New digital capability of Wigmore Hall further extended internationally with new partnership with medici.tv
Helen Grime becomes Wigmore Hall’s first female Composer in Residence
Major artist residencies and series from trumpeter Alison Balsom, pianists Angela Hewitt, Igor Levit & Francesco Piemontesi; violinists Janine Jansen & Patricia Kopatchinskaja; harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and Takács Quartet
Vibrant Early Music & Baroque Series includes Arcangelo with Jonathan Cohen as first Baroque Ensemble in Residence, plus performances by Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Les Arts Florissants, Collegium Vocale Gent, Le Poème Harmonique, The Sixteen, The Tallis Scholars, La Venexiana, Vox Luminis
Major contemporary music with Thomas Adès Day ‘Arcadiana’, Ensemble 360: Music in the Round weekend and 52 major premieres including 25 world premieres of Wigmore Hall co-commissions
Return concerts for Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Sir András Schiff, and Violeta Urmana
Masterclasses by Brigitte Fassbaender and Sir András Schiff
Wigmore debut recitals from René Pape and Barbara Hannigan. Emmanuelle Haïm makes her debut as a conductor
Christian McBride returns and celebrated pianist Vijay Iyer becomes Jazz Artist in Residence
Schubert: The Complete Songs continues with outstanding and compelling visions of the composer’s late song-cycles, as well as the songs in English as part of Wigmore Hall’s Learning programme
Wigmore Hall’s rich legacy of great performances, artistic revelations and creative daring is set to grow throughout the 2016/17 season. The Hall’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director John Gilhooly was last Sunday named as one of Britain’s 500 most influential people in Debrett’s 2016 People of Today list, published in The Sunday Times. He announces his bold new 2016/17 programme on Thursday 28 January, shortly before a performance given by an ensemble of remarkable young artists. The season launch and subsequent concert is the first event to be streamed live from Wigmore Hall, inaugurating an online series designed to broaden international access to Europe’s leading venue for chamber music, early music and song. It was also announced that Wigmore Hall’s 115th Anniversary Gala Concerts on 31 May, 1 & 2 June 2016 will be streamed live in partnership with medici.tv.
‘Wigmore Hall now attracts capacity audiences to many of its 488 concerts each year,’ observes John Gilhooly. ‘We want to share the experience of great music-making with the greatest possible number of people. This is why we created a world-class digital studio as part of our £2.1 million building infrastructure upgrade last year. I am also delighted to announce that, as a result of its overwhelming success, we will increase our £5 ticket scheme for Under-35s from 10,000 tickets this season to 20,000 tickets in 2016/17. Our digital capability and work to attract new and younger audiences belong to the Hall’s vitally important investment in its future.’
Artists, loyal audience members and generous donors were among those who welcomed the launch of Wigmore Hall’s 2016/17 Annual Season Appeal. The fundraising initiative expects to raise £1.7 million from private sources to enhance the quality of the Hall’s artistic programme, support the development of its influential Learning programme and expanding Under 35s ticket scheme, and ensure that Wigmore Hall can be accessible to the widest possible audience.
‘In recent seasons Wigmore Hall has dramatically increased the number of concerts it promotes,’ John Gilhooly recalls. ‘This has given us the freedom to create special projects and build season-long series in collaboration with remarkable artists at all stages in their careers. It has also enabled us to expand the range, diversity and ambition of our artistic programme. We believe the extra work and financial risk involved are vital if Wigmore Hall is to maintain its place among the world’s leading venues for chamber music and song. The Annual Season Appeal supports our artistic ambitions and will allow the Hall to deliver a programme in 2016/17 of the highest international quality.’
During the new season Wigmore Hall will promote 488 concerts and a comparable number of Learning events. ‘The 2016/17 programme offers an unrivalled blend of artistic quality and creative possibilities,’ comments John Gilhooly.
Sarah Connolly, one of Britain’s most distinguished singers, opens Wigmore Hall’s 2016/17 Season in company with Malcolm Martineau on Friday 9 September. Their programme includes four settings of Hans Christian Andersen from Schumann’s Op. 40, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder and Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été, works drawn from the heart of the acclaimed mezzo-soprano’s repertoire. The human voice holds centre stage throughout the season’s opening week. Finnish soprano Soile Isokoski returns to the Hall on 10 September to perform works by Schumann and her countryman Yrjö Kilpinen.
Mark Padmore and James Baillieu launch the second half of the Hall’s Schubert: The Complete Songs on 13 September with a recital embracing everything from simple folk-inspired pieces to the complex emotional worlds of the composer’s late songs.
Wigmore Hall’s complete survey of Schubert’s 600-plus songs, launched in September 2015 and presented in partnership with Austria’s Schubertiade
Schwarzenberg and Hohenems festival, unfolds with 20 concerts across the new season. The series offers the chance to hear many of the world’s finest Schubert interpreters and a carefully chosen group of exceptional young talent. This season’s roster of distinguished Schubertians – singers and pianists – includes Florian Boesch, Robert Holl, Graham Johnson, Simon Keenlyside, Elisabeth Kulman, Stephan Loges, Malcolm Martineau, Georg Nigl, Mauro Peter, Christoph Prégardien, Anna Lucia Richter, Dorothea Röschmann, Markus Schäfer, Sir András Schiff, Violeta Urmana and Elizabeth Watts. The series contains complete performances of Winterreise with Matthew Rose and Gary Matthewman (15 February), Die schöne Müllerin with Henk Neven and Imogen Cooper (11 April), and Schwanengesang with Ian Bostridge and Lars Vogt (10 May). The song-cycles can also be heard in new English translations by Jeremy Sams, performed under the umbrella of Wigmore Hall’s Learning programme by Toby Spence, Roderick Williams, Sir John Tomlinson and Christopher Glynn.
Several substantial new series come to Wigmore Hall in 2016/17. Igor Levit starts his first complete survey of Beethoven’s piano sonatas in a major concert hall, comprising a total of eight concerts. Beethoven Cycle: Igor Levit opens on 28 September with four works, including the early Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor Op. 2 No. 1 and the dramatic ‘Waldstein’ Sonata. Takács Quartet: Beethoven String Quartet Cycle presents a prominent platform for Wigmore Hall’s internationally acclaimed Associate Artists to explore some of the greatest works in the chamber music canon. The Takács Quartet’s series starts on 3 February 2017 and unfolds with five further concerts. Angela Hewitt: The Bach Odyssey, devised by John Gilhooly to run over several seasons, starts on 25 September and continues on 20 January and 10 June. The divinely-inspired composer’s keyboard fantasies, inventions and sinfonias provide the creative launch pad for this landmark series, which will grow in 2016/17 to include a complete survey of the French Suites. Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, also at John’s request, begins a long-term survey of Bach’s keyboard works on 21 December with the Goldberg Variations.
Artist residencies have become an integral part of Wigmore Hall programming in recent years. Next season’s Janine Jansen Perspecitves focuses on the work of one of the world’s leading classical instrumentalists, an acclaimed soloist who is also passionate about chamber music-making. The Dutch violinist, a firm favourite with the Hall’s audience, begins her three-concert showcase series on 8 October with a recital of works by Brahms, Poulenc, Prokofiev and Szymanowski. She will return later in the season for performances of, among other works, Korngold’s rarely heard Suite for two violins, cello and piano left hand, and Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. In a rare partnership with London Symphony Orchestra, Jansen will also perform orchestral works by Bernstein, Brahms and Berg across three concerts at the Barbican in February, March and April 2017.
Connoisseurs of visionary violin playing will also be drawn to Patricia Kopatchinskaja: Artist in Residence. The Moldovan-born Austrian performer, winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious Instrumentalist Award, appears in recital in March, April and May 2017 for three contrasting programmes that include everything from Bach and Beethoven to George Crumb and György Kurtág.
Sir András Schiff: Bach, Schumann, Janáček and Bartók arises from the pianist’s captivating artistic insight and power to reveal the complex inner worlds of keyboard masterworks. His latest series opens on 29 November with the first of three recitals. Wigmore Hall’s award-winning Learning programme will enter the evening concert diary for the first time when Sir András Schiff offers his practical advice and essential wisdom to a hand-picked group of outstanding young musicians in a series of masterclasses (30 November, 22 February & 3 May).
Over the past decade Alison Balsom has captivated audiences worldwide with her lyrical playing, exquisite tone and penetrating musicianship. Wigmore Hall’s Alison Balsom ‘The Trumpet Shall Sound’ series offers the chance to experience the wide range of her work over the course of four concerts. The high-profile trumpeter’s series opens on 31 October in partnership with pianist Tom Poster, includes a celebration of music for brass ensemble from the Balsom Ensemble Trumpet Consort on 20 December, and finishes with a late-night concert in company with jazz trumpeter Guy Barker and Friends on 9 June.
Mozart receives close attention at Wigmore Hall in 2016/17 thanks not least to Francesco Piemontesi. The Swiss pianist’s Mozart Piano Sonata Cycle, introduced at the Hall last spring, resumes on 15 December and continues on 4 May.
Wigmore Hall will reinforce its strong commitment to contemporary music and the cultivation of new chamber compositions in 2016/17. The artistic programme includes 25 world, 19 UK and 7 London premières, including 25 works specially commissioned by the Hall. In addition Helen Grime starts her term as Wigmore Hall’s first female Composer in Residence. The Scottish composer, known for her music’s lyrical beauty, is the subject of Helen Grime Day (15 October), which includes Aviary Sketches, co-commissioned by Wigmore Hall and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Grime has also written a new Piano Concerto for the Hall, which will be performed for the first time by Huw Watkins and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (3 March).
Few contemporary composers have proved to be as consistently inventive as Thomas Adès. Wigmore Hall explores his eloquently expressive work with a day-long programme of chamber music, including the string quartets Arcadiana and Four Quarters. Thomas Adès Day ‘Arcadiana’ (25 March) coincides with the world première production of the composer’s new work for the Royal Opera, based on Luis Buñel’s 1962 film The Exterminating Angel, and a major retrospective of his music at the Barbican Centre. The Hall’s diverse coverage of contemporary music is further reflected in concerts given by the Arditti Quartet, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble intercontemporain, EXAUDI, Eliot Fisk and the JACK Quartet.
Music in the Round, Sheffield’s pioneering chamber music promoter, and its resident Ensemble 360 come to Wigmore Hall for a weekend exploration of Leipzig’s potent contribution to creative invention and musical artistry. Music in the Round Weekend (11–13 November) surveys works by JS Bach, Mendelssohn and the Schumanns, Clara and Robert, together with compositions by other Leipzig luminaries, Niels Gade and Carl Reinecke among them. Further highlights of the Hall’s Chamber Music Season include recitals by Julia Fischer, Hilary Hahn, Steven Isserlis, Miloš Karadaglić, Truls Mørk, Christian Tetzlaff, Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan, and Jörg Widmann and Mitsuko Uchida.
The new season’s choice of ensembles encompasses the exciting young Armida Quartet, the Borodin Quartet (with the continuation of its majestic Beethoven and Shostakovich cycle), the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the thrilling young Danish Quartet, the Doric String Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet (in celebration of its 40th anniversary), the Gould Piano Trio (in Wigmore Hall’s annual Schubert birthday concert on 31 January), the Hagen Quartet, the Kalichstein Laredo Robinson Trio, the Nash Ensemble, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Quatuor Ebène and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Special features of the Chamber Music Season include Alina Ibragimova’s complete performance of Ysaÿe’s fiendishly difficult Six Sonatas for solo violin (31 May) and Renaud Capuçon’s homage to the artistic legacy of the German violinist Adolf Busch.
Wigmore Hall’s Song Recital Series boasts a stellar list of singers and accompanists in 2016/17, reflecting the venue’s long-term support for the art of song. Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan, recently described by The New Yorker as ‘a great musician’, makes her Hall debut on 1 October in company with the Calder Quartet, with a programme that includes the world première of CYCLE SIRENS by Peter Eötvös. The season also contains compelling programmes performed by Ian Bostridge, Christian Gerhaher, Karita Mattila and René Pape, two days of masterclass sessions led by Brigitte Fassbaender (3 & 4 November), and recitals featuring, among others, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Jamie Barton, Sophie Bevan, Andrei Bondarenko, Alice Coote, David Daniels, Iestyn Davies, Stéphane Degout, Bernarda Fink, James Gilchrist, Matthias Goerne, Luca Pisaroni, The Prince Consort, Matthew Polenzani, Carolyn Sampson, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Toby Spence and Roderick Williams.
Next season’s London Pianoforte Series features many of the world’s leading artists together with recitals by outstanding young performers. Jeremy Denk, praised by The New York Times as an artist ‘you want to hear no matter what he performs’, sets the series running on 17 September. Other highlights include a programme of works by Bach, Chopin, Schubert and Schumann by the thrilling young Polish-Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki (3 October), Melvyn Tan’s 60th birthday recital (13 October), the conclusion of Llŷr Williams’s acclaimed Beethoven piano sonata cycle (11 October, 16 February & 20 May), and recitals by Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, Imogen Cooper, Richard Goode, Andreas Haefliger, Marc-André Hamelin, Denis Kozhukhin, Nikolai Lugansky, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Paul Lewis, Leon McCawley, Alexander Melnikov, Garrick Ohlsson, Steven Osborne, Maria João Pires, Andreas Staier, Alexei Volodin and Christian Zacharias. Stravinsky’s two-piano version of The Rite of Spring crowns Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin’s unmissable piano duo recital on 30 March.
The glories of next season’s Early Music and Baroque Series underline Wigmore Hall’s status as an international centre for the performance of Early Music. It has been extended to include over 45 concerts given by, among others, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Les Arts Florissants, The Cardinall’s Musick, Max Emanuel Cencic with Il Pomo d’Oro, Cecilia Bartoli and Philippe Jaroussky with Ensemble Artaserse, Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herreweghe, Le Concert d’Astrée and Emmanuelle Haïm, Le Concert Spirituel, Dunedin Consort, The English Concert, La Nuova Musica, The Sixteen and Harry Christophers, Les Talens Lyriques, The Tallis Scholars, and Vox Luminis. Wigmore Hall turns the spotlight on the work of Arcangelo and its dynamic artistic director Jonathan Cohen next season with a four-concert showcase of the period-instrument ensemble’s gripping artistry (14 December, 13 January, 5 May & 21 July). Contralto Nathalie Stutzman directs Orfeo 55 in a programme of arie antiche on 2 October, while lutenist Thomas Dunford, dubbed by The Spectator as a ‘rock star of the lute’, gives a rare solo recital on 20 April.
British conductor and harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock, a true pioneer of the Early Music Movement, celebrates his 70th birthday on 16 December in concert with Lucy Crowe and a group of close friends and colleagues. The Spanish guitar and its influence on Baroque composers fuel Le Poème Harmonique’s concert on 21 October, while Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Kristian Bezuidenhout explore the rise of the symphony and piano concerto in their programme on 22 September. Other vital ingredients of the series are supplied by Italy’s award-winning madrigal ensemble La Venexiana, which makes its Wigmore Hall debut on 11 January, French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and Le Concert de la Loge Olympique (1 December), Roberta Invernizzi and Sonia Prina in company with Luca Pianca’s Ensemble Claudiana (29 December), and the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Anna Bonitatibus, who will perform a programme of arias and operatic scenes based around the myth of Semiramis together with Prague-based Collegium 1704 and Václav Luks (5 October).
Wigmore Hall Statistics
200,000 attendances at Wigmore Hall
2,000+ artists performing
488 concerts at Wigmore Hall
384 own promotions
212 chamber music recitals
123 days with more than one concert
104 external promotions
90 individuals giving to specific projects
84 vocal recitals
62 piano recitals
51 early music and baroque series concerts
47 contemporary music concerts
25 Wigmore Hall co-commissions
25 world premières
19 UK premières
7 London premières
1 European première
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