classical music

Playing the Brain: Music and the Mind

Part of Classical Season 2020/21

City of London Sinfonia and neuroimaging scientists explore how listening to music affects the brain, with real-time scans and audience interaction.

The orchestra begins a year-long focus on music and its effect on the mind to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

At this concert they are joined by scientists from King’s College London.

Why does sad music often make us happy? How do groups of musicians communicate while playing?

In music from the 19th century to the present day, the orchestra shows you the mind’s musical map.

First, they share a film of real-time brain scans alongside music, showing how different listeners react to music

Then they explore our own emotional reaction to musical phenomena in interactive form.

One example: the adrenaline jolt of the unexpected in live performance.

The performance finishes with a real-time demonstration of how groups of musicians appear to be able to communicate ‘telepathically’ when playing.

The orchestra shows how group dynamics work in performance.


City of London Sinfonia
Ben Gernon conductor


Programme includes: -
Schumann: Symphony No.4 in D minor (vers. standard, 1851) *

Dates & times

28 Mar 2021
Approximate run time: 120 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Queen Elizabeth Hall


£10 - £30
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£10, £20, £30


25% off (limited availability)
Find out more about our Concessions policy

need to know

Event information
* Please note change of repertoire from originally advertised.

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.