classical music
contemporary classical

Claude Vivier: Songs of a Maverick

Part of Contemporary Edit

Written straight from the heart, Vivier’s songs give voice to his longing for love and reveal the unparalleled brilliance of his musical imagination.

The composer lived a colourful and often bizarre life before he was tragically murdered in Paris in 1983, a year after moving to the city from his native Montréal.

As a musician, Vivier knew few boundaries. He was a disciple of Stockhausen whose own works would make his avant-garde teacher’s sound dated. They combine languages, traditions and schools, reflect his cosmopolitan travels and make strange, unusual demands of their performers.

Vivier is slowly being recognised in his native Canada and beyond as the maverick genius he was. His works were, according to his biographer Bob Gilmore, a way of ‘confronting loneliness, darkness, terror; of negotiating a relationship with God; of voicing an insatiable longing for acceptance and love.’

Forming part of a special focus on the music of Claude Vivier, Southbank Centre is pleased to present a selection of the composer’s most sincere and blazingly original songs for both voice and percussion. This is music that sings of love, religion, the universe and the central questions of life.

The performance concludes with the world premiere of Christopher Mayo’s personal homage to Vivier, an artist truly ahead of his time.

Nobody who hears Claude Vivier is quite the same afterwards.
The Globe and Mail




Vivier: Love Songs; Hymnen an die Nacht
Vivier: Shiraz; 5 Chansons for percussion; O! Kosmos; Jesus erbarme dich
Christopher Mayo: Homage to Vivier (World premiere)

Dates & times

14 May 2021
Approximate run time: 120 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Purcell Room


Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)


25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

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.