series

What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know is a series of in-depth sessions exploring the music being performed at Southbank Centre.

These study days take place in advance of the concert performances at Southbank Centre and are designed to deepen the audience experience, whether you’re a seasoned concertgoer or new to classical music.

Southbank Centre's Director of Music Gillian Moore leads a group of speakers who include broadcasters, writers and academics, all of whom have been carefully selected for their in-depth knowledge and expertise.

This series grew from the feedback we received in our award-winning The Rest Is Noise festival, where attendees told us that taking part in talks and events deepened their experience of hearing the music in concert. You now have the opportunity to enrich your concert-going experience all year round.

Choose a What You Need to Know session because you’d like to find out more about a piece of music that is unfamiliar to you. Come along because you know the music already, but would like to deepen your knowledge, or book the whole series as an exciting and engaging way to do a course in classical music in the context of world-class performances.

Members are first in line for tickets 

It costs as little as £60 to join our community of art lovers and enjoy a range of benefits across Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery and beyond.

Buy membership

Our courses

Our courses explore a variety of artistic and intellectual topics in a range of formats and time commitments, from single workshops to year-round accredited programmes. 

Find out more about our courses here

Sorry, your search didn't find anything.

Try changing the date selection, or other filters and searching again

all events

12:00 pm
Sat 03 Mar 2018
12:00 pm | Sat 03 Mar 2018
Classical music
Contemporary Classical
Take an in-depth look at Stephen Sondheim’s extensive musical career
Take an in-depth look at Stephen Sondheim’s extensive musical career
12:00 pm
Sat 07 Apr 2018
12:00 pm | Sat 07 Apr 2018
Classical music
Talks & Topics
Join this study day to explore the history and traditions of Bernstein’s MASS
Join this study day to explore the history and traditions of Bernstein’s MASS
12:00 pm
Sat 05 May 2018
12:00 pm | Sat 05 May 2018
Classical music
Talks & Topics
Get to know the man behind the music and go beyond 2001: A Space Odyssey in this Ligeti study day
Get to know the man behind the music and go beyond 2001: A Space Odyssey in this Ligeti study day
12:00 pm
Sat 06 Oct 2018
12:00 pm | Sat 06 Oct 2018
Classical music
Tackle Mahler’s symphonies in this study day
Tackle Mahler’s symphonies in this study day
12:00 pm
Sat 08 Dec 2018
12:00 pm | Sat 08 Dec 2018
Classical music
Discover the origins and stories of Christmas carols old and new
Discover the origins and stories of Christmas carols old and new
12:00 pm
Sat 23 Feb 2019
12:00 pm | Sat 23 Feb 2019
Classical music
Take a closer look at Beethoven’s piano concertos in this study day
Take a closer look at Beethoven’s piano concertos in this study day
12:00 pm
Sat 27 Apr 2019
12:00 pm | Sat 27 Apr 2019
Examine Philip Glass’ collaboration with Bowie in this study day
Examine Philip Glass’ collaboration with Bowie in this study day
12:00 pm
Sat 01 Jun 2019
12:00 pm | Sat 01 Jun 2019
Classical music
Discover the transformative influence Stockhausen had on contemporary music in this study day
Discover the transformative influence Stockhausen had on contemporary music in this study day