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Barbican Centre, 2012-13 Season | reviews, news & interviews

Barbican Centre, 2012-13 Season

Barbican Centre, 2012-13 Season

Autumn listings at the London arts venue

Sex and power: Anita Björk as Miss Julie with Ulf Palme as Jean in the 1951 film, Fröken Julie

The autumn 2012 season at the Barbican Centre offers an international history of photography, Juliette Binoche in Strindberg, a train packed with African music, a festival of ecstatic, devotional and psychedelic music, and a film made by London schoolgirls about Bosnia, as well as classical music from the LSO and two new associate ensembles.

Last chance to see summer exhibitions, Bauhaus: Art as Life (until 12 August) and Designing 007 - Fifty years of Bond Style (until 5 September). Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical Carousel comes to the Barbican in August 2012, for just 37 performances, prior to appearing at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 2013.



13 September-13 January 2013, everything was moving: photography from the 60s and 70s, Barbican Art Gallery

This major international photography exhibition includes renowned photographers such as Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, David Goldblatt, Boris Mikhailov, Raghubir Singh and Shomei  Tomatsu, all working during two of the most memorable decades of the 20th century. everything was moving: photography from the 60s and 70s brings together over 400 works, some rarely seen, others recently discovered and many shown in the UK for the first time.




26 September, Justice in Action + Screen Talk, Barbican Cinema 1

The Barbican hosts the premiere screening of Justice in Action, a film made by pupils of Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets with BBC film-maker Fiona Lloyd-Davies. The film follows six young women who journeyed to Bosnia, walking the paths where war and genocide took place, to find out what justice really means. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the Justice in Action team and Ed Vulliamy, senior correspondent of the Guardian/Observer who reported extensively about the war in Bosnia. (UK 2012, 40 min)




20-29 September, Mademoiselle Julie, Barbican Theatre

Juliette Binoche stars in the Festival d’Avignon production of Mademoiselle Julie by Sweden's great playwright August Strindberg (1849-1912), directed by Frédéric Fisbach. Strindberg’s naturalistic dramatic poem, written when he was 39, explores the themes of love and desire set against the backdrop of class and social convention, as the upper-class Miss Julie breaks out of a party to flirt with a servant in the kitchen, with fatal results. A classic of late 19th-century writing, Mademoiselle Julie is a seminal text at the crossroads of modern theatre.




2-8 September, Africa Express, Middlesbrough, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol and London

Founded seven years ago by Damon Albarn, Africa Express brings together African and Western musicians to inspire each other and explore musical frontiers. As part of the London 2012 Festival, Africa Express teams up with the Barbican for its most ambitious event to date. A train filled with dozens of emerging and world-famous artists will travel England, Scotland and Wales, playing unexpected gigs in unexpected places. New music will be created along the way – each day, each town, each show seeing something different and new. After visiting homes, schools, factories, shopping centres and stations, the adventure will culminate in a finale concert in London’s Granary Square – a collaborative epic that defies musical and geographical boundaries.

Until 31 October, Micachu’s Sonic Journey at the Barbican, available online at and

Drawing inspiration from the textures and shapes of the Barbican, both inside and out, Micachu’s Sonic Journey was commissioned by the Barbican in 2011 as a musical response to the architecture of the Centre. Now, as part of The Space, Micachu’s Sonic Journey is available again as a free download until 31 October 2012. Two exclusive free tracks and instructions can be downloaded to smart phones or mp3 players to accompany walks through the cityscape that inspired the music.

17-30 September, Transcender Festival, Barbican Hall and various other venues

The Transcender festival, now in its fourth year, offers a series of concerts that explore transcendental, ecstatic, devotional and psychedelic music. This year features Afro-Futurist jazz from the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen, an encounter between Persian and Armenian musical masters Hossein Alizadeh and Djivan Gasparyan, multimedia performances from Oneohtrix Point Never and artist Nate Boyce, the sounds of the Iraqi Diaspora with Farida Mohammad Ali & The Iraqi Maqam Ensemble, Yair Dalal, Ahmed Mukhtar, plus Australian cult trio The Necks and more.

22 September, London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Hall

LSO’s 2012/13 London season opens with performances of the first symphonies of Brahms and Szymanowski conducted by Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev, alongside Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No 1 with soloist Janine Jansen. The concert is the first London concert in a series exploring Brahms and Szymanowski which dominates Gergiev’s season with the LSO at home and on tour, and marks the start of the LSO’s 30th season at the Barbican, its London home. The series continues the following evening, Sunday 23 September, with performances of Brahms and Szymanowski’s second symphonies, and Brahms’s Tragic Overture. From 10am-5.30pm that day there is the opportunity to find out more about the life and music of Karol Szymanowski, at an LSO Discovery Day, with access to LSO rehearsals and chamber music sessions with LSO players.

26 September, Academy of Ancient Music / Handel’s Royal Music, Barbican Hall

Launching its new relationship with the Barbican as Associate Ensemble, the Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) performs Handel’s royal music, featuring some of the composer’s most jubilant and recognisable works, originally written for national and royal celebrations. Conducted by AAM Music Director Richard Egarr, the celebratory programme includes Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks, as well as the Coronation Anthems and “Hallelujah” and “Amen” from Messiah, with the Choir of the AAM.

27 October, Britten Sinfonia 20th Birthday, Barbican Hall

Britten Sinfonia’s first concert as a new Barbian Associate Ensemble is on its 20th birthday on 27 October: a gala concert that journeys through 400 years of music and features newly composed special birthday tributes from James MacMillan and Nico Muhly. Britten Sinfonia is joined by regular artistic collaborators including Alina Ibragimova, Mark Padmore, Joanna MacGregor, Pekka Kuusisto, and the orchestra’s two newest ensembles, Britten Sinfonia Voices and Britten Sinfonia Academy for young musicians. The programme moves from Purcell via Bach, Britten and Prokofiev to Moondog, and in the second half features guest artists from across musical worlds, including Andy Sheppard (saxophone), Seb Rochford (drums) and Kuljit Bhamra (tabla).

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