Classical music

London Sinfonietta: Georg Friedrich Haas: in vain / trust your ears and relinquish your sight

Part of Classical Season

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 for 24 instruments


Royal Festival Hall
book now
Members and Supporters get priority. Join now

need to know

There is no interval in this performance which ends at approx. 8.45pm

Related events
Royal Festival Hall at 8.45pm: post-concert conversation. Admission free.

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

before & after

Exterior view of Wagamama, Southbank Centre
Inspired by canteen-style Japanese noodle bars, Wagamama delivers lively pan-Asian food
Food from Skylon restaurant at the Southbank Centre
A beautiful restaurant, stylish grill and bar with unrivalled views of the London skyline