Southbank Centre artistic director Jude Kelly today launched the London venue’s 2013–14 season, sounding alarm about developments in England’s cultural landscape. Referring to the government’s proposed English Baccalaureate qualifications, which leave music off the core areas of school study, she said: ‘We should be concerned that classical music may not be at the heart of government policy.’
She argued for the central importance of music education: ‘If at a fundamental level children are persuaded that arts are a luxury, we will all be much poorer for it.’ And she called for the whole music community to agitate, explaining, ‘Don’t underestimate that we all make a difference if we keep insisting that it is the right of every child to learn about the arts, and that we can’t assume that they will just get it from their parents.’
Among the string season highlights revealed, Lawrence Power will premiere James MacMillan’s Viola Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2014; Leonidas Kavakos performs Bach as well as Hartman’s Concerto funebre; Julia Fischer and Daniel Müller-Schott will play the Brahms ‘Double’; and young violinist Benjamin Beilman performs the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.
The Philharmonia Orchestra’s season showcases young violinists such as Vilde Frang and Esther Yoo, as well as more-established performers such as Christian Tetzlaff and Truls Mørk.
The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will present a series called Gamechangers, focusing on key moments in the development of music, and recreating them on the original instruments. In one of these Sigiswald Kuijken will perform a Vivaldi concerto for violincello da spalla, the now defunct instrument that Kuijken has championed, and which he claims is the inspiration for Bach's cello writing.