festival

Belief and Beyond Belief

16 Jan - 16 Dec
Throughout 2017, Southbank Centre and the London Philharmonic Orchestra present a new festival which explores what it means to be human. Belief and Beyond Belief explores the music, art, culture, science, philosophy, ritual and traditions that have risen out of religion in its many guises.

The seemingly innate need for humans to find meaning for their lives and a sense of where they fit into the universe, with all its mystery and majesty, is a constant in all periods of human history and has inspired some of the greatest music and art ever created.

Even in an era when religion is said to be on the decline our headlines are dominated by it, often in extreme forms.

The festival also looks at the broader questions of what it means to be human and asks which aspects of religious belief can be useful to the world in the 21st century. What are the risks to societies if they become more secular, and how will that influence artists?

From Haydn to Strauss, from Kancheli to Glass, Belief and Beyond Belief looks at music that speaks of the divine and the human spirit.

From Richard Dawkins to Jeanette Winterson, from Rabindranath Tagore to Primo Levi, we investigate the struggle to define the absolute.

Nearly all of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017 Royal Festival Hall concerts form part of this Festival, alongside a wide range of performances, lectures, debates, and literary events programmed by Southbank Centre.

With support from Coexist House and Cambridge Interfaith Programme.

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The belief in something greater than ourselves has preoccupied humanity for centuries. In this festival of music inspired by spiritual belief, we attempt to lay open the grandeur, enigma and conflict in our search for, and understanding of, the divine.
Vladimir Jurowski, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, London Philharmonic Orchestra

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today

Classical music
Chamber & Recital
24 Jan
Stefanovich and Aimard perform deeply reflective music written for two pianos

tomorrow

Classical music
Orchestra
25 Jan
Explore 20th-century music's darker moments with works by Kancheli, Martinů and Vaughan Williams

28 Jan

Classical music
Orchestra
28 Jan
The French baroque, jazz-era Paris and 1980s America collide in this LPO concert

1 Feb

Classical music
Orchestra
1 Feb
In Seven Days is a major musical statement from Thomas Adès, the celebrated British composer

3 Feb

Classical music
Chamber & Recital
3 Feb
Hear Bach's mightiest organ works alongside his most intriguing contrapuntal experiments

4 Feb

Talks & Topics
Religion & Beliefs
4 Feb
Do you think religion should make way for the new sciences? Discuss with us at this talk
Literature
4 Feb - 5 Feb
Explore issues around science versus religion at our second Belief & Beyond Belief weekend

Free

Classical music
Choral
4 Feb
Join our choral workshop to learn music from Haydn’s life-affirming The Creation
Talks & Topics
Religion & Beliefs
4 Feb
Can scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of God?
Talks & Topics
Religion & Beliefs
4 Feb
How do many of today’s miraculous new technologies mirror religious ideas?

stories

video
Hear LPO Principal Conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, introduce the Belief and Beyond Belief
video
Discover the key messages and themes in Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio

explore our themes

This festival is comprised of a series of themed weekends, find out more about them below.