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In Portrait: Luke Bedford Wednesday 22 May 7.45pm Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London
Wonderful No-Headed Nightingale
(UK premiere of ensemble version)
Renewal (world premiere)
Interval Gérard Grisey
Périodes from Les Espaces Acoustiques
Interview with Luke Bedford Luke Bedford
There will be a short discussion on stage with Luke Bedford in the second half, before a repeat performance of Renewal.
This concert will be broadcast in BBC Radio 3 Hear and Now on Saturday 15th June 2013 at 10.30pm
Renewal is commissioned by the London Sinfonietta with the generous support of Michael and Patricia McLaren-Turner. The London Sinfonietta is grateful to Arts Council England and the PRS for Music Foundation for their generous support of the ensemble’s Music Programme 12/13 and to the John Ellerman Foundation for their support of the ensemble.
Welcome Welcome to tonight’s concert. We are proud to be presenting not only the world premiere of Luke Bedford’s latest piece, but also to be presenting the concert to mark the justiﬁed widespread recognition he is receiving for his composition. Luke’s last major piece for the London Sinfonietta was Or Voit Tout en Aventure, which made an impact when it was ﬁrst performed and has since been played on several occasions at home and abroad – not least by the London Sinfonietta. Obviously we hope very much that this new work Renewal has a similar effect on audiences and programmers, and is a piece that enters the repertoire. Luke’s work with us was nurtured on the Blue Touch Paper programme, which itself generated many other pieces by other composers that are now part of the repertoire. The scheme still continues – last week three new cross-artform projects were shown which promise to be developed and performed again in the future. The London Sinfonietta continues to be committed to working not only with those
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composers it has had a long-standing relationship with, but to give emerging composers the opportunity to make new music with some of the best musicians in the world. We could not achieve this work without the support of the Arts Council, whose advocacy for the arts is especially important at this time. We also could not do this without the support of individuals – and tonight’s commission has been made possible through a generous donation from Michael and Patricia McLaren Turner – long standing supporters of our work. We are hugely grateful to them. Please consider joining them in supporting us on the journey of bringing new work to the stage. Andrew Burke Chief Executive londonsinfonietta.org.uk @Ldn_Sinfonietta facebook.com/londonsinfonietta
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Photo: © Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Manu Theobald
Luke Bedford composer
Luke Bedford was born in 1978 and studied composition at the Royal College of Music with Edwin Roxburgh and Simon Bainbridge. His works range from chamber groups, including the string quartet Of the Air, to ensemble, sometimes with voice, with Good Dream She Has and Or Voit Tout En Aventure, and to full orchestra with Outblaze the Sky and Wreathe. Tom Service wrote of Or Voit Tout en Aventure, a work composed as part of the London Sinfonietta’s Blue Touch Paper scheme, that is was “one of the most outstanding pieces by any young composer I’ve ever experienced – music of brooding expressive intensity and charged with that indefinable quality that makes a piece sound as if it was written out of sheer necessity.”
Bedford’s ﬁrst opera, Seven Angels, based on Milton’s Paradise Lost, was premiered in 2011 by The Opera Group and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Bedford was the ﬁrst ever composer in residence at Wigmore Hall in London, which has earned him several commissions including the string quartet Nine Little Boxes, All Carefully Packed (2011). In February 2012, Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale was given its world premiere by the Scottish Ensemble. Bedford was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung Composer’s Prize in June 2012 in Munich.
Bedford was the recipient of a prestigious Paul Hamlyn Artists’ Award in 2007, and in 2008 Wreathe won a British Composer Award. 2010 saw the world premiere of At Three and Two by the Hallé Orchestra.
Notes on the programme
Wonderful No- Headed Nightingale (2011/2012)
The piece is a reworking of my Wonderful TwoHeaded Nightingale for violin, viola and 15 players. The original title was taken from a 19th century poster advertising a pair of singing conjoinedtwins, Millie and Christine McCoy. They were born in slavery in 1851, sold to a showman, and yet managed to escape the fate of many performers at freak shows and built a relatively normal life for themselves. Something of their story and the poster intrigued me, and I found some parallels with the music I was trying to write. From early on in the composition process I knew that the two soloists would be forced to play either identical or very similar music for most of the piece. I felt the tension between their combined, uniﬁed sound and their desire to break free from one another could be richly exploited. But I also knew that they would never be successful in tearing free. They would remain as locked together at the end of the piece as they were at the start.
In creating this version for 10 players, I was forced to move the soloists back into the ensemble. Hence the new title – the two heads might have been removed, but the nightingale sings on. The two basic harmonic ideas, from which everything else in the piece is created, are heard in the opening section. The ﬁrst is familiar; the bare ﬁfths of open strings, while the second is altogether stranger; the ﬂattened F played by the ensemble on its ﬁrst entry. These two building blocks – ﬁfths and quarter-tones – are matched in rhythmical terms by a few short patterns which are combined in constantly changing ways, so that the overall result is never predictable. There are four deﬁnable sections to the piece. After a duet between the violin and viola, the ensemble gradually enters and takes over the rhythmic impetus. This builds to a crisis point, and the music collapses, leaving just a series of stark chords. Instead of simply fading away, the opening material springs back into life, bringing the piece to a close. Luke Bedford
Renewal is a single-movement work with four main sections. They each appear as a sudden burst of energy; a suddenly-created soundworld. They all try to remain stable for as long as possible but instability always wins out and each part collapses. The piece opens with a slow melody in the highest register. This is not one of the main sections, but acts as a sort of background radiation to the piece: something that connects the four main sections and out of which they appear and into which they will decay.
At various times certain instruments come to the fore; the piccolo and violin near the start, the horn and trombone in the second section and the bass drum in the third. Each section has a different trajectory. In the ﬁrst, an energetic idea gradually runs down, in the second, the tempo spirals towards a climax in the centre of the piece, in the third the bass drum tries to instil energy back into the ensemble and the fourth is the ﬁrst extended slow music in the piece, which ﬁnally merges with the seemingly everpresent background material. Renewal is about creating something new from the rubble of each previous section. The piece is a celebration of renewal and regrowth, written in the full knowledge of its impermanence.
Photo: Luke Bedford © Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Manu Theobald
Photo: © Salvatore Sciarrino
Gérard Grisey composer
Gérard Grisey was born in Belfort on 17 June, 1946. He studied at the Trossingen Conservatory in Germany from 1963 to 1965 before entering the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris. Here he won prizes for piano accompaniment, harmony, counterpoint, fugue and composition (Olivier Messiaen’s class from 1968 to 1972). During this period, he also attended Henri Dutilleux’s classes at the Ecole Normale de Musique (1968), as well as summer schools at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena (1969), and in Darmstadt with Ligeti, Stockhausen and Xenakis in 1972. He was granted a scholarship by the Villa Medici in Rome from 1972 to 1974, and in 1973 founded a group called L’Itinéraire with Tristan Murail, Roger Tessier and Michael Levinas, later to be joined by Hugues Dufourt. Dérives, Périodes and Partiels were among the ﬁrst pieces of spectral music. In 1974-75, he studied acoustics with Emile Leipp at the Paris VI University, and in 1980 became a trainee at the I.R.C.A.M. In the same year he went to Berlin as a guest of the D.A.A.D., and afterwards left for Berkeley, where he was appointed Professor of Theory and Composition at the University of California (1982–1986).
After returning to Europe, Grisey taught composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris from 1987, and held numerous composition seminars in France (Centre Acanthes, Lyon, Paris) and abroad (Darmstadt, Freiburg, Milan, Reggio Emilia, Oslo, Helsinki, Malmö, Göteborg, Los Angeles, Stanford, London, Moscow and Madrid.) Gérard Grisey died in Paris on 11 November 1998. Among his works are Dérives, Jour Contre-Jour, Tempus ex machina, Les Chants de l’Amour, Talea, Le Temps et l’Ecume, Le Noir de I’Etoile, L’Icône paradoxale, Les Espaces Acoustiques (a cycle consisting of six pieces), Vortex Temporum and Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil.
Notes on the programme
Périodes from Les Espaces Acoustiques Périodes forms part of the cycle Les Espaces Acoustiques which includes in succession: Prologue, for solo viola, Périodes for seven musicians, Partiels for 18 musicians, Modulations for 33 musicians, Transitoires and Epilogue for large orchestra. All these pieces can follow on from each other without interruption, each one widening the acoustic ﬁeld of the previous piece. The cycle’s unity is produced through the different pieces’ similarity of form and through two acoustic points of reference: the harmonic spectrum and periodicity. The language used in these pieces can be summarised as follows: ● ●
Within Périodes, three types of moments can be found: dynamic/increasing tension, dynamic/ progressive relaxation and static/periodicity. These moments are relative to human respiration: inhalation, exhalation and rest. Periodicity here is akin to experiencing gravity. It is a centre, a pole without new energy, thus forcing us to orbit, gravitate, waiting to detect a new anomaly allowing for new evolution, for take-off. These periodicities however are not identical to those emanating from a synthesiser. I call them ‘blurred’, as is our heart, our walk; never rigorously periodical but with a margin for ﬂuctuation creating interest. Périodes is an intimate piece, in which the string quartet has an essential and delicate role. To be noted, in particular:
● The ﬁrst ‘inhalation’, during which the To no longer compose with musical notes, instruments envelop the viola’s “D” in the but with sounds. harmonic spectrum, and then gradually To compose not only with sounds, but with distance themselves into sound complexes the difference that separates them from which are further and further from the each other (the pre-audibility stage). initial spectrum. To act upon these differences, in effect to ● The second inhalation, essentially control the evolution (or non-evolution) of rhythmic, (passing from periodic to the sound and the speed of this evolution. non-periodic) and emanating from To take into account our relative the heartbeat. auditory perception. ● The section utilising a particular string To apply phenomena which have long since technique, allowing for the progressive been experimented with in electronic music transition from a much differentiated studios to the instrumental ﬁeld. These harmonic complex to an extremely simple applications will be much more radical and colouration of the fundamental. As regards perceptible in Partiels and Modulations. the temporal structures, they are entirely To ﬁnd a synthetic way to write in which deduced from the harmonic spectrum used different parameters participate in the in this piece. creation of a unique sound. For example: the arrangement of non-tempered pitches Gérard Grisey (1974). Translated by Claire Lampon creates new timbres, and from this arrangement emerges durations etc. This synthesis will ﬁrstly aim to create sounds (material) and secondly will tackle the different relations that exist between sounds (forms).
Photo: © Katie Vandyck
Sian Edwards conductor
Sian Edwards studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and with Professor A.I. Musin at the Leningrad Conservatoire. She has worked with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, MDR Leipzig, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She has a close relationship with Ensemble Modern in Germany. She made her operatic debut in 1986 conducting Weill’s Mahagonny for Scottish Opera and her Royal Opera House debut in 1988 with Tippett’s The Knot Garden. From 1993 to 1995 she was Music Director of English Naional Opera. For the Glyndebourne Festival she has conducted La Traviata and the Ravel Double Bill, and for Glyndebourne Touring Opera Katya Kabanova and Tippett’s New Year. She conducted the world premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s Greek at the Munich Biennale in 1988, and other engagements have included the world premiere of Hans Gefors’ Clara for the Opéra Comique in Paris, Cosi fan tutte in Aspen and Jenufa for Welsh National Opera.
Sian Edwards’ recordings include Peter and the Wolf, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide, and Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, all with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert with English National Opera. Recent and future concert engagements include performances with Ensemble Modern, Bayerische Rundfunk in Munich, SWR Sinfonieorchester Freiburg, Kuopio Symphony, Turku Philharmonic, Klangforum Wien, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, musikfabrik, Landesjugendorchester Berlin, Deutscher Musikrat, Palestinian Youth Orchestra, Nagoya Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales as well as performances at the Edinburgh International Festival and a tour of the UK with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Recent and future operatic engagements include The Rape of Lucretia and La traviata for the Theater an der Wien, the ballets Orlando and Rite of Spring for the Staatstheater Stuttgart, The Rake’s Progress for Scottish Opera and Thomas Ades’ The Tempest for Oper Frankfurt.
Tonight’s Players Michael Cox*
supported by Michael and Patricia McLaren-Turner
supported by Belinda Matthews
supported by Anthony Mackintosh
Byron Fulcher* trombone
supported by Nick and Claire Prettejohn
Mark van de Wiel*
*London Sinfonietta Principal Players
London Sinfonietta making new music The London Sinfonietta is one of the world’s leading contemporary music ensembles with a reputation built on the virtuosity of its performances and ambitious programming. It is committed to placing new music at the heart of contemporary culture and continually pushing boundaries, regularly undertaking projects with choreographers, video artists, ﬁlm-makers, electronica artists, jazz and folk musicians. The ensemble is Resident Orchestra at Southbank Centre with its headquarters at Kings Place.
The London Sinfonietta’s pioneering young artist programmes include Blue Touch Paper, a scheme which promotes the next generation of partnerships across a variety of artistic disciplines; Writing the Future, a programme which enables young composers to work with London Sinfonietta musicians as they make new music; and the London Sinfonietta Academy, which gives the UK’s ﬁnest young musicians the opportunity to come together to further their performance experience and training in an intensive week-long course.
Famed for its commitment to the creation of new music, the London Sinfonietta has commissioned over 300 works since its foundation in 1968, and premiered many hundreds more. World and UK premieres in 2012/13 include, among others, Steve Reich’s Radio Rewrite (a London Sinfonietta cocommission), David Fennessy’s 13 Factories (UK premiere), Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s Run (world-premiere) and Renewal by Luke Bedford (London Sinfonietta commission).
The London Sinfonietta Label and releases on NMC Recordings and Signum Records present a recordings catalogue of the ﬁnest new music performed by the London Sinfonietta. The latest releases include New Music Show, Thomas Adès: In Seven Days, Jonathan Harvey: Bird Concerto with Pianosong and Louis Andriessen: Anaïs Nin/De Staat.
Photo: © Briony Campbell
Photo: © Briony Campbell
The London Sinfonietta Academy is central to the London Sinfonietta’s commitment to working with young musicians. A week-long summer course enables 30 students and three conductors from across the UK to learn skills speciﬁc to performing new music from the ensemble’s Principal Players. The London Sinfonietta Academy 2013 will be conducted by world-renowned composer, conductor and performer George Benjamin, and culminate in a public performance on Sunday 14 July. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels to ﬁnd out how to reserve tickets.
Photo: © Briony Campbell
Now in its third year, the London Sinfonietta’s Writing the Future scheme continues to pair composers with London Sinfonietta Principal Players to develop new chamber compositions, as well as encouraging creative cross-artform collaborations with students at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. An open call has just been announced for this year’s scheme which will focus on The New Music Show on Sunday 8 December, London Sinfonietta’s festival-in-a-day featuring live performances, installations, talks and opportunities for audiences to get involved. For more information, visit londonsinfonietta.org.uk/writing-future or email email@example.com
The ground-breaking Blue Touch Paper programme continues into another round of developing inventive cross-artform work. This year, composer Edward Jessen worked with director Joseph Alford, composer Luke Carver Goss worked with writer Jacob Polley, and composer Dan Stern worked with set designer Aurelian Koch. Their works received their preview performance on Tuesday 14 May at Village Underground in London. Applications are now open for next year’s scheme. Visit londonsinfonietta.org.uk/blue-touch-paper for more information.
Get closer to the London Sinfonietta and contemporary classical music with activities that give you the opportunity to create, curate and perform with a world-class ensemble. The KX Collective, a dynamic group of young people from Kings Cross and surrounding areas, continue to create and perform new music, collaborate with professional musicians, produce events and ﬁnd out about music being made today.
As part of the Steve Reich: Radio Rewrite tour in March 2013, the London Sinfonietta presented a Repeating Patterns Schools Concert, produced by, and for, young people. With nearly 2000 pupils at the Royal Festival Hall, the KX Collective performed their new composition ReReich, inspired by the music of Steve Reich. Members of the London Sinfonietta performed other works by Reich including Electric Counterpoint, which features on the GCSE curriculum. For further details of future opportunities, visit londonsinfonietta.org.uk/together or email firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sunday 15 September, the London Sinfonietta performs James Tenney’s Postal Pieces at Kings Place Festival and we’re inviting you to be a part of the concert. Tenney’s pieces consist of notated music or simple text instructions on individual postcards. Now it’s your turn to be inspired. RSVP with your own idea on a postcard, we’ll select the most promising pieces and premiere them alongside our performance of Tenney’s Postal Pieces that evening. Find out more and RSVP at londonsinfonietta.org.uk/rsvp
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A gift of £1,000 and above per year will support one of our world-class Principal Players for a season and give you a close connection with the performing ensemble.
London Sinfonietta Pioneers
Your support, at any level, is enormously valuable to the London Sinfonietta and all Pioneers enjoy an engaging relationship with the ensemble, with regular opportunities to meet our players and attend speciﬁc supporters’ events.
Do you share our passion for new music? Join the London Sinfonietta Pioneers and you will play a crucial role in making new music happen. Membership starts from just £35 per year (less than £3 per month) and will support all areas of the London Sinfonietta’s new music-making and help us to remain at the forefront of contemporary classical music.
Photos: © Kevin Leighton
You might like to direct your support to a major new commission with an annual gift of £200 and above and gain an insight into the creative commissioning process. Recent Pioneer supported commissions have included In Broken Images by Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Radio Rewrite by Steve Reich.
Help us continue to lead the way, sparking the greatest innovations in music and nurturing the best musical talent as we go. Become a Pioneer today and help us make new music happen. Find out more by contacting our Development team on 020 7329 9340, by emailing email@example.com or visiting londonsinfonietta.org.uk/pioneers
London Sinfonietta Patrons and Pioneers Honorary Patrons John Bird Sir Harrison Birtwistle Alfred Brendel KBE Sir George Christie CH
Lead Pioneers Sir Richard Arnold Trevor Cook Susan Grollet in memory of Mark Grollet Leo and Regina Hepner Penny Jonas Anthony Mackintosh Belinda Matthews Robert & Nicola McFarland Michael & Patricia McLaren-Turner
Sir Stephen Oliver QC Nick & Claire Prettejohn Richard Thomas & Caroline Cowie Paul & Sybella Zisman
Creative Pioneers Ian Baker Andrew Burke Robert Clark Jeremy & Yvonne Clarke Rachel Coldicutt Susan Costello Anton Cox Dennis Davis Deborah Golden Patrick Hall Nicolas Hodgson Andrew Hunt Maurice & Jean Jacobs Frank & Linda Jeffs
Alana Lowe-Petraske Jane McAusland Stephen Morris Julie Nicholls Simon Osborne Patricia O’Sullivan Geoff Peace Ruth Rattenbury Dennis Stevenson Iain Stewart Anne Stoddart Sally Taylor Barry Tennison David and Jenni Wake Walker Estela Welldon John Wheatley Jane Williams Stephen Williamson Michelle Wright Plus those generous Pioneers who prefer to remain anonymous
London Sinfonietta is immensely grateful to the following trusts and foundations for their support: Arts Council England The Aaron Copland Fund for Music The Angus Allnatt Charitable Trust The Boltini Trust The British Council The Britten Pears Foundation The Derek Butler Trust The City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Columbia Foundation Fund of the London Community Foundation The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust Fidelio Charitable Trust The Goldsmith’s Company Charity The John Ellerman Foundation
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation Fenton Arts Trust The Holst Foundation Jerwood Charitable Foundation The Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation The Leche Trust The Leverhulme Trust The Marple Charitable Trust Musicians Benevolent Fund PRS for Music Foundation RVW Trust The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation Youth Music
London Sinfonietta Board of Directors
Andrew Burke Rachel Coldicutt Ian Dearden David Hockings Penny Jonas Alana Lowe-Petraske Belinda Matthews Philip Meaden Sir Stephen Oliver QC Matthew Pike Paul Silverthorne Sally Taylor
Sarah Tennant Head of Concert Production
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Freelance and Consultant Staff Hal Hutchinson Concerts Manager
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Participation and Learning Manager
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Participation and Learning Assistant
London Sinfonietta is grateful to its accountants Martin Greene Ravden LLP and its auditors MGR Audit Limited for their ongoing support.
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Photo: © Kevin Leighton
Photo: © Philippe Gras
Mauricio Kagel: The Pieces of the Compass Rose
Darkness and Light: Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain
Saturday 1 June 7.30pm Queen Elizabeth Hall
Friday 6 December 8pm Queen Elizabeth Hall
Sunday 6 October 6pm Royal Festival Hall
Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain, written in 2000, is an exploration of a musical sound outside the standard tonal system of composition, and an adventure for the listener. As well as the microtonal harmonic sound-world that pervades the work, the normal concert experience is altered for the audience and the performers, as parts of the performance are given in pitch-black, according to a series of carefully planned lighting changes that alter and heighten the listener’s senses. This extraordinary work has been performed many times in Europe and now has its much awaited premiere in London.
Leading exponents of the Darmstadt School from the early 1950s–1960s, Stockhausen and Nono were influenced at that time by the uncompromising serial techniques of the Second Viennese School. Both, however, were of a generation that strived to reshape their musical world after the horrors of the Second World War.
“e sound references are never used anecdotally; every one of them is integrated by Kagel’s extraordinary harmonic imagination into a world in which nothing is what it seems, and in which every new vista contains a genuine surprise.” The Guardian
Discover The Pieces of the Compass Rose, an extraordinary musical travelogue taking you from the north east of Brazil to the Gulf of Finland via the South American Andes. This is a rare performance of all eight movements, inspired by places located at each point of the compass relative to Kagel's native Argentina. The distinctive sound of the salon band orchestration is accompanied by a huge array of unusual percussion instruments: cushions, a conch, even an axe chopping wood.
£9, £15, £22 (£6.50 U26, £4.50 students)
0844 847 9940 southbankcentre.co.uk 16
Photo: © Briony Campbell
Upcoming London Sinfonietta concerts at Southbank Centre
Whilst Nono’s technique was combined with an impassioned political ideology following his alliance with the Italian Communist Party, Stockhausen’s Gruppen is a masterpiece of musical imagination inspired by the rise and fall of the Graubünder Alps, visible from his window. An intensely original soundworld, the piece features three independent orchestras each with their own conductor, who pass swarms of sound between them in a thrilling concert experience.
Presented by the London Sinfonietta as part of Southbank Centre’s The Rest is Noise, inspired by Alex Ross’ book The Rest is Noise.
Presented by the London Sinfonietta as part of Southbank Centre’s The Rest is Noise, inspired by Alex Ross’ book The Rest is Noise.
£15, £25 (£6.50 U26, £4.50 students)
(£6.50 U26, £4.50 students)
0844 847 9940 southbankcentre.co.uk
0844 847 9940 southbankcentre.co.uk
Published on May 28, 2013
Published on May 28, 2013
The programme for our In Portrait: Luke Bedford concert on Wednesday 22 May, 2013 at the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall.