Join Marin Alsop and the young musicians of the Royal Academy of Music in a performance of Benjamin Britten's towering War Requiem.

Combining the poems of one of the greatest of all war poets, Wilfred Owen, with Latin liturgical texts, Britten's powerful work expresses the futility of war whilst at the same time honouring those killed in battle.

The Talks
The concert forms part of a day that marks the 100th anniversary of World War One. If you choose a £15 ticket, you can also attend the series of talks and workshops throughout the day listed below. Starting in the morning from 10am, these talks – which take place both before and after the 3pm concert – provide an insight into the history and the culture of the times surrounding Britten's War Requiem.

Investigate the history of World War I, take a closer look at the music and the composer himself, plus explore literature, poetry and films. Download a full timetable of the day's talks.

Experience all the talks and concert for just £15.
Concert-only tickets are £10.

Plus, click here to see all the ways you can mark Remembrance Sunday at Southbank Centre. Events include a reading from Andrew Motion and No Man's Land directed by Neil Bartlett, as well as many other free events throughout the day.

Timetable for Sunday 9 November talks and workshops:

11.15am – 12.15pm Margaret MacMillan: The War That Ended Peace

After a century of extraordinary progress, why did Europe march into a conflict that killed millions of its men?

The First World War bled economies dry, left three empires in rubble and fatally undermined European political dominance. Margaret MacMillan, the acclaimed author of The War that Ended Peace, sketches the vast transformations that Europe underwent in the years before the First World War.

Join Margaret as she offers a definitive account of how a peaceful continent descended into a chaos that was far from inevitable. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.

Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall

11.15am – 12.15pm Bites

A collection of readings and talks on First World War Britain.

11pm, Tuesday 4 August 1914: with the declaration of war London becomes one of the greatest killing machines in human history. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers pass through the capital on their way to the front; wounded men are brought back to be treated in London's hospitals; and millions of shells are produced in its factories. The war changes London life forever.' – Jerry White, Zeppelin Nights: London in the First World War

London historian Jerry White presents a thought-provoking insight into the city's transformation during the First World War.

He is joined by Andrew Motion, reading a selection of poems by Edward Thomas. Plus Diane Atkinson tells the extraordinary story of Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm, two of the most famous nurses of the First World War. who set up their own first-aid post a hundred yards from the villiage of Pervyse, near Ypres. News of their courage and expertise spread back to Britain and the 'Angels of Pervyse' became famous. Elsie and Mairi were decorated with seventeen medals for bravery and self-sacrifice.

Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall

12.30pm – 1.30pm Paul Kildea: Benjamin Britten

Writer and conductor Paul Kildea explores the life of Benjamin Britten.

As a conductor, Paul Kildea has performed Britten's work in opera houses and concert halls around the world. He is also the acclaimed author of Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century.

Join him as he gives a survey of this original and iconic composer.

Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall

12.30pm – 1.30pm Sarajevo: Allan Little

The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 has always been identified as the trigger for war.

But what was the city like at the time? How has Sarajevo played such an extraordinary part in the history of Europe, right up to the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995?

Allan Little, co-author of the acclaimed The Death of Yugoslavia, looks at how one city shaped the destiny of a century.

Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall

11.15am, 1pm, 5pm and 7pm (screenings) War Requiem: A Film by Derek Jarman

Four screenings of Derek Jarman's 1989 cinematic portrait of war and its consequences.

Combining dramatic scenes, harrowing archive footage and haunting images, Jarman's film captures the powerful sentiments of Britten's score.

Acclaimed as 'Jarman's finest achievement', this film serves as a visual accompaniment to Britten's War Requiem and features a cast of actors including Tilda Swinton and Laurence Olivier.

Sunley Pavilion at Royal Festival Hall

2pm – 2.30pm Pre-concert talk with Marin Alsop and Gillian Moore

Southbank Centre's Head of Classical Music Gillian Moore joins conductor Marin Alsop to discuss Benjamin Britten's response to two World Wars.

A performance of Britten's War Requiem takes place at 3pm in the Royal Festival Hall.

Royal Festival Hall


Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conductor
Natalia Tanasii soprano
Ben Johnson tenor
Johannes Kammler baritone
National Youth Choir of Great Britain
Voicelab Children's Choir