The Barbican to host 24-hour orchestral concert

The Barbican Concert Hall is one of Europe’s leading venues for orchestral and contemporary music events.

Ellie Iorizzo
Saturday 15 January 2022 23:13
The Barbican to host continuous 24 hour orchestral concert (Mark Allan/Barbican)
The Barbican to host continuous 24 hour orchestral concert (Mark Allan/Barbican)

The London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO) will be performing a continuous 24-hour concert live at the Barbican Hall.

Members of the audience will be encouraged to come and go during the overnight performance – which features a series of works from modern classical to electronic music.

The Barbican Hall will be lit up with evolving projections designed by Hungarian artist Laszlo Zsolt Bordos.

The concert includes new performances from electronic musicians KMRU, Actress, and Powell who each perform for three hours with a group of acoustic musicians.

The late night focal point will be Morton Feldman’s String Quartet No. 2 – a six-hour piece.

Meanwhile, smaller works are scattered throughout the day to break up the longest moments of music.

Speaking to The Barbican, conductor Robert Ames said the idea of a 24-hour concert has been on LCO’s mind for about five years, and he is curious to see how an audience would react to 24 hours of music.

Ames, 36, said: “I’m super interested to see if anybody’s going to stick it out for 24 hours and to see if there are any breaking points for people, if there’s a mass exodus at certain points or loads of people coming at other points.

The Barbican Hall will be lit up with ever-evolving projections (Mark Allan/Barbican)

“It’s going to be a very concentrated place where people can just hopefully unlock a deeper sense of either relaxation or thinking, or it could even be intense thinking.

“Hopefully, if somebody comes at five o’clock in the morning for two hours, and then comes back at midnight for an hour, they’ll see something that feels familiar but looks different.”

The concert features a breadth of music history, with pioneering 20th century composers like John Cage and Eliane Radigue – and modern compositions from artists Michael Gordon and Mica Levi.

The performance will be held at the Barbican Concert Hall, one of Europe’s leading venues for orchestral and contemporary music events, at 6pm on January 15.

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