On 20 May, the otherworldly harmonies of the London Bulgarian Choir will welcome audiences back to Kings Place as part of Songlines Encounters Festival, also featuring Electric Jalaba and acclaimed jazz artist Sarathy Korwar. These may be the first UK concerts that audiences will enjoy in person in months but, true to its pioneering spirit as one of London’s few self-supporting venues, Kings Place has been active for much of 2020-21. It was one of the first venues to open its doors last August with a series of free Culture Clinics – intimate performances to up to six spectators – and the following month presented its resident Aurora Orchestra in two outdoor concerts. In total, Kings Place presented 130 Culture Clinics and 54 live concerts with socially distanced audiences before the Tier 4 closure in December.
Thanks to the support of a loyal audience who collectively donated more than £130k – and £42k donated tickets, all split with artists – in addition to securing ACE & Culture Recovery Fund grants totalling £597k, Kings Place was able to continue its subsequently streamed 130 events, including:
- The fifth London Podcast Festival
- Classical concerts with Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Imogen Cooper, Steven Osborne, Louis Schwizgebel, Elena Urioste and Principal Players of Aurora Orchestra
- Four concerts from the EFG London Jazz Festival
- A vintage online Jewish Book Week with 54 events and more than 5,500 tickets sold
- A series of spoken word events in partnership with New York’s 92nd Street Y
FIRST SOCIALLY-DISTANCED PROGRAMME FROM 20 MAY
The new live music season launches on 20 May with Songlines Encounters, followed by Chilingirian Quartet (23 May) and Rautio Piano Trio, premiering Brian Elias’s new trio (30 May), plus contemporary events from Roger Eno (Mixing Colours; 27 May), GBSR Duo performing Nicole Lizee’s Softcore (17 June), and Manchester Collective in Reich’s Double Sextet and a new work by Hannah Peel (18 June). There will be folk from fiddler Sam Sweeney (2 June), singer Cara Dillon (4 June) and Blue Rose Code (19 June), and jazz from Bruno Heinen Trio (18 June).
LONDON UNWRAPPED FROM 21 JUNE
As London unlocks, so does Kings Place, and its annual Unwrapped series this year is aptly themed as London Unwrapped, a migrant story. It re-opens with a series of London music walks in May (to be announced), and performances from Aurora Orchestra & Allan Clayton (21 June), the English Concert & Iestyn Davies (24 June), the ‘London Bach’ with the Feinstein Ensemble and Christopher Suckling (27 June), and Phantasm viol consort (23 July). The contemporary offering includes London Syrian Ensemble, Nu Civilisation Orchestra celebrating the legacy of Joe Harriott, caroline (9 Jul), Lefawndah, and Vessel (25 Jul), plus Crick Crack Club‘s storytelling show, Orpheus Underground, featuring Ben Haggarty (23 June).
SUMMER PROGRAMME FROM 21 JUNE – 31 JULY
The weekend of June 25-26 sees the return of the annual Bach Weekend with Rachel Podger in solo Bach, the Goldberg Variations from Steven Devine, and a chamber rendition of the Mass in B minor from the London Bach Singers & Feinstein Ensemble. July starts with The Sixteen‘s Choral Pilgrimage (1 July), 12 Ensemble with Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons (2 July), and the return of OAE’s Bach the Universe and Everything (11 July). Ill-Considered heads the jazz programme(10 July), and the folk programme takes in album celebrations from Charlie Dore (Like Animals; 25 June) and Jesca Hoop Stonechild (30 June), and folk legends Steve Tilston (1 July), The Breath (8 July) and Le Vent du Nord (29 July).