Barbican announces line-up details for Live from the Barbican in spring/summer 2021, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, Paul Weller with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Shirley Collins, Moses Boyd, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason, This is The Kit, Anna Meredith and Jonny Greenwood, and [pictured] George the Poet

Today the Barbican announced programme details for its new Live from the Barbican concert series in spring/summer 2021, including the Centre’s resident and associate orchestras and ensembles as well as a hand-picked line-up of artists. The eclectic mix of musicians across many different genres all reflect the wide spectrum of the Barbican’s distinct music offer:

  • Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor returns to the Barbican Hall with a vibrant programme including works by Chopin, Ravel, Liszt and Ginastera (Sat 10 Apr)
  • British artist, composer & songwriter Moses Boyd performs material from his new Mercury nominated album Dark Matter (Sun 18 Apr)
  • Barbican Associate Orchestra BBC Symphony Orchestra under conductor Alpesh Chauhan with BBC New Generation Artist, viola player Timothy Ridout with music from across three centuries inspired by Scotland (Sun 25 Apr)
  • Barbican Resident Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Sir Simon Rattle perform Mahler’s song symphony Das Lied von der Erde with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená and tenor Andrew Staples (Sun 9 May)
  • Barbican Associate Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and its Creative Artist in Association Jules Buckley and guest artists will be joined by legendary singer-songwriter Paul Weller for a concert reimagining Weller’s work, including new material, in stunning orchestral settings in what will be Weller’s first live performance in two years (Sat 15 May)
  • British folk legend Shirley Collins returns to the Centre following the release of her latest album Heart’s Ease (Sun 23 May)
  • Kate Stables’s band This is The Kit present their new album Off Off On (Sun 30 May)
  • Errollyn Wallen’s new opera Dido’s Ghost – framing Purcell’s original opera Dido and Aeneas within a haunting story from Ovid, with libretto by Wesley Stace – receives its World Premiere performance as part of Live from the Barbican this summer (Sun 6 Jun)
  • Barbican Associate Ensemble Britten Sinfonia and Thomas Adès present the UK Premiere of Adès’s Shanty to mark the composer’s 50th birthday (Thu 10 Jun)
  • 12 Ensemble are joined on stage by Jonny Greenwood and Anna Meredith, performing in their own works (Sat 19 Jun)
  • Barbican Associate Ensemble Academy of Ancient Music and Music Director Richard Egarr perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with renowned baroque violinist Rachel Podger (Sun 27 Jun)
  • Spoken word performer George the Poet presents his innovative brand of musical poetry (Thu 1 Jul)
  • A duo recital from Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason featuring music by Bridge, Britten and Rachmaninov (Sun 4 Jul)
  • GoGo Penguin present material from their 2020 self-titled album, and back-catalogue (Sat 10 Jul)
  • English singer, songwriter and musician Nadine Shah and band perform material from her new, critically acclaimed album Kitchen Sink (Sun 18 Jul)  

Full concert details further down below.

All concerts as part of Live from the Barbican in spring/summer 2021 will be streamed live from the Barbican Hall on a pay-per-view basis, with live audiences in the Hall from Mon 17 May, if permitted by Government guidance.  

Tickets to access the livestreams or to re-watch within a 48 hour-window, are £12.50 and will be on sale from Wed 10 Mar 2021. In-person tickets for events taking place after 17 May 2021 will go on sale in April 2021. Please find information about how to book tickets here.  

Discounted tickets at £5 are available to 14 – 25-year-olds through Young Barbican and over 1000 free stream passes are being offered to schools and community groups in London, Manchester, Harlow and Norfolk, through Barbican Creative Learning.

The Barbican believes in creating space for people and ideas to connect through its international arts programme, community events and learning activity. To keep its programme accessible to everyone, and to keep investing in the artists it works with, the Barbican needs to raise more than 60% of its income through ticket sales, commercial activities and fundraising every year. Donations can be made here:

Live from the Barbican in spring/summer 2021 – full event details below

Benjamin Grosvenor in recital: Live from the Barbican

Sat 10 Apr 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 10 Jan 2021)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

Benjamin Grosvenor piano

Chopin Sonata in B minor, Schubert/Liszt Ave Maria, Ginastera Three Argentinian Dances, Ravel Gaspard de la nuit

Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor brings a recital instilled with lyricism and virtuosity as he returns to the Barbican stage. He explores works by 19th century giants of the piano: Chopin, Ravel, and Liszt, as well as by 20th century composer Alberto Ginastera. This is an opportunity to see the brilliant young performer up-close, fresh from the success of his award-winning Liszt recording (Diapason d’Or) and the Gramophone Concerto Award win for his recording of Chopin Piano Concerti.

Produced by the Barbican

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Moses Boyd: Live from the Barbican

Sun 18 Apr 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 17 Jan 2021)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

South London artist, producer, composer and bandleader Moses Boyd presents material from his critically acclaimed 2020 debut solo album Dark Matter (independently released on his own label Exodus Records), which was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. He will be joined by his band featuring Artie Zaitz (guitar), Ranato Paris (keys) and Quinn Oulton (saxophone). 

2020 AIM Breakthrough artist of the year, double MOBO & Jazz FM Award winner, Boyd’s live and studio collaborations have been as varied as they have been prolific. He also is co-leader and co-producer of the ferocious semi-free group Binker and Moses with saxophonist Binker Golding, and he has collaborated with artists including DJ Lag (Beyoncé), Kelsey Lu, Klein, Nubya Garcia, Obongjayar, Zara McFarlane, Sons of Kemet, Floating Points and Four Tet.

Alongside acclaimed solo projects through his Exodus record label, he has produced original scores for film and major Paris fashion shows, hosted radio on BBC 1 / 1Xtra and co-presented the Jazz 625 TV special on BBC 4. 

Produced by the Barbican

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Echoes of Scotland: Live from the Barbican

BBC Symphony Orchestra and Alpesh Chauhan

Sun 25 Apr 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 14 Mar 2021)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)


BBC Symphony Orchestra

Alpesh Chauhan conductor

Timothy Ridout viola


Mendelssohn Symphony No.3

Sally Beamish Under the Wing of the Rock: Viola Concerto No. 3 (2006) – London premiere

Peter Maxwell Davies An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise (version for chamber orchestra) (1985)

In this performance, Associate Orchestra BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Alpesh Chauhan present a programme with music from across three centuries inspired by Scotland: From Mendelssohn’s heartfelt homage to the nation, his Symphony No.3, inspired by a visit to the ruins of the Holyrood Chapel in Edinburgh to Peter Maxwell Davies’ raucous portrait of an Orkney Wedding, a piece which concludes with one of the great sunrises depicted in music (replete with bagpipes), via the London premiere of Sally Beamish’s Gaelic lullaby inspired third viola concerto, with sought-after BBC New Generation Artist viola player Timothy Ridout.

Co-produced by Barbican and BBC SO
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Das Lied von der Erde: Live from the Barbican

London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle

Sun 9 May 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)


London Symphony Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle conductor

Magdalena Kožená mezzo-soprano

Andrew Staples tenor


Mahler Das Lied von der Erde (arr Glen Cortese)

Music Director Sir Simon Rattle conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, the Barbican’s Resident Orchestra, as they perform their first concert in the Barbican Hall since 15 March 2020. The programme includes Mahler’s great song symphony Das Lied von der Erde and the orchestra will be joined by guest soloists mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená and tenor Andrew Staples for this deeply personal work.

Co-produced by the Barbican and London Symphony Orchestra
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Paul Weller with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jules Buckley: Live from the Barbican

Sat 15 May 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 6 Feb 2021)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

Barbican Associate Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and its Creative Artist in Association Jules Buckley, will be joined by legendary singer-songwriter Paul Weller for a concert reimagining Weller’s work in stunning orchestral settings. In Weller’s first live performance for two years, songs spanning the broad spectrum of his career from The Jam to as yet unheard new material will delight fans and newcomers alike. Classic songs including ‘You Do Something to Me’, ‘English Rose’ and ‘Wild Wood’ along with tracks from Weller’s latest number 1 album ‘On Sunset’ will be heard as never before in brand new orchestral arrangements by Buckley.

Weller, who takes cultural authenticity to the top of the charts, reunites with 

Steve Cradock and special guest artists (to be announced in due course) for this one-off performance, which – in addition to the Barbican livestream – will be broadcast across the BBC including BBC Radio 2, 3, 6 Music, BBC Sounds, BBC TV and iPlayer.

Whilst the concert will reflect on some of Weller’s back catalogue, as is typical of his constantly evolving career, it will look to the future with performances of songs from an album to be released on 14 May 2021. This exciting collaboration is the latest in a series of innovative concerts from the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jules Buckley featuring non-classical artists which included a sell-out performance at the Barbican with Lianne La Havas in February 2020.

Paul Weller says: “After what will be around two years without being on tour, to play a show put together by Jules and the BBC Symphony Orchestra will be a really special moment for me.”

Jules Buckley says: “To be able to collaborate with Paul Weller and the BBC Symphony Orchestra is truly amazing. Weller’s genre-spanning tunes are timeless and working together to make these orchestral reworks promises to be something special. We are very glad to be able to bring music to people, especially in these crazy times.”

Co-produced by Barbican and BBC SO
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Shirley Collins: Live from the Barbican

Sun 23 May 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 15 Feb 2021)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

Legendary folk singer and one of England’s most respected song collectors, Shirley Collins returns to the Barbican in a performance centred on material from her latest, critically acclaimed album Heart’s Ease (Domino) which was released in Summer 2020. Shirley will be joined on stage by a band with music direction from Ian Kearey.

With Heart’s Ease Shirley delivers a record even stronger than the previous album Lodestar, having completely regained her confidence and singing so well that you can’t believe she was away for so long. The album is as compelling and original as Shirley’s great albums from the Sixties and Seventies, featuring traditional songs from England and the USA, alongside new, non-traditional tracks and a burst of experimentation that hints at possible new directions to come.

Shirley Elizabeth Collins MBE is an English folk singer, song collector and perhaps the greatest living embodiment of the musical threads that connect the country with its history. As a significant presence during the Second English Folk Revival, Shirley formed a duo with her sister Dolly, who accompanied Shirley’s raw and direct voice on piano and portative organ. Following a period of silence spanning three decades during which she barely sang, Shirley released Lodestar, her first new material since 1978, in 2016.

This Live from the Barbican date marks Shirley’s return to the Barbican, following her live performance of Lodestar in February 2017.

Produced by the Barbican

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This is The Kit: Live from the Barbican

Sun 30 May 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 23 Jan 2021)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

This is The Kit, the musical project lead by Ivor Novello nominated singer-songwriter Kate Stables, present material from their latest album Off Off On (Rough Trade, October 2020). Richly illuminating and acutely sensitive to the pulses and currents of life, Off Off On is a record that feels like a lifeline in difficult times, moving against the tide, standing against the storm and encouraging listeners to keep going.

Recorded at Wiltshire’s Real World Studios, this is the fifth album by the band and the follow up to 2017’s critically acclaimed album Moonshine Freeze

Kate Stables has toured with The National, and has earned the adoration of peers, including Guy Garvey and Anaïs Mitchell. Here she will be joined by band members

Rozi Plain (bass/vocals), Neil Smith (guitar), and Jamie Whitby-Coles (drum/vox).

Produced by the Barbican

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Errollyn Wallen – Dido’s Ghost (World Premiere): Live from the Barbican

Sun 6 June 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 5 June 2021, originally due to take place in Milton Court Concert Hall)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

Golda Schultz, Matthew Brook, Allison Cook, Henry Waddington, Nardus Williams, Dunedin Consort, Wesley Stace (libretto)

In the world premiere of Dido’s Ghost – a new opera by composer Errollyn Wallen co-commissioned by the Barbican, Dunedin Consort, Mahogany Opera, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale – Purcell’s original opera, Dido and Aeneas, is framed within a haunting story from Ovid, with libretto by Wesley Stace.

Now living with his new wife Lavinia in the kingdom that he was destined to found, Aeneas welcomes Dido’s sister Anna as a shipwrecked refugee. Tragic events repeat themselves however when the ghost of Dido warns her sister that the jealous Lavinia harbours murderous intentions. Dido’s Ghost presents the story of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, but from Aeneas’s — rather than Dido’s — perspective. Performed on period instruments, this new opera bridges the gap between worlds, both musical and historical, to reflect upon the long-ranging impact of Dido’s death.

Developed in partnership with Mahogany Opera
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Thomas Adès at 50: Live from the Barbican

Thu 10 Jun 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)


Thomas Adès conductor/piano

Britten Sinfonia


Beethoven The Creatures of Prometheus: Overture, Adagio and Finale
Sibelius Rakastava
Janáček Concertino
Adès Shanty (UK premiere, Britten Sinfonia and Barbican co-commission)
Adès Concerto Conciso

Associate Ensemble, Britten Sinfonia, returns to the Barbican to celebrate Thomas Adès’s 50th birthday in style with a characteristically eclectic programme. Thomas Adès demonstrates all three facets of his music-making in this concert, where he will conduct his own music – and that of Beethoven, Sibelius and Janáček – as well as performing at the piano. At the heart of the programme is the UK premiere of Thomas Adès’s new, Britten Sinfonia and Barbican co-commissioned work, Shanty, for string orchestra, which creates a widening seascape through its cyclical verses. The concert is bookended with music from Beethoven’s only ballet score, telling the mythical story of how Prometheus created humans. 

Co-produced by Barbican and Britten Sinfonia
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12 Ensemble with Anna Meredith & Jonny Greenwood: Live from the Barbican

Sat 19 Jun 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 25 Feb 2021)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)


12 Ensemble

Anna Meredith electronics

Eleanor Meredith live drawing

Jonny Greenwood tanpura


Anna Meredith Moon

Jonny Greenwood Water

Shostakovich Chamber Symphony

One of the UK’s leading chamber orchestras, un-conducted 12 Ensemble, is joined on stage by composer, producer and performer Anna Meredith and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood for this special Live from the Barbican date.

The programme includes Anna Meredith’s Moon – a piece for chamber orchestra with electronics and live visuals, provided by her sister, artist Eleanor Meredith, who will be responding to the music with live drawing and assembling of collages for each of the different phases of the moon; and Jonny Greenwood’s Water, a work that came out of a collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra following Radiohead’s Australian tour in 2013 and which also found inspiration from Greenwood’s travels to India.

The concert concludes with Shostakovich’s familiar Chamber Symphony (after String Quartet No. 8), which the composer wrote over the span of three days in the summer of 1960, whilst working on the score of a Soviet-East German film in Dresden, inscribing it “In memory of victims of fascism and war”.

Produced by the Barbican

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Academy of Ancient Music/Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Live from the Barbican

Sun 27 Jun 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 9 Mar 2021)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)


Academy of Ancient Music

Richard Egarr director & harpsichord

Rachel Podger violin


Corelli Concerto Grosso No 1 in D major, Op 6Concerto Grosso No 2 in F major, Op 6

Vivaldi The Four Seasons

Grimani Sinfonia from Pallade e Marte

In this concert, Richard Egarr gives his final Barbican performance as Music Director of Barbican Associate Ensemble Academy of Ancient Music. Violinist Rachel Podger joins the AAM on stage for Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, with the programme also including Corelli’s Concerto Grosso No 1 in D major and No 2 in F major, plus a lesser-known gem of the early 18th century: the ‘Sinfonia’ from Maria Grimani’s opera Pallade e Marte. This is performed as part of AAM’s ongoing From Her Pen project, celebrating the work of female composers of the baroque and classical eras.

Co-produced by the Barbican and Academy of Ancient Music
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George the Poet: Live from the Barbican

Thu 1 Jul 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

George the Poet will bring his innovative brand of musical poetry to Live from the Barbican this summer, with the show expected to also include some surprise elements.

The London-born spoken word performer of Ugandan heritage has received critical acclaim both as a recording artist and social commentator and has seen his work broadcast to billions of people worldwide.

His BBC Sounds audio series ‘Have You Heard George’s Podcast?’ won a prestigious Peabody Award and five Gold British Podcast Awards, including the highly-coveted Podcast of the Year. The series conveys a new approach to podcasting in which artistry and advocacy are combined to empower audiences. It experiments with musical storytelling, expertly weaving poetry and conversation with intricate sound design, and a powerful original score by multi-platinum selling producer and composer Benbrick.

George is currently embarking on a PhD and also working on Chapter 3 of the podcast and we hope to hear more later this year.

Produced by the Barbican
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Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason in recital: Live from the Barbican

Sun 4 Jul 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 25 Mar)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)


Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello

Isata Kanneh-Mason piano


Bridge Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor

Britten Tema Sacher

Rachmaninov No 1 The Muse & No 7 It Cannot Be from Fourteen Romances, Op 34

Bridge No 2 Spring Song from 4 Short Pieces; Mélodie for Cello and Piano in C-sharp minor; Scherzo

Britten Cello Sonata

Siblings Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello, and Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano, return to the Barbican for their Barbican Hall recital debut. Fresh from their joyful performance with all their siblings as part of Live from the Barbican in November 2020 and following Sheku’s recent win of the coveted 2020 RPS Young Artists award, the spotlight now focuses on the brother/sister duo as they perform works by Bridge, Britten, and Rachmaninov.

Produced by the Barbican

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GoGo Penguin: Live from the Barbican

Sat 10 Jul 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 21 Feb 2021) 
Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

Manchester trio GoGo Penguin present music from last year’s self-titled master-work, GoGo Penguin – the third of their Blue Note Records trilogy of albums that commenced with 2016’s Man Made Object – as well as their illustrious back catalogue. The trio have been internationally hailed as electrifying live performers, innovative soundtrack composers, and as a collective who channel electronic and club culture atmospheres alongside minimalist jazz and rock influences to create music that pulses and flows from the dancefloor to meditative inner-worlds, transporting us into brand new realms.

GoGo Penguin are Chris Illingworth (piano), Nick Blacka (bass), Rob Turner (drums) and Joe Reiser (sound), who will be joined for this special Live from the Barbican concert by lighting engineer, Lewis Howell, whose sculpted, cinematic lightscapes have been a key component of their live shows since 2014.

Their latest album GGP/ RMX (Blue Note Lab) is a brilliant, vivid, reimagination of their self-defining masterwork, GoGo Penguin (released June 2020 on Blue Note Records) and features an array of the world’s sharpest artist-producers and remixers, including remixes from Cornelius, Machinedrum, Yosi Horikawa, Rone, Nathan Fake, 808 State, James Holden, Shunya, Clark, Portico Quartet and Squarepusher. GGP/RMX is released May 7, 2021.

The band returns to the Barbican’s music programme following GoGo Penguin: Koyaanisqatsi in October 2017, where they presented their new score to a live screening of Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 cinematic masterpiece Koyaanisqatsi; and their appearance as part of the 2015 EFG London Jazz Festival in a Gilles Peterson-curated night, collaborating with choreographer Lynn Page, creating a contemporary response to the 80s phenomenon of Jazz dance.

Produced by the Barbican

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Nadine Shah: Live from the Barbican

Sun 18 Jul 2021, Barbican Hall, 8pm (rescheduled from 30 Mar)

Tickets £12.50 (livestream)

English singer-songwriter, musician and previous Mercury Prize nominee Nadine Shah returns in what will be her first Barbican show with her own band. Her music has been described as darkly powerful post-punk, and here she will present material from her fourth studio album Kitchen Sink (Infectious Music, June 2020), which has already received much critical acclaim.

Nadine Shah has previously appeared at the Barbican as part of the line-up for David Coulter’s world premiere performance of Swordfishtrombones Revisited, his reinterpretation of Tom Waits’ record, in October 2019.

Produced by the Barbican

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Concerts on Demand

A number of concerts from the Barbican’s autumn 2020 concert series Live from the Barbican is currently available On Demand until 24 March 2021. Tickets are £12.50 for new bookers and half price for those who booked tickets to watch the concerts originally. Discounted tickets at £5 are available to 14 – 25-year-olds through the Young Barbican scheme. Once tickets are bought, audiences have 48 hours to watch the concert. Please visit the event pages to find information on how to book tickets.