Sunday 7 February 2010


London Sinfonietta - George Benjamin 50th Birthday Concert

Resident at Southbank Centre

George Benjamin: Piano figures - 10 pieces for solo piano
George Benjamin
: Viola viola
George Benjamin
: At first light for chamber orchestra
George Benjamin: A Mind of Winter for soprano & orchestra
George Benjamin: Palimpsests

London Sinfonietta presents a unique birthday celebration for George Benjamin, one of the UK's finest musicians. In a concert showcasing his talents as composer, conductor, coach, performer and collaborator he directs works including Palimpsests, perform Piano Figures and presents a new dance commission in the mesmerising Viola, Viola.

Written for London Sinfonietta, At First Light is a classic illustration of Benjamin's dazzling sonic landscapes. The world of Turner's 'Norham Castle, Sunrise' is stunningly evoked through musical colours, textures and inventive harmonies.

A Mind of Winter illustrates a different side to Benjamin's musical flair, of setting voice with orchestral ensemble, as the soprano blends with the crystalline world of Wallace Stevens' poem The Snow Man. This performance of A Mind of Winter also highlights Benjamin's skills as a distinguished coach. The next generation of performers from the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble take their place on stage alongside London Sinfonietta.

Benjamin's skills as collaborator with the world of dance is then on show in the fiery and lyrical Viola, Viola. Dancer Matthias Sperling, former member of Wayne McGregor's Random Dance, has choreographed a new dance commission from Southbank Centre. The concert ends with the explosive orchestral Palimpsests, a gripping and dynamic work fusing violent brass against translucent wind and strings.

Join London Sinfonietta in this tribute to the many talents that have made George Benjamin internationally renowned.

Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall at 6.15pm: George Benjamin discusses his music and answers questions from the audience. Admission free.


George Benjamin conductor, piano
Claire Booth soprano
Paul Silverthorne viola
Eniko Magyar viola
Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble
Matthias Sperling choreographer

Watch & Listen