Wigmore Hall’s season shared with larger audiences than ever through its Learning programme, broadcasting and innovative use of digital technology
Additional 5,000 £5 tickets for under-35 year olds released making 25,000 available and over 2,100 free concert tickets for school groups and young people aged 8-25
“We all count our blessings at Wigmore Hall’s permanent festival programming…In almost any week, one could pinpoint four or five must-hear concerts by artists of world-class stature.” Hugh Canning, Sunday Times
Wigmore Hall’s 2017/18 Season announced today by John Gilhooly, with nearly 500 concerts including 120 chamber music recitals, 70 song recitals, 50 London Pianoforte Series and 50 Early Music and Baroque Series concerts.
Wigmore Hall’s 2017/18 Season includes the following residencies:
Other 2017/18 Season highlights include:
From the world’s greatest artists to young artists making their debut, Wigmore Hall’s 2017/18 Season promises to be accessible to more people than ever before through its Learning programme, broadcasting and innovative use of digital technology. Its £5 tickets for under 35s has helped transform audiences, and for the 2017/18 Season The Wigmore Hall Trust has announced an additional injection of 5,000 subsidised tickets, making 25,000 now available. Over 2,100 free tickets are also made available to schools and young people aged 8–25.
In announcing Wigmore Hall’s 2017/18 Season John Gilhooly, who is responsible for all areas of the Hall’s programming, commented:
“Our partnerships with artists have never been stronger. Musicians love the atmosphere in the Hall, they love the intimacy, they love being able to communicate with everyone in the audience. This is reflected in the number of projects they are prepared to take on specifically for Wigmore Hall.
“This Hall must be a place of diversity, discovery, open to new names and young artists, fresh interpretations and a constant exploration of all that the repertoire offers. It is also tremendously important that, through our Learning programme and innovative use of digital technology, we can share so much of what we have with the widest possible audience.
“Everyone at Wigmore Hall is deeply grateful to our many supporters who enable us to present such a rich, diverse and adventurous programme and for making all artists feel like they’re returning home.”
For a behind-the-scenes film about Wigmore Hall, John Gilhooly’s programming and the new season, or to download a season preview, please visit here.
Wigmore Hall has been central to the evolution of Sir András’s artistry for almost forty years. The pianist, meanwhile, has made a massive contribution to the development of the Hall’s artistic programme. He will appear seven times in 2017/18, in recital with Robert Holl (28 September) and Jörg Widmann (12 May), and with solo performances of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Schumann, amongst others (23 & 26 September, 5 & 7 January).
Isabelle Faust, a regular at Wigmore Hall over the past decade, returns for a five-concert residency showcasing her artistry in a wide variety of repertoire, including three concerts over one weekend, when she will focus on Mozart’s mature sonatas for violin and piano with her close collaborator, Alexander Melnikov (7 & 8 October 2017). The German violinist, celebrated for her intense concentration, captivating sound and probing artistry, returns later in the season for an evening of chamber music (10 January), and a period-instrument date with Kristian Bezuidenhout in virtuoso violin works by Biber and Bach (9 April).
Christian Tetzlaff, widely regarded as one of the great violinists to come out of Germany, has developed a long association with Wigmore Hall and will perform in duo repertoire and as a chamber musician in string quartet and piano quartets. He opens his Residency with an evening devoted to Brahms’s three violin sonatas, in partnership with Lars Vogt (5 December). He can also be heard with an ensemble of friends in Schubert’s String Quintet in C (11 February), and with the Tetzlaff Quartet (20 May) and Jörg Widmann (10 June).
The virtuoso Italian contralto Sonia Prina returns for a three-concert residency, Sonia Prina: A Celebration, in which she gives a recital of French mélodies, including songs by Duparc (10 September), and explores works from the Italian repertoire together with period-instrument bands Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (11 January) and Concerto Copenhagen (1 May).
Jörg Widmann: Artist in Residence represents the tradition of the composer-performer at Wigmore Hall. Busoni and Ysaÿe were among the first artists to take to the stage here and there have been many since, from Britten and Poulenc to Thomas Adès and Huw Watkins. Widmann’s music is a significant part of the modern German voice in composition and John Gilhooly had no problem in persuading artists such as Tabea Zimmerman, Sir András Schiff, Yefim Bronfman, the Hagen, Heath and Tetzlaff Quartets to celebrate his chamber music and work with him to shape this concert series. The Heath Quartet is set to perform his five string quartets (beginning 24 September), while Widmann himself appears as chamber music partner with Sir András Schiff (12 May) and the Tetzlaff Quartet (10 June).
Helen Grime, Wigmore Hall’s first female Composer in Residence, continues her association with the Hall by developing a project exploring aspects of motherhood, the role of the parent and the diverse nature of families today. Working closely with John Gilhooly and Wigmore Hall’s pioneering Learning department, she will write a song cycle based on the experience of motherhood, from conception and the trials of giving birth to the developing relationship between mother and child, to be performed by mezzo-soprano Ruby Hughes and pianist Joseph Middleton (15 February).
Haydn String Quartet Series, spanning the composer’s output across 17 concerts features the string quartets from Op. 20 through to the late Op. 103, as well as several of the early quartets, Op. 1 among them. John Gilhooly has invited the Castalian String Quartet, who he places among the best young emerging quartets on today’s scene, to perform the Op. 76 quartets, giving audiences the chance to share in the ensemble’s development (17 April, 25 July). Among the more established quartets joining them in celebrating this extraordinary body of work are the Jerusalem Quartet (12 February) and Quatuor Mosaïques (30 & 31 May), who have been performing Haydn for many decades, alongside others from the younger generation, such as the Doric (13 September, 8 November, 22 & 28 February) and Heath Quartets (24 September, 10 December, 14 March, 16 June).
Cuarteto Casals: Beethoven Cycle sees one of today’s finest chamber ensembles presenting its interpretations of the complete Beethoven string quartets alongside new works by living composers (11 September, 4 October, 12 December, 24 March, 4 June, 4 July).
The Nash Ensemble, Wigmore Hall’s Chamber Ensemble in Residence, dedicates the 2017/18 Season to an exploration of French chamber music including works by Debussy, Ravel, Fauré and Poulenc.
Other highlights include appearances by Renaud Capuçon (22 December), Julia Fischer Quartet (24 January), Quatuor Ébène (24 & 25 June), Takács Quartet (12 & 13 November), Alisa Weilerstein (4 November), a compelling programme of twentieth- and twenty-first-century violin works from Leila Josefowicz (1 October), and an evening in company with Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang (19 December).
LONDON PIANOFORTE SERIES
The London Pianoforte Series has grown in recent years from around 20 to more than 70 recitals a year, attracting large and enthusiastic audiences for the widest range of piano repertoire and pianists at all stages in their careers.
Igor Levit, who has gone from auditioning for Gilhooly at the age of 20 to performing a complete Beethoven sonatas series to great acclaim and capacity houses this season just a few years later, now returns to celebrate the 80th birthday of Frederic Rzewski with a performance of his remarkable variations for solo piano, The People Unite Will Never Be Defeated! and a specially-commissioned new work (13 April, 21 July).
Among the other outstanding young pianists, now regular and welcome visitors to Wigmore Hall, are Francesco Piemontesi (23 October), who will continue his Mozart piano sonata cycle, and Daniil Trifonov with Rachmaninov and Chopin (7 December).
Angela Hewitt: The Bach Odyssey continues with three concerts, complete with the first book for the Forty-Eight Preludes and Fugues and Goldberg Variations (18 October, 26 January, 26 July).
Nelson Freire, now a rare visitor, celebrates the 50th anniversary of his Wigmore Hall debut with a recital on the exact day on 17 February 2018.
Other pianists giving recitals include Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman, Bertrand Chamayou, David Fray, Kirill Gerstein, Richard Goode and Steven Osborne.
The human voice is an essential element in Wigmore Hall’s programme. The Hall is committed to introducing new audiences to the song recital and cultivating the art of song.
Gerald Finley opens the season with a programme of songs by Schubert, Poulenc, Turnage and Britten (9 September), while the great Dutch bass-baritone Robert Holl bids farewell to Wigmore Hall (27 September).
Roderick Williams gives his first performances of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, Winterreise and Schwanengesang at the Hall alongside an innovative project to explore and share his experience of preparing and performing these masterworks with young singers and song accompanists from Guildhall School of Music & Drama (27 November, 29 March, 16 May).
Among the 70 or so artists who will perform song recitals are Florian Boesch, a firm favourite with Wigmore Hall audiences over the past decade, presenting programmes including Wolf Songs and Schumann’s Liederkreis Op. 39 (10 November, 9 March), Sarah Connolly in recital with Malcolm Martineau (29 September), a masterclass and two concerts by Joyce DiDonato (18 & 21 December), Elīna Garanča’s readings of Wagner and Mahler song cycles (14 November), an all-Handel programme from Philippe Jaroussky and Ensemble Artaserse (26 November), and a special performance of Winterreise by Mark Padmore and Mitsuko Uchida (11 December). Other favourites of Wigmore Hall’s audiences returning this season are Anna Bonitatibus, Alice Coote and Miah Persson.
Baritones Christian Gerhaher (23 November, 11 May),Simon Keenlyside (27 May) and Matthias Goerne (26 April) make welcome returns, while the Slovakian tenor Pavel Breslik makes his highly anticipated debut (22 July).
Many great singers of early repertoire will take part in the 2017/18 Season, Ann Hallenberg, Roberta Invernizzi and Sandrine Piau among them.
BAROQUE AND EARLY MUSIC
Wigmore Hall has hugely developed its offer for Baroque and Early Music enthusiasts in recent years, helping to satisfy existing appetites and vastly growing them, by expanding from around 10 concerts each season to over 50 in 2017/18.
Particular highlights this season include a landmark project with musicologist and musician John Butt and his Dunedin Consort presenting large-scale Bach performances with the Christmas Oratorio (16 December), St Matthew Passion in Holy Week (25 March) and the Mass in B minor towards the end of the season (21 June). Philip Higham returns to the Hall to play the Bach cello suites (21 October). James Ehnes, acclaimed by the Seattle Times for ‘the purity of his phrasing, the precision of his intonation and the power of [Bach] interpretation’ offers his latest thoughts on the monumental Six Partitas and Sonatas of JS Bach. These works crown a long tradition of German virtuoso pieces for solo violin, setting the highest technical demands and transcending earthly cares (18 & 19 November).
Not one, but two Lute recitals from Paul O’Dette (26 March) and Thomas Dunford (17 May) may hail a new trend for the genre at Wigmore Hall and among the outstanding ensembles Gilhooly has invited are The Cardinall’s Musick, Le Concert d’Astrée, The English Concert, The Sixteen, Stile Antico, Les Talens Lyriques and Vox Luminis.
WIGMORE HALL LEARNING
Wigmore Hall’s Learning programme has been running for over 20 years and last year led 539 Learning events, engaged 11,531 people with 22,364 visits to the programme.
Recent initiatives have included a new choir for people living with dementia and their carers. The first of its kind, it is an ongoing, supportive and responsive choir in which people are invited to play a part in the creative process, with the highest quality musical leadership. This choir is part of Wigmore Hall’s Music for Life programme for people living with dementia which takes place in care homes throughout London and beyond.
For the first time ever, Wigmore Hall’s Learning programme will be linked during an entire season by a theme. Seven Ages, Journeys through Life is an exploration of the stories and seven stages of our lives, and the different journeys we all take, reflecting on life and experience in its many and varied forms.
CONTEMPORARY & COMMISSIONS
Wigmore Hall is one of the world’s most active commissioners of new music and will present around 20 premières during the 2017/18 Season.
In its growing series devoted to contemporary music, artists appearing include Arditti Quartet, Mary Bevan, Cuarteto Casals, Ensemble intercontemporain, Ensemble Variances, James Gilchrist, Hagen Quartet, Heath Quartet, Ruby Hughes, JACK Quartet, Igor Levit, mobius, Nash Ensemble, Takács Quartet, Tana String Quartet, Jörg Widmann and Tabea Zimmermann.
Wigmore Hall’s Jazz series has a devoted audience who in the 2017/18 Season will be able to enjoy, among others, five-time Grammy award-winner Dianne Reeves, Django Bates Belovèd with Claire Huguenin and Marius Neset, and the Vijar Iyer Sextet, who will perform the final concert in the Vijay Iyer Jazz Series.
The ever popular series of late night concerts continue with appearances from Donald Grant and guests, Chineke! Orchestra, Heath Quartet, Onyx Brass, David Orlowsky Trio, and The Prince Consort with Alisdair Hogarth and Jason Rebello.
Long at the forefront of supporting young artists, The 2017 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition returns in September 2017, the first since the death of its founder and long-term supporter, Sir Ralph Kohn. The competition, thanks to Ralph’s vision and determination, has an international reputation for attracting the most outstanding young singers, many of whom now give regular recitals at Wigmore Hall and around the world.
Wigmore Hall also welcomes back its International String Quartet Competition in April 2018, with leading young ensembles from around the globe.