Tue 11 Oct, 2022
Today the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) announces its 2022/23 London season, marking its 90th anniversary.
Performing 37 concerts at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, where it is a Resident Orchestra, the LPO welcomes back Edward Gardner for his second season as Principal Conductor, opening it with Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder (24 September 2022). Karina Canellakis and Vladimir Jurowski both return for three concerts each as Principal Guest Conductor and Conductor Emeritus respectively.
The Orchestra celebrates the 150th birthday of Vaughan Williams, performs 14 premieres and is joined by some of the world’s leading conductors and soloists.
Reflecting the narratives of our time, particularly the ongoing war in Ukraine, a recurring theme of the season is our connection to the issues of belonging and displacement. This strand is entitled ‘A place to call home.’
What do we mean by ‘home?’ A safe haven behind carefully-guarded walls? Or can it mean something broader – a culture, a place, a time or simply a feeling of belonging? And what is the meaning of home to people who have experienced exile, displacement, homelessness or despair? For an artist, a sense of home can be central to finding an individual voice – to the stories they tell, and the language in which they tell them.
Throughout the 2022/23 season, the LPO and its guests will be exploring the above questions and re-telling important stories.
Elena Dubinets, Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra says:
Our 2022-23 season will carry a highly humanistic message featuring multiple works related to notions of kinship, place and belonging and, on the opposite side, to notions of wars, political instability and racism, conditions that have forced countless refugees to flee their homes to avoid persecution and death. By programming these works, we will explore musical breakthroughsat the crossroads between ethnicities, traditions and identities, embracing the musical representations of very different cultures from all over the globe and the vibrancy created when these different cultures meet.
Edward Gardner, Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra says:
I am delighted to be returning for my second season as the LPO’s Principal Conductor - we have a brilliant time making music together. I am excited to showcase some of my musical passions this season, opening with Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder before taking in an Elgar symphony cycle and two other huge choral works: Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass and Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust, and much more. The LPO has a tremendous flexibility which means it is equally comfortable doing big opera as it is new commissions and chamber music. I feel very fortunate to be at the helm of such a fantastic orchestra.
‘A place to call home’ – Highlights
The inspiration for Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 came from his love for his native Bohemia, whilst the central movement of Dutilleux’s Correspondances is based on passages from a letter by Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. They sheltered the writer in their house just before he was expelled from his native country in 1974. Rostropovich, Vishnevskaya and Solzhenitsyn were all eventually stripped of their Soviet citizenship (28 September 2022).
The Orchestra and soloist Inbal Segev give the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Human Archipelago, a cello concerto concerned with the entanglement of climate change and forced migration (1 October 2022). Arabella Steinbacher is the soloist in Korngold’s Violin Concerto, written by the Viennese composer in wartime exile in the USA (29 October 2022).
Prior to the main evening’s performance of Tippett’s secular oratorio A Child of Our Time, which reflects upon Kristallnacht and includes African-American spirituals, the LPO’s Foyle Future Firsts cohort presents Journey to the Sea. This piece has been written by Arson Fahim (a similar age to the Foyle Future Firsts musicians), an Afghan composer and pianist who was born a refugee in Pakistan and is now living in Boston, having escaped from the Taliban regime in Afghanistan last summer. Foyle Future Firsts is one of the LPO’s flagship talent development programmes and aims to bridge the transition between education and the professional platform for 17 talented orchestral musicians annually (26 November 2022).
Syrian composer and clarinettist Kinan Azmeh performs the European premiere of his own jazz-inspired Clarinet Concerto, infused with the sounds of his native country. The work was commissioned in the aftermath of the travel ban issued by the US government to prevent people of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US (18 January 2023). The LPO gives the world premiere of Nova by Kyiv-born composer Victoria Vita Polevá, which is dedicated to the courage of Ukraine (18 March 2023).
Heiner Goebbels’s full-evening orchestral cycle, A House of Call, receives its UK premiere under the baton of Zimbabwean-born conductor Vimbayi Kaziboni. Ranging from central Asia to South America, it tells the stories of underprivileged and displaced people from all over the world, using recordings of their words in their own native languages (25 March 2023).
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Tania León emigrated from her native Cuba to the USA in the 1960s, escaping the communist regime, and the Orchestra gives the UK premiere of her upbeat piece Stride, the winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize (31 March 2023).
Edward Gardner enters his second season as Principal Conductor with 11 concerts, starting with Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder. He’ll be joined by Lise Lindstrom as Tove, David Butt-Philip as Waldemar, Robert Murray as Klaus the Fool, James Creswell as Peasant, the London Philharmonic Choir and members of the London Symphony Chorus (24 September 2022). Other concerts include the world premiere of Agata Zubel’s new Piano Concerto paired with Lutosławski and Stravinsky (9 November 2022); Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust (4 February 2023); and Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass (6 May 2023).
Principal Guest Conductor Karina Canellakis conducts the Orchestra in three concerts. The first programme is Dvořák’s The Wild Dove, coupled with Brett Dean’s Three Memorials and Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Emanuel Ax (19 October 2022). Augustin Hadelich performs Sibelius’s Violin Concerto prior to Beethoven’s Symphony ‘Eroica’ No. 3 (21 October 2022) and Daniil Trifonov’s interpretation of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is bookended by Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 (15 March 2023).
Conductor Emeritus Vladimir Jurowski conducts three concerts this season including Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 (3 December 2022); a programme of Ustvolskaya, Hindemith and Prokofiev with soloist Gil Shaham (19 April 2023); and he also explores music across three centuries telling the story of Don Quixote (22 April 2023).
Composer-in-Residence, Brett Dean
The music of the LPO’s Composer-in-Residence, Brett Dean, is featured in three concerts including Three Memorials, a major orchestral work related to our main season theme, in which two of the movements reflect on different humanitarian crises. The first is titled Dispersal, which is the term used in colonial parlance of Dean’s native Australia to describe the mass killing of Aboriginal people. The second movement, Ceremonial, was initially composed in the aftermath of the October 2002 Bali bombing and the worsening of the Iraq crisis as the first bombing raids took place in Baghdad in 2003 (19 October 2022). Dean also continues his role as Composer Mentor on the LPO Young Composers programme, guiding emerging composers to create new works to be premiered at the annual Debut Sounds showcase in the summer.
Dean’s Amphitheatre is one slow movement that takes its title from the opening of Michael Ende’s children’s book Momo, in which he describes the ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheatre (18 January 2023), and the LPO also gives the world premiere of his new work In spe contra spem or ‘Hoping against Hope,’ written for the voices of sopranos Emma Bell and Elsa Dreisig (26 April 2023).
Ralph Vaughan Williams 150th Anniversary
In 2022, the music industry marks the 150th birthday of British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) and the LPO has four events as part of the celebrations (the first two are part of our 2021/22 season). Edward Gardner conducts Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No. 5, a serene work written at the height of the Blitz during World War Two (27 April 2022), whilst his Symphony No. 9 is paired with his Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and The Lark Ascending in a programme conducted by Andrew Manze (26 October 2022).
As the year draws to a close, Gardner conducts Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music (26 November 2022) and Simon Keenlyside joins conductor Robin Ticciati for his Five Mystical Songs (30 November 2022).
Continuing the Orchestra’s commitment to new music, the LPO gives 14 premieres next season: Vijay Iyer’s Human Archipelago (world premiere, 1 October 2022); Tom Coult’s Violin Concerto ‘Pleasure Garden’ (London premiere, 26 October 2022); Douglas J Cuomo’s Saxophone Concerto ‘a raft, the sky, the wild sea’ (UK premiere, 2 November 2022); Agata Zubel’s Piano Concerto (world premiere, 9 November 2022); David Bruce’s The Peacock Pavane (world premiere, 13 January 2023); Kinan Azmeh’s Clarinet Concerto (UK premiere, 18 January 2023); Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion (UK premiere, 22 January 2023); Coleridge-Taylor’s Solemn Prelude (London premiere, 25 January 2023); Mark Simpson’s Piano Concerto (world premiere, 28 January 2023); Thomas Adès’s Suite from The Tempest (UK premiere, 22 February 2023); Victoria Vita Polevá’s Nova and Elena Langer’s The Dong with a Luminous Nose (both world premieres, 18 March 2023); Heiner Goebbels’s A House of Call (UK premiere, 25 March 2023); and Tania León’s Stride (UK premiere 31 March 2023).
The LPO is joined by some of today’s leading conductors including Thomas Adés, Bertrand de Billy, Andrey Boreyko, Alpesh Chauhan, Tan Dun, Kevin John Edusei, Karen Kamensek, Vimbayi Kaziboni, Klaus Mäkelä, Andrew Manze, Enrique Mazzola, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Dima Slobodeniouk, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider, Robin Ticciati, and Joshua Weilerstein.
Leading soloists appearing with the LPO next season include Jennifer France (28 September 2022); Emanuel Ax (19 October 2022); Augustin Hadelich (21 October 2022); Arabella Steinbacher (29 October 2022); Randall Goosby (4 November 2022); Nadine Benjamin, Sarah Connolly, Kenneth Tarver and Roderick Williams (26 November 2022); Simon Keenlyside (30 November 2022); Miloš Karadaglić (13 January 2023), Steven Osborne (25 January 2023); Víkingur Ólafsson (28 January 2023); Kirill Gerstein (10 February 2023); Danielle de Niese (25 February 2023); Kristina Blaumane (18 March 2023); Leif Ove Andsnes (4 March 2023); and Beatrice Rana (31 March 2023); and Gil Shaham (19 April 2023).
Education and Community Projects
The LPO’s vibrant Education and Community programme unites the music and musicians of the Orchestra with the communities and audiences we serve. In the 2022/23 season, the Orchestra continues to run its programme of tailored concerts for schools and families, talent development programmes and work in the community.
There are three of the popular FUNharmonics family concerts next season; the ideal way to introduce the joy of classical music to the whole family. They are The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, conducted by Edward Gardner (2 October 2022); The Colour Monster (19 February 2023) and the world premiere of Before the Firebird, a new participatory piece by Paul Rissmann and Hazel Gould (13 May 2023). Each includes fun free activities in the foyer spaces before the performances.
The Orchestra continues to nurture emerging talent through the Foyle Future Firsts Development Programme, LPO Young Composers and LPO Junior Artists. Free LPO Showcase events offer the opportunity to hear performances by these gifted musicians alongside the LPO musicians who have mentored them.
The season also includes opportunities for our community groups to join the LPO in performances and events. Adults from homeless charity Crisis will perform original music they have created with an LPO team of musicians, and OrchLab Festival Day invites our community of disabled adults to the Southbank Centre for a celebration of accessible music-making.
The LPO’s BrightSparks schools’ concerts continue with performances planned for Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and GCSE students, as well as Open Sound Ensemble for teenagers in South London with special educational needs and disabilities.
Southbank Centre’s Contemporary Edit – Late Night Chamber Music
For the first time, the LPO is delighted to be performing this season within the Southbank Centre’s Contemporary Edit. The sessions are a year-round series of varied multi-art form events in the intimate surroundings of the Purcell Room at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, spotlighting new and exciting talent. Between September and January, musicians from the Orchestra will perform two hour-long evening chamber concerts with artists from the main season, including clarinettist Kinan Azmeh and soprano Agata Zubel as well as another late-night concert from pianist Vijay Iyer and cellist Inbal Segev, taking place on the Clore Ballroom Floor.
The LPO enters the second year of its two-year digital residency with streaming service Marquee TV. Each concert is free for the first 48 hours before joining the Orchestra’s collection of concerts available to subscribers. Details of which concerts from the 2022/23 season will be filmed for later broadcast on Marquee TV will be available in the coming weeks.