Southbank Centre presents free weekend festival ‘New Music Biennial’

A celebration of new music from the UK’s most talented composers and musicians will present a snapshot of contemporary music in the UK.

The free weekend-long festival, New Music Biennial at Southbank Centre, features 20 selected works from a variety of artists from across all genres from classical to world music, jazz, folk, electronic and even music for ice cream vans.

The 20 works are performed in a range of venues across Southbank Centre’s site, inviting audiences to discover new music in an interactive way, both in and outside of traditional concert hall settings.

Gillian Moore, director of music at Southbank Centre said: “The New Music Biennial is such an important festival and we’re looking forward to welcoming audiences, old and new, for this entirely free weekend of creativity, innovation and fun.

“From classical and jazz to electronic and sounds inspired by cultures from across the world, our whole site, inside and out, will be filled with music of all kinds every hour of the weekend alongside workshops, talks, late-night gigs and Q+As.

“We look forward to inspiring many people with the sheer diversity of composing talent to be found in the UK today.”

A unique part of the festival is that each work, no longer than 15 minutes long, is performed twice and sandwiched around a Q+A with the composer offering insight into the piece before it is performed for the second time.

Alongside the performances is a packed programme of talks as part of Southbank Centre’s ongoing Composers’ Collective series offering practical tips and advice for new composers as well as outdoor pop-up performances for all the family, interactive workshops and a series of late night events including club nights and jazz sets.

The event has been created with the PRS Foundation, a leading charitable funder of new music and talent development.

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation said: “I’m delighted that Southbank Centre is again presenting this critically acclaimed free weekend of new music which celebrates the talent, breadth and imagination of UK composers.

“This unique event, which will also take place in Hull the following weekend, gives audiences a chance to explore an array of different musical styles and to hear from the composers about the inspiration behind each piece.

“It’s a music marathon that’s really worth signing up to.”

Pictured: Chineke! is the first professional orchestra in Europe to be made up of majority black and minority ethnic musicians. They will be playing at the New Music Biennial

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