Southbank Centre to host largest festival of 20th century music in 2013

The 250 events are inspired by Alex Ross' book The Rest is Noise

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The Independent Culture

The Southbank Centre hopes to catch the “spirit of a century” dominated by discords, war and revolution with the largest ever festival of 20th century music.  

The organisation is to stage 250 events, including concerts, talks, debates and film screenings, inspired by Alex Ross’ treatise on the subject The Rest is Noise. It kicks off in January and runs throughout the year.

Jude Kelly, the artistic director of the Southbank, said: “We have set out to capture the spirit of a century and how music reflected its discords, wars and revolutions.” The concerts will start with Richard Strauss and cover composers up until John Adams.

Ross, the music critic for the New Yorker, said: “Twentieth-century classical music is an extraordinary creative achievement that has shaped so many aspects of what we hear now, classical or not.”

He continued: “There will always be something smouldering at the heart of this repertoire, something dangerous and untamed, but placing the music in a broad cultural and historical context should help people to become more comfortable with it and to understand how it came to be.”

The Rest is Noise was labelled “one of the most exciting books written on music and on the history of the 20th century in recent years” by London Philharmonic Orchestra principal conductor and artistic adviser Vladimir Jurowski.

He added: “To present the ideas of the book in a series of concerts and events will be a thrilling and interesting adventure for both myself, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.”

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