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City of London Sinfonia presents

ABSOLUTE BIRD Sounds of the Outback 3 May Queen Elizabeth Hall Flocks of Europe 15 May Southwark Cathedral Translating Nature 24 May Queen Elizabeth Hall


+ Pre-concert talk + Singing with Nightingales Live

Help City of London Sinfonia (CLS) create sweeping birdcall soundscapes as they explore one of the world’s most diverse groups of animals through music in their three-part London series, with music ranging from the medieval ‘Cuckoo song’, Sumer is icumen in, to modern explorations of the natural soundworld by Hollis Taylor and John Luther Adams.

Sounds of the Outback

Friday 3 May, 7.30pm | Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX The sounds of Australian skies fill the Hall in a musical exploration of one of the most diverse natural environments in the world. Ornithologist and musician Hollis Taylor has been making field recordings of Australian birdsong for decades, combining them with new music in her Absolute Bird series. Recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey performs the latest in this series, a UK premiere of Taylor’s Concerto for recorder and chamber orchestra, as well as Tüür’s musical representation of the Uluru – central Australia’s iconic natural landmark. Programme includes: HOLLIS TAYLOR Absolute Bird UK Premiere VIVALDI Recorder Concerto in C (RV443) MOONDOG Birds of Paradise ERKKI-SVEN TÜÜR Whistles and Whispers from Uluru REBEL Les élémens City of London Sinfonia Jessica Cottis Genevieve Lacey Alexandra Wood

Conductor Recorder Director/Violin

Become part of the Australian soundscape Sure, we want you to experience incredible live performances of this exciting music by our musicians and guest artists, but we also want you to be part of it. Before the concert, ticketholders will be sent a number of birdcalls and nature sounds recorded in the Outback to download on their smartphones or tablets. We’ll then ask you to help recreate the Australian soundscape at specific points in the concert. Let’s fill the concert hall with birdsong together.

Flocks of Europe

Wednesday 15 May, 7.30pm | Southwark Cathedral, SE1 9DA TV presenter and RSPB President Miranda Krestovnikoff presents an interactive evening of medieval to classical birdsong music. City of London Sinfonia performs orchestral music from previous centuries by composers including Couperin, Haydn, Janequin and Vivaldi; from the cheery, medieval cuckoo song Sumer is icumen in to Haydn’s classical ‘Hen’ Symphony. Starting the night with a game of musical birdsong, Miranda guides us through works that have been inspired by cuckoos, nightingales and hens, adding her own reflections and introductions — including tales of her favourite hens. Programme includes: ANONYMOUS JANEQUIN VIVALDI COUPERIN RAMEAU HAYDN

Sumer is icumen in Le Chant des Oiseaux (Birdsong) Violin Concerto in A, ‘The Cuckoo’ The Nightingale in Love La Poule (The Hen) Symphony No.83, ‘The Hen’

City of London Sinfonia Miranda Krestovnikoff Alexandra Wood

Presenter Director/Violin

Play a game of musical birdsong Birds communicate through birdcalls and song to warn about danger, woo a mate or defend their chicks and nests. Flocks of birds simply call out to find each other and stay in touch — and at the beginning of our event, Miranda will ask you to do just that. Using pre-supplied recordings for smartphones and tablets, we’ll all essentially become flocking birds from across the British Isles, challenged to find and congregate in our flocks.

Translating Nature

Friday 24 May, 8.00pm | Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX Boasting three events in one night, our series finale features contemporary classical music and a late-night improvised set. Many 20th- and 21st-century composers have famously and painstakingly translated — or even transcribed — birdsong and natural sounds into chamber music. These include Respighi, Vaughan Williams, Messiaen and, more recently, John Luther Adams. Alice Zawadzki also lends her voice to the nest, adding another naturalistic perspective through acapella songs. Programme includes: JOHN LUTHER ADAMS DELIUS RESPIGHI MESSIAEN VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

Songbirdsongs On hearing the first cuckoo in spring Gli uccelli (The Birds) Le Merle Bleu (The Blue Rock Thrush) The Lark Ascending

City of London Sinfonia Sian Edwards Alice Zawadzki Huw Watkins Alexandra Wood

Conductor Vocalist Piano Violin

Pre-concert talk 7.00pm (c.30-40mins)

Singing with Nightingales Live 10.00pm (c.75mins)

Miranda Krestovnikoff recounts her amazing experiences of creating musical conversations with wrens, and Huw Watkins and Roderick Chadwick discuss Messiaen’s use of birdsong.

Folksinger Sam Lee presents a late-night improvised set in response to a live broadcast of singing nightingales, the most mecurial of songbirds, from an ancient English woodland.


Online: Phone: 020 7621 2800 (10am–6pm, Mon–Fri) In person: On the door on the night No transaction fees; tickets subject to availability; T&Cs apply:

Sounds of the Outback / Translating Nature Front Stalls: £30, £20 Rear Stalls: £30, £20, £10 Wheelchair user: £20 Rear Stalls, £10 Front Stalls Carer/companion: free Child (under 16): 25% off Unwaged: 25% off lower two price bands

Flocks of Europe Birdwatcher (guaranteed seating, Central Nave): £28 Free as a bird (cushions, wandering, other seating): £20 Wheelchair user: 25% off Child (under 16): 25% off

Carer/companion: free Unwaged: 25% off


£5 tickets for students and 16–25-year-olds 20% off when you book for all three concerts 20% off when you book for four or more people

Discounts may require proof of eligibility and cannot be applied retrospectively. CLS reserves the right to amend discounts or programmes without notice. Information correct at time of going to press.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and by David and Molly Lowell Borthwick, The John S Cohen Foundation, Derek Hill Foundation, John Ellerman Foundation and Kirby Laing Foundation. City of London Sinfonia Ltd Registered in England, UK: 1692341 Registered Charity number: 286818

Profile for City of London Sinfonia

City of London Sinfonia presents Absolute Bird