wed 29/06/2022

Barbican

Dogs of Europe, Belarus Free Theatre, Barbican Theatre review - doom art with doom reality

Hindsight is everything. In the light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, political intrigues have suddenly taken on a far more menacing face, disbelief has been pulverised by reality – and theatre has become actuality.A few weeks ago, the Belarus Free...

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Cabell, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - transatlantic traffic

Had he never written a note of his own, George Walker would still have left a record of trailblazing achievements. Born in Washington DC in 1922, he studied piano at Oberlin College and the Curtis Institute (the conservatoire that notoriously...

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Postwar Modern: New Art in Britain 1945-65, Barbican review - revelations galore

The Barbican’s Postwar Modern covers the period after World War Two when artists were struggling to respond to the horrors that had engulfed Europe and find ways of recovering from the collective trauma.Perhaps inevitably, a considerable amount of...

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Stikhina, Kowaljow, LSO, Noseda, Barbican review - dramatic songs of death, electrifying dances of life

“This symphony comprises 11 songs about death and lasts about one hour,” the conductor Mark Wigglesworth declared before a second New York performance of Shostakovich’s Fourteenth – people had left in droves during the first – only to see a swathe...

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Total Immersion: Music for the End of Time review - miracles from the house of the dead

History’s most grotesque act of cynicism has to be the model ghetto the Nazis mocked up for the cameras in Terezin/Theresienstadt in October 1944, several days before transporting all the musicians and smartly-dressed attendees present at the...

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Lise Davidsen, Leif Ove Andsnes, Barbican review - perfect Grieg, impressive Strauss and Wagner

After a too-much-too-soon debut disc, Lisa Davidsen has just rolled out the gold on CD with her great fellow Norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes in songs by their compatriot Grieg. The visuals last night, in the first concert of a Barbican mini-residency,...

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First Person: young composer Nicola Perikhanyan on a new immersive reality experience at London Wall

There's something really moving about standing in the centre of London Wall's Roman ruins and looking up at the city that has grown around it. Thinking about our past, present and future simultaneously. More than 2000 years have passed since the...

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The Comedy of Errors, RSC, Barbican review - Shakespearean Christmas panto

“Am I myself?” At the tangled centre of Shakespeare’s comedy of two pairs of identical twins, servant Dromio asks the question on which everything else hangs. The delivery is exasperated, the context bantering, but the words are the flimsy door onto...

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Soweto Kinch, LSO / 'London Third Stream', London Sinfonietta, EFG London Jazz Festival review - projects from the political to the loop-y

“Take Jazz Seriously,” wrote Maurice Ravel after his American trip in 1928. This past week of the 2021 EFG London Jazz Festival has seen that advice itself being taken seriously, with a bunching of projects and premieres. Jazz musicians have been...

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Balsom, Daniel, Poster, Britten Sinfonia, Stroman, Milton Court review – kinds of blue

Where do you draw – how do you draw? – a credible line between jazz and “classical” music in 20th-century America? With the reliably boundary-busting Britten Sinfonia, trumpeter Alison Balsom mixed and matched works from different formal lineages in...

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Isamu Noguchi, Barbican review – the most elegant exhibition in town

Isamu Noguchi may not be a household name, yet one strand of his work is incredibly familiar. In 1951 he visited a lamp factory in Gifu, a Japanese city famous for its paper lanterns. This prompted him to design the lampshades that, for decades,...

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The Creation, Academy of Ancient Music, Cummings, Barbican review - back to choral paradise

Whatever the upsets and uncertainties of this musical season, the return of choral works at full scale and full power has been an unalloyed joy. And sheer, exhilarated, heaven-storming joy branded the Academy of Ancient Music’s reading of Haydn’s...

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