classical music
contemporary classical

Voices from the Page

Part of Classical Season 2020/21

Music and poetry combine in a concert about immigration and identity, with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

It features the poems of Emily Dickinson, Philip Levine and Toni Morrison reimagined by composers David Knotts, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Andre Previn.

The New York Times commented on Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Something for the Dark: ‘a turn of phrase may appear pretty at first, then take on shades of nostalgia before registering as a creepy obsession haunting the ear.’

The composer drew the piece’s title from a poem by former US Poet Laureate Philip Levine, known for writing about life in Detroit.

Throughout his career, composer and musician David Knotts has been preoccupied with poetry and prose as a source of inspiration. This concert includes the world premiere of his Guitar Concerto.

André Previn’s song cycle Honey and Rue sets poetry by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison to music for soprano and small orchestra, influenced by jazz and blues.

While he was still a relatively unknown composer, Cole Porter wrote the score for a protest ballet, Within the Quota, about immigration laws. The first ballet set in America by an American composer, it was written at a time of backlash against immigrants arriving in the US after World War One.


BBC Concert Orchestra
Bramwell Tovey conductor
Craig Ogden guitar
soprano to be announced


Sarah Kirkland Snider: Something for the dark
David Knotts: Guitar Concerto (World premiere)
Previn: Honey and Rue
Porter: Within the quota

Dates & times

28 Jan 2021
Approximate run time: 115 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Queen Elizabeth Hall


£12 - £28
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£12, £18, £28


25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

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