Daniel Pioro & James McVinnie: Rosary Sonatas

Sun 22 Jan 2023, 8am – 5pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer
Classical music
From £15 per performance
Book below
Book below
Portrait artists Daniel Pioro and James McVinnie
Alex Kozobolis

Take a day-long deep dive into the world of Biber’s virtuosic Rosary Sonatas, with performances and talks stretching from sunrise to sunset.

  • Daniel Pioro violin
  • James McVinnie organ, harpsichord
  • 8am: Performance - Set 1 (Joyful Mysteries):
  • Biber: Rosary (Mystery) Sonata No.1 (The Annunciation); No.2 (The Visitation); No.3 (The Nativity); No.4 (The Presentation in the Temple); No.5 (The Finding in the Temple)
  • 12pm: Performance - Set 2 (Sorrowful Mysteries):
  • Biber: Rosary (Mystery) Sonata No.6 (The Agony in the Garden); No.7 (The Scourging at the Pillar); No.8 (The Crowning with Thorns); No.9 (The Carrying of the Cross); No.10 (The Crucifixion)
  • 4pm: Performance - Set 3 (Glorious Mysteries):
  • Biber: Rosary (Mystery) Sonata No.11 (The Resurrection); No.12 (The Ascension); No.13 (The Descent of the Holy Spirit); No.14 (The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin); No.15 (The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin)

This in-depth exploration of Biber’s masterpiece features three performances from Daniel Pioro and James McVinnie, in addition to talks and other events bringing the Rosary Sonatas to life.


Growing light – darkness – fading light.

This is a day of devotion, both to this extraordinary collection of music by Biber, and to the stories of the Rosary, stories that regardless of personal faith hold so much meaning.

The first set of sonatas, the ‘Joyful Mysteries’, are timed to coincide with the first rays of morning light as they hit the river Thames. The Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer is the ideal place to feel how the city of London wakes up around us.

The second set of sonatas, the ‘Sorrowful Mysteries’, take place in a dark Purcell Room, evoking the enclosed sorrow and the agony of these works.

The final set of sonatas, the ‘Glorious Mysteries’, take us back into the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer to observe the darkness drawing in, but this time a natural darkness that is free of pain and anguish.

Set 1

8am – 9am
Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer

Set 2

12 noon – 1pm
Purcell Room

Set 3

4pm – 5pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 7+

Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer; 9.45am, 10.45am, 2pm & 2.45pm: as part of our day-long deep-dive into the world of Biber’s virtuosic Rosary Sonatas, you can learn more at our Deep Dive Sessions, which are taking place between the performances. Admission free. The schedule for the sessions is:
9.45am – 10.30am: The Music (Dr Elisabeth Giselbrecht)
10.45am – 11.30am: The History (Dr William O’Reilly)
2pm – 2.30pm: In Conversation: James McVinnie with Toks Dada
2.45pm – 3.30pm: The Rosary (Revd Sarah Lenton).

Find out more about the music with our free programme.
View the programme

Offers Ticket holders to our day-long deep dive into the Rosary Sonatas on Sunday 22 January can enjoy discounts just for them on the day:

Biber breakfast deal Get a hot drink and a pastry for just £5 at our Concrete Cafe at Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30am – 12 noon on Sunday 22 January 2023. Set 1 ticket holders only are eligible for a free hot drink and pastry – vouchers for this offer will be distributed to ticket holders on entry to the Queen Elizabeth Hall between 7.30am and 8am.

Browse to your heart's content at our three shops on-site. Inspiring products for all, with every penny supporting the arts. Show your ticket at the till for 10% off.
Browse the Southbank Centre Shop

Enjoy traditional Italian food with a modern twist at Strada's flagship restaurant boasting wonderful views of the riverside. Show your ticket for 20% off your order.
Explore Strada at the Southbank Centre

Show your ticket for 10% off your order at Giraffe, the location for freshly-cooked food served to the sound of great music with stunning views over the Thames.
T&Cs: 10% discount offer valid all day Sunday 22 January. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Valid concert ticket must be shown at the start of your meal. Maximum 8 persons. Offer only valid at Giraffe Southbank Centre.
Find out more about Giraffe

Enjoy a free side at wagamama, while soaking up the buzzy atmosphere of this stretch along the Thames. T&Cs: any free side upon purchase of an adult main. Offer valid at wagamama Southbank Centre only. Offer expires Sun 22 Jan 2023. Offer claimed upon showing proof of concert ticket. Discover wagamama at the Southbank Centre

Dates & times

Sun 22 Jan 2023

Performance Set 1: 8am – 9am
Deep Dive Session 1 (The Music with Dr Elisabeth Giselbrecht): 9.45am – 10.30am
Deep Dive Session 2 (The History with Dr William O’Reilly): 10.45am – 11.30am
Performance Set 2: 12 noon – 1pm
Deep Dive Session 3 (In Conversation: James McVinnie with Toks Dada): 2pm – 2.30pm
Deep Dive Session 4 (The Rosary with Revd Sarah Lenton): 2.45pm – 3.30pm
Performance Set 3: 4pm – 5pm



  • Standard entryFrom £15*
  • Concessions25%**

* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.

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** Limited availability. Read about concessions.

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An accessible toilet is located in the foyer.

A Changing Places toilet is located on Level 1 Royal Festival Hall next to the JCB Glass Lift, for the exclusive use of disabled people who need personal assistance to use the toilet.

The facility includes a height-adjustable bench, tracking hoist system, a centrally-placed toilet, a height-adjustable basin and a shower. Please visit the Welcome Desk on Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, where a member of staff can provide you with the key. You can also use the phone next to the Changing Places toilet to speak to a member of staff. The facility is open daily 10am – 11pm.


The Queen Elizabeth Hall cloakroom is closed. You won’t be able to bring any bags over 40 x 25 x 25cm into the Queen Elizabeth Hall, so please leave large bags at home.

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For step-free access from the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road to the Queen Elizabeth Hall auditorium seating (excluding rows A to C) and wheelchair spaces in the Rear Stalls, plus Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer and the Purcell Room, please use the Queen Elizabeth Hall main entrance.

To reach this entrance, enter the Royal Festival Hall via the Southbank Centre Square Doors. Take the JCB Glass Lift to Level 2 and exit to the Riverside Terrace. Turn right to find the Queen Elizabeth Hall main entrance.

You can also use the external lift near the Artists' Entrance on Southbank Centre Square to reach Mandela Walk, Level 2. 

For access to the Queen Elizabeth Hall auditorium seating rows A to C and wheelchair spaces in the Front Stalls, please enter via the Artists' Entrance in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road (Level 1).

Talk to a member of staff at the auditorium entrance if you have a disability that means you can’t queue, or you need extra time to take your seat. They can arrange priority entry for you as soon as the doors open.

Please bear with us while we update our access map to reflect the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall’s Level 2 foyer spaces. The step-free routes remain the same.

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