodyear, performing his Trinidadian rhythms and melodies with Callaloo for Piano & Orchestra (24 June, QEH).

The London Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Daniil Trifonov unite under the baton of Karina Canellakis for an electrifying night of Beethoven, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky (15 March, RFH). This is followed by the UK premiere of Tania León’s Pulitzer Prize winning Stride which incorporates Black music traditions from the US and the Caribbean into a Western orchestral fabric (31 March, RFH). The season closes with Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass (6 May, RFH).

The London Sinfonietta pays tribute to the great composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle with an expansive concert celebrating his repertoire. It includes the first iconic piece the composer wrote for the ensemble, Verses that requires musicians to walk around the stage in ritual processions (5 March, QEH). The orchestra will also perform an ambitious repertoire of Julius Eastman, Mira Calix and Steve Reich’s Reich / Richter with Mnoj Kamps conducting (6 April, RFH).

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment continues Songs of Travel, its season exploring the Enlightenment’s fascination with travel and discovery. Ian Bostridge features in a programme of globe-trotting operatic arias in Handel Around The World (1 February, QEH) and Václav Luks makes his Southbank Centre debut in Bach’s Mass in B minor (19 March, RFH) with soloists Julia Doyle, Anna Devin, Hugo Hymas and Roderick Williams.

The Philharmonia’s (Resident Orchestra) Principal Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducts two Stravinsky ballets, The Firebird (18 May, RFH) and Petrushka (21 May, RFH), plus music by Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Shostaskovich and Strauss. Featured Composer Anna Clyne’s music is featured in the UK premiere of her clarinet concerto Weathered performed by Martin Fröst (23 March, RFH), and a free Music of Today concert curated by her (23 March, PR). Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Philharmonia’s former Principal Conductor, returns for the first time as Conductor Laureate in an evening of Wagner with Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel (26 Mar, RFH).

Cellist Sheku Kanneh- Mason continues his work with the Philharmonia Orchestra as a Featured Artist. He is the soloist in Bloch’s Schelomo and plays Villa-Lobos (26 February, RFH) and later in the year, he performs alongside Nicola Benedetti and Benjamin Grosvenor in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto (8 June, RFH).

Keyboard Recitals

Keyboard highlights include the virtuoso pianist and director Mitsuko Uchida who takes to the stage for a mix of Mozart and Schoenberg (1 February, RFH). Meanwhile the great pianist Maurizio Pollini returns to London for an exquisite solo recital (17 March, RFH) and Alice Sara Ott (Resident Artist) makes her season debut with Schubert’s Trout Quintet alongside leading baritone Benjamin Appl (19 March, QEH). The Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani returns with rich overtones of Frescobaldi and Meruala’s compositions fused with modern electronics (5 April, Purcell Room) and organist of Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral, Olivier Latry plays Wagner’s operas ( 31 May, RFH).

Chamber Music

Chamber music interweaves throughout the year with performances from the international star Anne-Sophie Mutter joined by Maximilian Hornung and Lambert Orkis with repertoire including Sebastian Currier’s Ghost Trio, Clara Schumann and Brahms (4 June, RFH).