Moments Remembered

For most of us, music is inextricably tied up with memory.

We’ve all experienced the flood of recollections and emotions that rushes in when a certain melody starts to play. But personal memories can play tricks, and public memory – the stories, beliefs and monuments with which we create and sustain a society – is slippier still. As Beethoven realised after dedicating his Third Symphony to Napoleon, today’s hero might be tomorrow’s villain. That’s the concept behind Moments Remembered.

Our 2024/25 season is punctuated by pieces that grapple with these ideas. Some were conceived as public memorials, some rather more intimate. The composers featured all have memories to share: sometimes fantastic, sometimes vivid, but always intensely personal. Music’s unique relationship with memory comes into play outside the concert hall too, as we join with organisations dealing with memory loss and dementia to work together on some special projects this season.

‘Each of us consists of multiple types of memories’ says the LPO’s Artistic Director Elena Dubinets. ‘We epitomise our times, our countries, our families and our personal situations. What interests me is the crossroads of our feelings. And that’s the beauty of our art form: emotionally, it might inspire very different reactions in any given moment.’ But one function of art is to help us ask questions. And in all its contradictory forms, memory – like music – is part of what makes us human.

Joyce DiDonato sings Berlioz

Wednesday 25 September 2024 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Edward Gardner launches a season devoted to the subject of memory with Beethoven’s mighty ‘Eroica’ (Heroic) Symphony. First, though, he shares gripping musical myths by Barber and Berlioz with superstar soprano Joyce DiDonato.

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Patricia Kopatchinskaja plays Shostakovich

Wednesday 4 October 2024 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Sibelius sees a flight of swans on a summer evening, and hears a melody that could have been wrought from the elements. Britten opens the emotional floodgates and creates one of 20th-century music’s mightiest outpourings of grief. And Shostakovich whispers secrets in the shadows, in a concerto that refuses to be silent. It’s all about memory, and all about truth.

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Karina Canellakis conducts Schumann & Bruckner

Wednesday 30 October 2024 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

In Bruckner’s 200th anniversary year, the LPO’s inspirational Principal Guest Conductor Karina Canellakis makes the composer’s Fourth Symphony the climax of a deeply romantic programme that also stars cellist Truls Mørk in the tender, passionate music of Robert Schumann – a composer with the soul of a poet.

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Víkingur Ólafsson plays Brahms

Wednesday 6 November 2024 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Brahms’s tempestuous First Piano Concerto is a volcano of poetry and emotion from the wounded heart of a young genius. It could have been written for pianist Víkingur Ólafsson. After the interval, Edward Gardner conducts Bartók’s kaleidoscopic ballet music, and celebrates the special magic of one of the 21st century’s true sonic alchemists: Freya Waley-Cohen.

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A Dark Century

Wednesday 27 November 2024 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Andrey Boreyko conducts three testaments from a dark century. Confronted by unimaginable horror, Schoenberg rediscovered his Jewish roots, and created a musical drama of savage, defiant courage, in tribute to the Holocaust victims. In Soviet Russia, the authorities expected Shostakovich to write a propaganda symphony: but what they got was a searing denunciation of man’s inhumanity to man. And with the incomparable Gidon Kremer as soloist, we hear a Violin Concerto by Mieczysław Weinberg: composer, survivor and Shostakovich’s most devoted friend.

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Strauss, Berg & Brahms

Wednesday 15 January 2025 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

When memories turn into music, the personal becomes universal. Alban Berg was haunted by the death of a young girl: his Violin Concerto ‘to the memory of an angel’ distils pain into piercing beauty. Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen rose from the ashes of wartime Germany, asking difficult questions even as it lays bare its heart. Brahms, meanwhile, wrote his Second Symphony on the sunlit slopes of the Austrian Alps – but happy memories have their own truth, and Edward Gardner and violinist Isabelle Faust will bring the same insight and commitment to every note, whether tragic, troubled or glowing with joy.

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On the Transmigration of Souls

Saturday 18 January 2025 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Two towering choral works face each other across the centuries, and at first glance, John Adams’s tribute to the dead of 9/11 could hardly seem more different from Haydn’s joyous Mass setting. But even here, the drums of conflict rumble ominously in the distance. In between comes a moment of solemn reflection from György Kurtág: music that invites us to search our own memories, and find our own meanings.

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Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

Wednesday 22 January 2025 | Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

There’s still nothing to match the sensation of hearing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons performed live. But first, as part of our Moments Remembered season, there’s a sideways look at what makes a classic: the Vivaldi-inspired Requiem by African-American composer Julia Perry, and Evan Williams’s playful, provocative piece that discusses his own place in classical music as a young African-American composer.

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An evening with Amjad Ali Khan

Saturday 25 January 2025 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Sarod Grand Master Amjad Ali Khan is regarded as one of the undisputed icons of the music world. His sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash are virtuoso performers in their own right, and tonight they come together with conductor (and regular collaborator) Lidiya Yankovskaya and the LPO at the centre of a concert that spans continents and cultures.

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Symphonie Fantastique

Wednesday 26 February 2025 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Love, witchcraft, severed heads – it’s all here, in psychedelic colours, in Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. But first, Edward Gardner and superb violinist Augustin Hadelich present Britten’s powerful Violin Concerto, and the world premiere of Sphinx by David Sawer – a British composer whose raw imagination can give even Berlioz a run for his money.

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Crossing Generations

Wednesday 12 March 2025 | Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

The New World has always been a melting pot. Frank Zappa wove psychedelic new sounds from the underbelly of 1960s pop culture – aiming straight for the sonic G-spot. Bohuslav Martinů – a Czech in exile – looked homeward, and crafted a lush, fantastic dream of a symphony as he travelled from New York to the boulevards of Paris. And the Sri Lankan-born Canadian composer Dinuk Wijeratne tells his own intensely personal tale of displacement and hope, as Kevin John Edusei conducts his new Clarinet Concerto with the artist for whom it was created – the phenomenal Syrian clarinettist Kinan Azmeh.

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War and Peace

Wednesday 2 April 2025 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

‘Peace Shall Defeat War’ wrote Boris Lyatoshynsky on the score of his Third Symphony, and the message of this great 20th-century Ukrainian composer has never felt more urgent or compelling. LPO Conductor Emeritus Vladimir Jurowski has paired it with music from Prokofiev’s operatic tale of Ukrainian struggle, and Mussorgsky’s pitch-black, darkly comic songs – perfect for a singer as dramatic, and as characterful, as the British bass Matthew Rose.

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Tragedy to Triumph

Saturday 5 April 2025 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Violinist Vilde Frang explores the special poetry of Schumann’s only violin concerto: the tender heart of a concert that begins with Brahms’s classical tragedy, and ends with the wide-open spaces and pure, sunlit energy of Schubert’s unstoppable Ninth Symphony. It’s known as ‘the Great’ – and with Vladimir Jurowski bringing all his insight and imagination, you’ll hear why.

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Jan Lisiecki plays Prokofiev

Saturday 12 April 2025 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Imagine a swelling river of sound; a musical voyage that begins amid the tranquillity of nature and ends in a surge of triumph. That’s Sibelius’s Second Symphony. By contrast, Prokofiev’s daredevil Second Piano Concerto might come as a bit of a jolt. But there’s another tale about memory to be told here, and no-one better-equipped to tell it than the Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki.

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Daphnis and Chloe

Wednesday 23 April 2025 | Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

In Ravel’s ballet Daphnis and Chloé,  you can almost feel the sun on the back of your neck, hear every flurry of birdsong and see each ray of glistening light. It’s as fantastic as it sounds, and this rare full-length performance under LPO Principal Conductor Edward Gardner is just the centrepiece of a whole evening of orchestral wonder. This concert has been especially developed with the Southbank Centre and Circa, Australia’s internationally renowned circus company, and will feature cross-artform performance.

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