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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6 May 2017

Talks & Topics
Business & Economics
4:00 pm, 6 May 2017
We look into how religion affects political life in one of the world’s most powerful countries
audience members at a Pre-Concert Talk

Free

Classical music
6:15 pm, 6 May 2017
Dr Benjamin Walton leads a discussion on how Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 6 May 2017
Hear Beethoven's Ninth – not just another symphony, but an experience with the power to change lives

7 May 2017

Literature
Religion & Beliefs
12:00 pm, 7 May 2017
Join talks and debates on religion, spirituality, belief and the world
Literature
Religion & Beliefs
11:30 am, 6 May 2017 - 7 May 2017
A weekend of talks and events exploring religion, spirituality, belief and the world
Talks & Topics
Health & Wellbeing
1:30 pm, 7 May 2017
We discuss the intersections between clothing and religion
Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
1:30 pm, 7 May 2017
Take a tour through the history of Christianity in this conversation with experts
Talks & Topics
Politics & History
3:00 pm, 7 May 2017
Discuss whether the actions of some is affecting the belief of others in an illuminating discussion
Talks & Topics
Children & Young people
3:00 pm, 7 May 2017
We hear from a range of faith leaders and educators about religion in the classroom
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
4:30 pm, 7 May 2017
Meet the women of faith who are leading their communities and making the world a better place

22 Jun 2017

Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 22 Jun 2017
Royal Academy of Music students perform Mahler's monumental Second Symphony

23 Sep 2017

Literature
Religion & Beliefs
11:30 am, 23 Sep 2017
Join talks and debates on religion, spirituality, belief and the world
Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
11:30 am, 23 Sep 2017
Hear from religious leaders, writers and philosopher on where we should look for moral guidance
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
1:00 pm, 23 Sep 2017
Hear this debate on the moral, spiritual and legal issues of abortion
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
1:00 pm, 23 Sep 2017
Hear the differing voices on the key issue of same-sex marriage rights in this debate
Talks & Topics
Religion & Beliefs
2:30 pm, 23 Sep 2017
Discover how science enhances our understanding of whether human beings are innately good
Talks & Topics
Religion & Beliefs
2:30 pm, 23 Sep 2017
Discuss the differences and similarities within religions
Talks & Topics
Religion & Beliefs
4:00 pm, 23 Sep 2017
Are we ready to move past the ideas of good and evil?
Classical music
Choral
7:00 pm, 23 Sep 2017
Sir Willard White, Vladimir Jurowski and the LPO perform Enescu’s powerful opera Oedipe

24 Sep 2017

Classical music
Contemporary Classical
3:30 pm, 24 Sep 2017
Explore birdsong and man’s relationship with the natural world, in this Aurora Orchestra concert

25 Sep 2017

Classical music
Choral
7:00 pm, 25 Sep 2017
Can the ultimate betrayal ever be forgiven? The OAE explores Judas and Christ’s last days

27 Sep 2017

Classical music
Contemporary Classical
7:30 pm, 27 Sep 2017
Jan Vogler and the LPO perform Britten’s Cello Symphony, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski

30 Sep 2017

Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 30 Sep 2017
Hear pianist Richard Goode play Mozart in this LPO concert, also featuring Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony

14 Oct 2017

Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 14 Oct 2017
Hear 20th-century music that explores spirituality as part of Belief and Beyond Belief festival

21 Oct 2017

Classical music
Choral
7:30 pm, 21 Oct 2017
The LPO reveals another side to Rossini in this performance of his Stabat Mater

stories

story
We caught up with Devorah Baum, author of Feeling Jewish and The Jewish Joke
story
Hear comedian, actor and writer Cariad Lloyd's thoughts on life and death

explore our themes

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