Director’s choice: It’s April, birds are singing and glitter is shining

April starts with a chance to do a double Nordic bill during one energetic evening!

Music of Today: Wu Wei Artist Portrait

Introducing the sheng to a wider audience, we hear virtuoso Wu Wei perform the ancient Chinese instrument in three pieces together with players from the Philharmonia at Queen Elizabeth Hall. First out is Hehkuu, by Finnish composer Jukka Tiensuu, which exploits the birdlike sounds of the sheng to create an atmospheric sound-world. Other contemporary composers featured during this evening are Guoping Jia and Ondřej Adámek, from whom we hear a world premiere.

Music of Today: Wu Wei Artist Portrait, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX,, 5 April 2019, 6pm, tickets £8 –£14.


Legends of the North

With a short stroll from Queen Elisabeth Hall to Royal Festival Hall you will find yourself immersed in a different sort of landscape. Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä leads the London Philharmonic Orchestra in an immensely Nordic program starting with the passionate Tintagel poem by Arnold Bax, that swiftly moves you across the sea to, let’s say, Norway. The concert continues with Edward Grieg’s sweeping Piano Concerto and culminates with incidental works by Sibelius, as well as his fantastic and popular fifth symphony, bringing the audience to the Finnish landscapes.

Legends of the North, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX,, 5 April 2019, 7:30pm, tickets £10 –£65. 


Award season continues

I love award shows where you get a glimpse of many of the best cultural things happening and can assess which once should be included in your personal agenda in the future. April offers up at least two worth enjoying in London; friends of theatre and musical feel excitement at the Olivier Awards in Royal Albert Hall, and opera lovers can feast on all things operatic at the International Opera Awards in Saddler Wells. Both galas offer titbits of current repertoire and the glitz and glamour associated with awards seasons. Now, I just have to find a suitable gown…

Olivier Awards 2019, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2AP,, 7 April 2019, 5:30pm, tickets £33 –£90.

International Opera Awards, Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TN,, 29 April 2019, 7pm, tickets: £10 –£150.

Text: Emilie Gardberg Photo: Essi Miettunen

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