Classical music

London Sinfonietta: Georg Friedrich Haas: in vain

Part of Classical music

Trust your ears and relinquish your sight, don't miss this rare chance to hear Georg Haas' in vain – an extraordinary work where darkness and light collide.

Written in protest to the rise of the far-right Freedom Party in the 1999 Austrian elections, premiered in 2000 and receiving its first UK performance from the London Sinfonietta in 2013, in vain hints at a heightened sensory world where dark, unnatural forces are at work.

As familiar harmonies meet microtonal systems, Haas evokes an otherworldly realm that oscillates between the past and the present, between clarity and dystopia. Performed partly in complete darkness, in vain transforms the concert hall into a mysterious new landscape, where you must trust your ears and relinquish your sight.

`How to describe it? An astonishing work of art that has become a cult wherever it is played. One of the first great masterpieces of the C21st.' Sir Simon Rattle.

`The London Sinfonietta played with an intensity and conviction scarcely less astonishing than the music itself.' The Guardian

`Superbly played by the London Sinfonietta, with 20 minutes of it in total darkness.' Time Out, Best Performances of 2013

`The London Sinfonietta were often flying blind, yet their performance was grippingly urgent, and glowingly beautiful.' The Telegraph

`The players of the London Sinfonietta can only be commended in the highest terms - their memorising of so many notes and cues was a tour de force... This remarkable performance, attended by a capacity audience, was certainly an event.' Evening Standard


London Sinfonietta
Brad Lubman conductor


GF Haas: in vain

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall


£15 - £25
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
£15, £20, £25


50% off (limited availability)
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need to know

£5 tickets for ages 16 – 25 are available in the £15 seating area.

The performance runs for approximately 70 minutes. There is no interval in this performance.

Related events

The Clore Ballroom at 6.30pm: pre-concert performance
Royal College of Music Trombone Ensemble perform Schnyder and Haas.
Admission free.

Listen to a specially created Spotify playlist, giving a glimpse into the composer's eclectic taste
Hear about the creative decisions behind in vain, and its political significance, from the composer
A closer look at Georg Friedrich Haas‘ in vain with the Royal Academy of Music's Head of Composition