Kings Place announce 2023/24 classical season, featuring a varied programme with internationally acclaimed artists
and inspiring new talent

L-R: Danielle de Niese © DECCA/Chris Dunlop; Nicholas Collon, Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra © Chris Christodoulou; Rachel Podger © Broadway Studio; Piatti Quartet © Venetia Jollands; Sean Shibe © Iga Gozdowska

  • Premieres from Éliane Radigue, Caroline Shaw, Oliver Leith, Nico Muhly, Oliver Coates, Shiva Feshareki, Anna Appleby and Gavin Bryars
  • Sound Unwrapped series continues with performances from Aurora OrchestraCity of London Sinfonia, Gildas Quartet, I FagioliniShiva Feshareki and Sean Shibe, and VOCES8
  • Acclaimed violinist Rachel Podger is 2023/24 Artist in Focus, presenting three concerts across the season
  • The Piatti Quartet become new Resident Quartet and revive Kings Place’s popular Rush Hour Lates series
  • Composer focus on Oliver Leith in 2024, with performances of his work from the Ruisi Quartet and EXAUDI
  • Recitals by international stars including Danielle de Niese, Xuefei Yang and Johannes Moser
  • London Piano Festival returns in October for eighth year, celebrating Rachmaninov’s 150th and Ligeti’s 100th anniversaries

Kings Place today [22 June 2023] announce their 2023/24 classical season, with new artist residencies, festivals and concert series that celebrate the greatest works of the classical canon alongside new commissions, premieres and lesser-known gems. Featuring internationally acclaimed artists and inspiring new talent, the season also presents a host of world and UK premieres from a wide range of composers.

Helen Wallace, Executive and Artistic Director of Kings Place, said: “Our 2023/24 classical season showcases our breadth of programming, ranging from historical masterworks to adventurous new commissions. We’re excited to present new works by composers of the stature of Caroline Shaw, Éliane Radigue, Shiva Feshareki and Gavin Bryars as part of our ongoing Sound Unwrapped series. A warm welcome, too, to the dynamic Piatti Quartet as our new Resident Quartet and Rachel Podger as our new Artist in Focus.” 

Sound Unwrapped
Sound Unwrapped, the 15th edition of the award-winning series from Kings Place, started in January 2023 and continues throughout the year, taking a deep dive into immersive and spatialised musical events. In partnership with d&b audiotechnik, the installation of a state-of-the-art d&b Soundscape system in Hall Two offers a revolution in the live experience with 360° spatialised sound.

Highlights include Resident Ensemble Aurora Orchestra presenting two UK premieres – Caroline Shaw’s Concerto for harpsichord and strings (a Kings Place co-commission) and Nico Muhly’s All perfections keep – as well as Anna Meredith’s Anno with Meredith herself on electronics [22 Sep]. I Fagiolini perform Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers using both the stage and galleries of Hall One, offering an intimate guide to this defining work [29 & 30 Sep], and vocal consort The Gesualdo Six join forces with trumpeter Matilda Lloyd to present a stunning programme that explores different sonorities and spatial relationships within the church of St Martin in the Fields [12 Oct]. Phaedra Ensemble and Laura Jurd present an immersive retrospective of experimental composer Gavin Bryars for his 80th birthday, including the UK premiere of his String Quartet No. 4 utilising the Soundscape system [1 Oct]. Close associates of influential composer Éliane Radigue, including Rhodri Davies and Hélène Breschand, present the world premiere of Occam River XX, her new duo piece for two harps, as well as other Occam solo pieces [1 Oct].

Sound Unwrapped Artist in Residence Hannah Peel presents a special edition of BBC Radio 3’s Night Tracks live, featuring music and musicians who inspire her including mentor and electronic pioneer John FoxxMaya YoussefHatis Noit and the Ruisi Quartet [28 Oct]. City of London Sinfonia join forces with musical polymath Bishi for Terry Riley’s In C [29 Oct], and VOCES8 celebrate Ligeti’s centenary with a performance of Lux Aeterna [16 Nov].

Aurora Orchestra return to present Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s in the Light of Air in the round in Hall Two, paired with music from Toru Takemitsu and Debussy [25 Nov], and composer/turntablist Shiva Feshareki collaborates with guitarist Sean Shibe to present the UK premiere of her work Seismic Wave Orchestra diffused through the Soundscape system [2 Dec]. Closing the series is the Gildas Quartet performing Britten’s third string quartet in surround sound with the audience encircling the players [10 Dec].

Master Series
Master Series gives artists an opportunity to explore the music they love best in the radiant acoustic of Hall One, and this season features some of the world’s finest soloists and ensembles. Acclaimed baroque violinist Rachel Podger opens the series with her BBC Music Magazine Award-winning project Tutta Sola, featuring an exciting new arrangement of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue BWV 565 for solo violin by Chad Kelly [21 Sep]. The Diotima Quartet, one of the most in-demand chamber ensembles in the world, return to Kings Place to perform modern masterpieces for string quartet by Janáček and Ligeti [11 Oct].

Star soprano Danielle de Niese presents an American songbook-inspired programme as well as arias by Mozart, Handel, Bizet, Dvořák and Gounad, joined by pianist and frequent collaborator Matthew Fletcher [9 Nov]. Internationally renowned guitarist Xuefei Yang collaborates with cellist Johannes Moser for a varied programme celebrating music from across the centuries, with pieces by Dowland, Bach and S L Weiss, as well as Yang’s own arrangement of Changjun Xu’s Swords Dance [1 Mar]. The Chiaroscuro Quartet, known for their authentic performances of classical chamber repertoire, close Master Series with Beethoven’s Razumovsky quartets alongside Haydn’s String Quartet in D Minor Op. 9 [5 Jun].

Artists in Focus, Resident Quartet and Composer Focus
Internationally acclaimed baroque violinist Rachel Podger becomes Artist in Focus for the 23/24 season. In addition to her Master Series concert, she also performs with her ensemble Brecon Baroque to give the London premiere of The Goldbergs Re-imagined, Chad Kelly’s pioneering new edition of JS Bach’s masterwork for ensemble [3 Dec]. They return in March 2024 with a cast of leading singers to open the annual Bach Weekend with ‘From Darkness to Light’, a concert featuring music for Eastertide by JS Bach alongside the music of family members Johann Michael and Johann Christian, as well as admired contemporary Buxtehude [22 Mar].

Current Artist in Focus, cellist Laura van der Heijden, concludes her residency with Misha Mullov-AbbadoMax Baillie and Marcel Comendant in ‘Dances and Duos’, an exploration of folk, jazz, baroque and contemporary with works from Bartók, Kurtág, de Falla, Ravel, Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre and more [4 Oct].

The Piatti Quartet become the Resident Quartet at Kings Place from October 2023, taking on the venue’s Rush Hour Lates series with four concerts throughout the season focusing on Dvořák’s late works. Each work by Dvorak will be paired with a musical prelude, including the world premiere of a new piece written by Manchester-based composer Anna Appleby, commissioned by the Quartet. They will also be joined by Emmanuel Despax for a performance of Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 [25 Oct; 6 Dec; 14 Feb; 20 Mar].

Kings Place will also feature a Composer Focus on multi award-winning composer Oliver Leith in 2024; winner of an Ivor Novello Award, British Composer Award and a Royal Philharmonic Composition prize, Leith has had his works performed by acclaimed ensembles across the globe. The Ruisi Quartet present a concert contextualising Leith’s work, pairing his A Different Fantasy (after Matthew Locke) and intoxicating Big House with madrigals from Monteverdi and Scodanibbio, as well as a world premiere from cellist and composer Oliver Coates [15 Feb]. Leith has also curated a ‘table concert’ for vocal ensemble EXAUDIShrilly Marvel Chants, which includes works by Hildegard von Bingen, Dowland, Ligeti, Morricone and more, including a world premiere from Leith himself, commissioned by Kings Place [28 Feb].

London Piano Festival
Now in its eighth year, the London Piano Festival (LPF) returns to Kings Place in October for four days of classical and jazz piano performances, with a focus on the legacy of Rachmaninov and Ligeti in honour of their respective 150- and 100- year anniversaries. Co-Artistic Directors Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen open the Festival with a four-hands programme featuring Rachmaninov’s Suites No. 1 and 2 for Two Pianos [5 Oct], and Ukrainian pianist and 2013 Van Cliburn winner Vadym Kholodenko makes his LPF and Kings Place debut with pieces by Beethoven, Liszt and Haydn alongside Thomas Adès’ Traced Overhead and Valentyn Silvestrov’s Bagatelles [6 Oct].

Renowned British pianists Danny Driver and Clare Hammond join forces with Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen for ‘Ligeti Plus’, exploring music by Ligeti and associated composers including his star pupil Unsuk Chin [7 Oct]. Lucy Palmer closes LPF with ‘Elégie: Rachmaninov- A Heart in Exile’, featuring some of his best-loved works for solo piano and interspersed with letters and diaries read by actor Tim McInnerny [8 Oct].

Other highlights

Kings Place Artistic Associates The Sixteen mark William Byrd’s 400th anniversary as part of their 2023 Choral Pilgrimage, exploring some key works alongside the music of his influences and contemporaries as well as two new commissions from Dobrinka Tabakova [26 Oct]. The Brodsky Quartet celebrate Rachmaninov’s 150th anniversary with an imaginative programme including the composer’s Two Movements for String Quartet No. 2 [1 Nov], and The Swingles look back over almost sixty years of vocal artistry in a programme that includes JS Bach, Bulgarian folk, Simon & Garfunkel and Radiohead [25 Nov]. Manchester Collective present Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, joined by Kathryn Stott, who also performs Caroline Shaw’s Gustave le Gray [2 Dec].

Scottish Ensemble, acclaimed for their creative projects, are joined by sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun to bring together traditions of Indian and European classical music, featuring a London premiere of a new work by Jasdeep [13 Jan]. The Sixteen return to present a curated concert focused on Scottish composer Robert Carver [26 Jan], as do Aurora Orchestra to perform works by Maxwell Davies, Strauss and Mendelssohn [3 Feb]. The Maxwell Quartet present their latest project ‘Worksongs’, which explores the traditional music of their homeland of Scotland alongside works from the classical canon [22 Feb].

ORA Singers make their Kings Place debut with a programme celebrating the union between Scotland and England in 1603 [15 Mar], and the Feinstein Ensemble return for the annual Bach Weekend to perform Bach’s violin concertos, joined by soloist Catherine Manson [23 Mar]. Aurora Orchestra are joined by vocalists Sam Amidon and Emily Smith in ‘Outlanders’, charting the course of Scottish folk ballads to contemporary America, interspersed with music from Anna Meredith, James MacMillan and Caroline Shaw [27 Apr].

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, another Kings Place Artistic Associate, continue their celebrated Bach, The Universe and Everything series, exploring the human desire to understand our place in the cosmos, guided by the work of JS Bach and joined by a different guest scientific speaker; confirmed speakers include Michael Marshall [15 Oct], Professor Sanjeev Gupta [19 Nov] and Professor Lucie Green [21 Jan], with more to be confirmed soon.

London Chamber Music Sundays return to introduce vibrant new talent alongside seasoned artists, including Strings from the Royal Opera House, with Kristina Blaumane [8 Oct], pianists Mishka Rushdie-Momen and Alasdair Beatson [18 Feb], Trio Goya [28 Feb] and Amici della Musica [17 Mar], with further concerts to be added in due course.

More information and tickets can be found on the Kings Place website, with further concerts and series to be announced in due course.