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Dizzying range of late-night Friday concerts at Wigmore Hall this summer

Friday 11 May 2018

Fridays, 25 May – 20 July, 10pm

One of the world’s great concert halls, Wigmore Hall, opens its doors once again for its Wigmore Lates, a vibrant range of one-hour shows which take place after dark in the Hall’s sumptuous auditorium and make the ideal start to the weekend.

This year’s typically diverse programme features everything from folk/rock arrangements of Schubert to Scottish folk music and jazzy brass, and from a world première of a song by Gordon Lightfoot to Chineke! Orchestra making its Wigmore Hall debut.

Wigmore Lates kick off with the genre-defying Erlkings, billed as ‘the only band that sets is audience dancing to Goethe and Schiller’. They apply the high-octane energy of folk/rock to brilliant arrangements of Schubert’s much-loved songs. (25 May)

Chineke! stormed last summer’s BBC Proms with a sensational debut, one of the many opportunities it creates for young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians. Its Wigmore debut includes impassioned music by Florence Price, the first African-American woman to break through as a symphonic composer, alongside Beethoven’s Septet in E flat, and an arrangement of Strauss’s light-hearted, cheeky and colourful Til Eulenspiegel, depicting the merry pranks of this medieval trickster. (1 June)

Crossing genre boundaries comes as standard with Onyx Brass. The quintet, described by BBC Music Magazine as ‘easily the classiest brass ensemble in Britain’ performs 12 brand-new specially-commissioned pieces from leading voices in the British jazz world from its brilliant Jazz Project such as Kenny Wheeler, Jason Rebello, Guy Barker and Gwilym Simcock. Onxy Brass describe the pieces as “serious, original and pithy… highly accessible, soulful, elegant and fun.” (8 June)

Violinist Donald Grant is joined by guitarist Ewan MacPherson, Calum Stewart (whistles/flute/uilleann pipes), Gaelic singer Mischa MacPherson and other friends for an evening of traditional and contemporary Scottish folk music. Born and bred in the Highlands of Scotland, Donald Grant was raised on Gaelic music, though he is also well-known for his worldwide work as a member of the Elias String Quartet, who also join his late-night set of Scottish tunes. (22 June)

Lucy Schuafer, the uncategorisable American mezzo, brings a rich mix of songs by composers and song writers born in 1938. With Huw Watkins on piano, the programme includes world premières of arrangements of songs by Hedy West, Peter Yarrow, Gordon Lightfoot and a brand-new song by John Corgiliano, specially commissioned for this concert and his 80th birthday. Who could imagine them on the same bill? Other songs by William Bolcom, Joan Tower, John Harbison, Charles Wuorinen and Frederic Rzewski make up the celebration. (29 June)

Clarinettist David Orlowsky and his classical chart-topping Trio, purveyors of ‘weightless music of the moment’, take the train from cosmopolitan Odessa to Paris with music touched by echoes of lost ancestors, the kings of klezmer, contemporary jazz, world music and even sacred polyphony. (6 July)

Jason Rebello, who made his name in the late 1980s as a jazz pianist before joining Sting’s band and working with Jeff Beck, joins Wigmore Hall favourites The Prince Consort for a late-night set with singers Anna Huntley and Nicholas Mulroy. It mixes favourite art songs by such composers as Brahms, Schubert and Beethoven with jazz improvisations on the well-known tunes. (13 July)

The final Wigmore Late features The Heath Quartet for pieces from J.S. Bach’s Little Organ Book, which flow in Jörg Widmann’s ‘Choralquartett’, with its ghostly, disruptive mix of sound and silence. Schoenberg’s richly chromatic Verklärte Nacht, a symphonic poem for string sextet, completes this compelling programme. (20 July)

All concerts are at 10pm and finish at 11pm. Full details of the concerts can be found at Tickets cost £15.

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