- Running from 17 September – 30 December, the Southbank Centre will present an Autumn season of over 40 multi-arts events.
- The Autumn programme will bring music, literature, and comedy back to the Royal Festival Hall for the first time since closure on 17 March.
- This includes: 30 orchestral concerts, 10 of which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3; exclusive online events with internationally-renowned authors in place of the flagship London Literature Festival; and Resident & Associate Orchestras launching their 20/21 seasons with revised programmes to reflect wider cultural conversations.
- These events will be streamed online while social distancing measures remain in place, and while the Southbank Centre continues to respond to challenges presented by COVID-19.
- The announcement comes as the multi-arts centre opens Everyday Heroes, a free outdoor public art and poetry exhibition, which celebrates frontline workers around the UK.
- Further programming for Inside Out to be announced at a later date.
The Southbank Centre today announces details about Inside Out, a brand-new online season of music, literature and comedy from 17 September – 30 December.
With over 40 events across three months, audiences will be able to take advantage of a truly diverse range of programming coming from the Royal Festival Hall and beyond. There will be 30 orchestral concerts, including the culmination of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2020Vision series. Inside Out will also feature acclaimed musicians including Tasmin Little, Víkingur Ólafsson, Roderick Williams, Alina Ibragimova and Pekka Kuusisto, and iconic writers and activists such as Alicia Garza – co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Angela Davis, Arundhati Roy and Kae Tempest who willbring art and ideas back to the Southbank Centre – Europe’s largest multi-arts centre.
The Autumn season will be the first time these once vibrant spaces will be reopened to artists since doors closed on 17 March. This includes welcoming home the Southbank Centre’s world-leading Resident and Associate Orchestras as they begin their 20/21 seasons. They come with updated programmes to reflect vital contemporary cultural conversations around the renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter campaign, with over 16 of the overall 57 pieces of music by composers of colour.
Seven literature events will feature: John Cleese, Angela Davis, Alicia Garza, Dawn French, Claudia Rankine, Arundhati Roy and Kae Tempest. Classical music highlights include: Tasmin Little’s last ever recital at a major UK venue; a special installment of the International Piano Series from Southbank Centre Artist-in-Residence, Víkingur Ólafsson; and the world premiere of James B. Wilson’s new commission, in collaboration with poet Yomi Sode, inspired by a resonant moment in the recent Black Lives Matter protests, performed by Chineke! Orchestra.
BBC Radio 3 will be in residence at the Southbank Centre this Autumn, continuing its lasting relationship with the venue. Broadcasting over ten live concerts from the Royal Festival Hall, BBC Radio 3 will amplify the stand-out Autumn programming for audiences nationwide. Alongside the classical music programme, the Southbank Centre will also host a series of BBC Radio 3 speech and literature events recorded at the venue, reflecting both organisations’ ongoing commitment to speech programming.
Inside Out will be streamed online from 17 September – 30 December. Full listings and details about additional events will be announced later this month.
Gillian Moore, Director of Music and Performing Arts at the Southbank Centre, said: “When the Southbank Centre’s doors closed on 17 March, we could never have imagined that the spaces would remain silent for so long. This has been a devastating time for the arts. We’ve all been yearning to get back to what we love: making music and sharing this with our audiences. We are delighted to welcome back our Resident & Associate Orchestras this Autumn to launch their 20/21 season, alongside some of the greatest authors, writers and thinkers of our time, exploring some of the most urgent issues of the day. The Royal Festival Hall needs to reverberate again and we are so grateful to all our partners who will be helping us bring it back to life, allowing us to reconnect with our audiences through streaming and radio broadcasts. We need the arts to make sense of the world: they show us how far we’ve come and how far we’ve got to go. Never have we needed them more.”
Ted Hodkingson, Head of Literature & Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre, said: “After five months of closure I’m delighted to announce an online series of talks that offer a timely response to our tumultuous present and celebrate our capacity for creativity and connection. We have living legends including Angela Davis alongside leading voices in the fight for racial and social justice such as Alicia Garza, with boundary-pushing authors, thinkers and poets of global renown including Arundhati Roy, Claudia Rankine and Kae Tempest, as well as beloved comedians including Dawn French and John Cleese. We look forward to bringing the London Literature Festival back bigger and better than ever in 2021, but for now, we’re thrilled to be able to bring authors and audiences together from all around the world as part of Inside Out.”
Literature events from California to India via the Royal Festival Hall
Due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the Southbank Centre’s flagship London Literature Festival will not take place this October, however in its place the Southbank Centre is proud to announce a series of exclusive author events will be streamed from various locations across the world, kicking off with a UK exclusive with writer and activist Angela Davis direct from Santa Cruz (17 Sep). In a collaboration with the Stuart Hall Foundation, the streamed event will be chaired by lecturer and author Brett St Louis.
Award-winning poet and author Claudia Rankine will discuss her new book Just Us with journalist Gary Younge from New York (9 Oct). The Southbank Centre is proud to welcome back one of the UK’s most beloved and virtuosic talents, Kae Tempest, as they discuss their first book of nonfiction, On Connection streamed from the Royal Festival Hall stage(13 Oct). Internationally acclaimed author and activist Arundhati Roy is set to discuss her new book of essays, Azadi, and reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world after the pandemic from her home in India in an event chaired by journalist Razia Iqbal (22 Oct), and the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza will be live from the Royal Festival Hall (28 Oct) to discuss her book The Purpose of Power. Actors and writers Dawn French (UK exclusive, 19 Oct) and John Cleese (2 Nov) will launch their respective new books from the Royal Festival Hall; Dawn French will launch her new novel Because of You and John Cleese his book On Creativity: A short and cheerful guide.
Tickets for literature events within Inside Out will be on sale to Members on 4 Sep and general public from 7 Sep via the Southbank Centre website, with exception of the John Cleese event which will go on sale to Members on 11 Sep and the general public on 14 Sep.
30 orchestral events to take centre-stage as the Southbank Centre’s Resident and Associate Orchestras launch their 20/21 seasons, as Tasmin Little and Víkingur Ólafsson bring exclusive recitals
From 30 September – 30 December, the Royal Festival Hall will play host to over 30 classical music events for ‘Inside Out’, featuring 30 orchestral concerts, 16 world-leading conductors and 28 international soloists. At the heart of the classical music season will be a series of concerts broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 from the Royal Festival Hall.
As the Southbank Centre’s world-leading Resident and Associate Orchestras get set to make a hugely welcome return to kick-start their 20/21 seasons, the arts and culture sector will be reminded of the poignancy of this moment, with September normally marking the annual moment where orchestras globally look ahead to nearly ten months of rich programming. The LPO and PO’s Principal Conductor Designates, Edward Gardner and Santtu-Matias Rouvali take to the stage, with Gardner delivering the first two concerts at the RFH in six months. In addition, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment come with leading soloists including Alina Ibragimova.
In October, Tasmin Little will give her last-ever recital at a major UK venue, returning to the Southbank Centre where she gave her first-ever performance aged eight, bringing a programme featuring Amy Beach, Roxanna Panufnik, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. In November, the Southbank Centre Artist-in-Residence, Víkingur Ólafsson brings an exclusive International Piano Series recital of Debussy, Rameau and Mussorgsky.
Alongside stand-out soloists and new commissions, a commitment to diversity remains at the heart of the three-month programme. As the classical music season centres untold narratives and underrepresented voices, the Southbank Centre’s Autumn season hopes to contribute positively to the wider cultural conversation, with an emphasis on performers and composers of colour new and old. Composers include: Adolphus Hailstork, Avril Colderidge-Taylor, Courtney Bryan, Dai Fujikura, Errollyn Wallen, Fela Sowande, George Lewis, Hannah Kendall, Florence Price, James B. Wilson, Jessie Montgomery, Jimmy Lopez, Joel Thompson, Joseph Boulogne, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Tania León.
On Monday 19 October, Chineke! Orchestra will give the world premiere of James B. Wilson’s new commission, in collaboration with poet, Yomi Sode, inspired by a resonant moment in the recent Black Lives Matter protests here in London. The concert will also feature the UK premiere of Atlanta-based composer, Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed – a powerful and harrowing interpretation of racism and police brutality, which takes the last words of the innocent, unarmed African-American men killed by police and authority figures in the USA. On Wednesday 28 October, the London Sinfonietta will bring a concert of music by established and emerging black composers, co-curated by new music thinker, George Lewis and Elaine Mitchener,conducted by Vimbayi Kasiboni. On 17 November, the BBC Concert Orchestra will be joined by genre-defying artist Abel Selaocoe, for a one-off event broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
16 conductors: Anna Maria-Helsing, Daniele Rustioni, Elim Chan, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Hannu Lintu, John Storgårds, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Kalena Bovell, Karina Canellakis, Robin Ticciati, Roderick Cox, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Thierry Fischer, Thomas Søndergård, Vimbayi Kaziboni, and Vladimir Jurowski.
28 soloists: Abel Selaocoe, Alexander Gavrylyuk, Alina Ibragimova, Angharad Lyddon, Anssi Karttunen, Anu Komsi, Catherine Edwards, David Soar, Gábor Boldoczki, Gerald Finley, James Crabb, Julia Bullock, Juliette Bausor, Kristina Blaumane, Mary Bevan, Nicolas Van Poucke, Nicolas Namoradze, Pekka Kuusisto, Pieter Schoeman, Roderick Williams, Rowan Pierce, Sally Matthews, Sam Furness, Sergey Khachatryan, Simone Lamsma, Sophie Bevan, Steven Devine and Tamara-Anna Cislowska.
For further information about the Resident & Associate Orchestras concerts from 30 September – 30 December please see Notes to Editors and visit the orchestras’ respective websites. Full listings will be announced later this month.
Elsewhere at the Southbank Centre
Everyday Heroesis a free outdoor art and poetry exhibition, running from 1 September – 7 November, that celebrates the contributions of key workers and frontline staff during the pandemic. Everyday Heroes features more than 40 newly commissioned portraits of some of the entirely ordinary but utterly remarkable people – among them health workers, bus drivers, faith workers and shop assistants – who helped to keep this country going during the crisis. The portraits are rendered in a variety of materials including paint, charcoal, photography, collage and language and they are presented across the Southbank Centre’s 11-acre site as large posters and banners in a kind of outdoor gallery that is accessible to all for free.
For this exhibition, the Southbank Centre commissioned portraits from some of the UK’s leading contemporary artists, including Turner-Prize winner Jeremy Deller, renowned art and fashion photographer Jurgen Teller, and rising international stars of painting including Michael Armitage and Ryan Mosley. Alongside these artworks, newly commissioned poems also celebrate and illuminate the often unsung lives of key workers, with contributions from Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, 2019; Scottish Makar Jackie Kay (Scotland’s poet laureate); Ted Hughes Award winning poet Raymond Antrobus: 2020 T.S. Eliot Prize winner Roger Robinson and rising stars including poet and nurse Romalyn Ante and Bristol’s City Poet Vanessa Kisuule