• An immersive memorised performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 at Printworks London on 11 November follows an appearance at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 4 November
  • Three concerts at Kings Place in September, November and December include a new commission from Cassie Kinoshi and the culmination of Aurora’s once-in-a-lifetime journey through Mozart’s piano concertos

Aurora Orchestra has unveiled plans for an immersive site-specific performance – from memory – of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony at one of Europe’s leading electronic music venues as part of its autumn season.

Once the largest printing factory in western Europe, Printworks is a 16-acre industrial building in Canada Water which has established itself at the forefront of London’s electronic music scene. On 11 November Aurora will present the first symphonic-scale orchestral performance in the venue, harnessing the extraordinary potential of its memorised performance strand and the huge scale of the Printworks buildings to give an uniquely immersive experience of a symphony. 

Conducted by Aurora’s co-founder and Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, the Printworks event will see the orchestra perform in configurations not usually seen in traditional concerts – whether ‘exploded’ across the vast floor of the former Press Halls, moving in procession, performing in darkness, or mixing up the usual grouping of players into instrumental sections. Audience members will be able to get close-up to individual players as they perform Beethoven’s seventh symphony from memory, without the usual physical barriers of music stands between performers and listeners.  Aurora also performs the same symphony at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 4 November alongside Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with soloist Nicola Benedetti.

As Resident Orchestra of London’s Kings Place, Aurora presents three concerts at the venue this autumn. On 25 September the orchestra welcomes countertenor Iestyn Davies and Ondes Martenot player Cynthia Miller for a programme which sparks a dialogue across four centuries of music and ideas as part of Kings Place’s London Unwrapped series. On 27 November, Mercury Award-nominated and Ivors Academy Award-winning composer, arranger and saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi joins the orchestra with members of her SEED Ensemble to perform the premiere of her new work celebrating the Caribbean and West African folklore of her heritage. Bringing 2021 to a glittering close, Aurora hosts a New Year’s Eve concert marking the culmination of an ambitious six-year journey through all of Mozart’s piano concertos – the first such complete cycle ever presented within the span of a single series in the UK. For this final concert in the series Aurora is joined by Spanish virtuoso Javier Perianes to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major alongside Handel’s Water Music, conducted by Nicholas Collon in the beautifully intimate surroundings of Hall One at Kings Place.

Aurora has appeared at the BBC Proms every year since 2010, including presenting pioneering memorised performances of symphonies by Mozart, Shostakovich, Berlioz and Beethoven. Tomorrow (Wednesday 11 August) the orchestra returns to the Royal Albert Hall with Nicholas Collon to give a performance by heart of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite(1945 version) prefaced by a musically-illustrated introduction co-hosted by Collon and BBC Radio 3’s Tom Service. The concert will also feature Rachmaninov’s virtuosic Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, with former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Pavel Kolesnikov as soloist. The live performances at the Royal Albert Hall will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC TV and iPlayer.

Aurora’s autumn performances mark a return to symphonic-scale live performance for the ensemble and build on the work the orchestra has done throughout the pandemic to continuing connecting with audiences, including through its digital activity which has seen the orchestra reach over a million viewers through its online series Aurora Play.

John Harte, Chief Executive of Aurora Orchestra, said: “One of the most exciting aspects of performing from memory is the way it heightens our sense of communication, not just between players and conductor but also between performers and audience. The awe-inspiring Press Halls at Printworks will give us a very special opportunity to take that sense of communion with an audience even further, bringing listeners right inside the orchestra and offering a chance to experience a symphony from within.” 

Simeon Aldred, Group Strategy and Creative Director for Broadwick Live and Vibration Group, said: “Aurora’s electrifying performances by heart have been amongst the most talked-about innovations in classical music over the past decade. But there’s a limit to what you can do in a traditional concert hall, and we’ve been really excited to work with Aurora to see what more we can unlock for audiences when an orchestra performs without chairs, sheet music, or music stands in the huge spaces at Printworks. Whether you’ve never experienced an orchestral concert or have loved  this symphony all your life, this event will offer a completely fresh and revelatory take on Beethoven’s music.”  

Kings Place Tickets

Visit kingsplace.co.uk

Printworks Tickets

Presale tickets will be available on Wednesday 11th August with general sale from Thursday 12th August. For access to presale tickets visit: bit.ly/aw21signup

Southbank Centre Tickets

Visit southbankcentre.co.uk/