20th-century string quartets

20th-century string quartets

Sunday 29 April 2018, 15.00-17.00
Reading Room
£12, Members/concessions £8

The festival comes to a spectacular close with a concert by the world-renowned Arditti Quartet.

With echoes of the concert at the beginning of the festival, Bartók’s sixth string quartet was written out of the same concern for the fate of Europe as Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen.

Nono’s quartet Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima recalls the meeting with Berio and the Parthenon frieze, and raises questions about the relationship between the present and antiquity.

Hosokawa’s masterpiece Silent Flowers, like Scelsi’s Xnoybis, requires the performers to constantly transform the sound, creating a sense of permanent transformation. While Scelsi is largely concerned with the spiritual realm, Hosokawa’s work is grounded in traditional Japanese arts such as ikebana (flower arranging).

Arditti Quartet
Irvine Arditti violin 1
Ashot Sarkissjan violin 2
Ralf Ehlers viola
Lucas Fels cello

Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
String Quartet No. 6
Toshio Hosokawa (b. 1955)
Silent Flowers
Luigi Nono (1924–1990)
Fragmente-Stille, an Diotoma

The Arditti Quartet enjoys a world-wide reputation for their spirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary and earlier 20th-century music. Many hundreds of string quartets and other chamber works have been written for the ensemble since its foundation. These works have left a permanent mark on 20th and 21st century repertoire and have given the Arditti Quartet a firm place in music history. Their performances and recordings set a unique standard of interpretation. The ensemble believes that close collaboration with composers is vital to the process of interpretation. The list of composers they have personally worked with reads like a who’s who. A substantial part of their repertoire is documented on more than 200 CDs featuring the Quartet, released by various labels. Over the past 35 years, the ensemble has received many prizes for its work, the most prestigious being the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, Germany’s Nobel prize equivalent for music, which was awarded in 1999 for ‘lifetime achievement’ in music. This prize has only ever been awarded to individuals and to date the Arditti Quartet is the only ensemble to have received this award. 


Exploring ritual music from the Temple of Attained Wisdom

Exploring ritual music from the Temple of Attained Wisdom

Monday 23 April 2018, 13.30-14.30
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Ahead of a special performance in the Museum’s Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia, Curator Jessica Harrison-Hall and independent scholar Stephen Jones join monks from the Zhi Hua temple (‘Temple of Wisdom Attained’) in Beijing to discuss the history and meaning of their religious instrumental and vocal music, which has accompanied Buddhist and Daoist rituals throughout northern China for centuries. 


Group Booking

Group Booking

Every day
Enter through King Edward entrance on Montague Place
Free, booking essential

Due to the significant increase in tour group visitors and to make the visitor experience pleasant for all visitors, it has become necessary for all tour groups to book their visit to the museum at least seven days in advance.

If bookings are not made in advance, groups may be denied immediate entry to the museum.

All tour groups must enter the museum using the King Edward entrance on Montague Place. This entrance provides space for group visits and dedicated coach parking.

Please be advised that if you wish to avoid the busiest times for tour group visits, you should not book for the 10:00, 14:00, or 15:00 time slots.

During the booking process please specify the number in your group and also if the majority of your visit will involve any one area of the Museum's collection. If you will be visiting many areas of the Museum but not one specific area in depth please put your group number in the 'General admission' category during the booking process.

If the people in your group are aged under 18, please use this ticket category regardless of area visited. If you are a UK school and are looking to make use of the Ford Centre for Young Visitors or book any of our workshops/galleries please do not book in via this link but visit the 'Learning' section of the website for further booking information

If any of your group have specific access needs please see the 'Visiting' section of the Museum's website for more information on all facilities available. This is also where you will find details of our full Visitor Regulations. 


Ligeti's Etudes for Solo Piano

Ligeti's Etudes for Solo Piano

Friday 27 April 2018, 19.30-21.30
Room 25
£12, Members/concessions £8

Cathy Krier performs Ligeti’s late piano etudes in the African Galleries – pieces which were directly inspired by polyrhythmic structures in traditional African music.

Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923–2006) composed 18 etudes for solo piano between 1985 and 2001. They are one of the most significant sets of piano studies of the late 20th century, combining virtuosic passages with expressive content.

Cathy Krier piano

Born in Luxembourg in 1985, Cathy Krier began taking piano lessons at the Luxembourg Conservatoire at the age of five. In 2005 Cathy joined Cyprien Katsaris for a four-hand performance at the inauguration of the Philharmonie Luxembourg. In 2006 she played at the Ruhr Piano Festival following an invitation by Robert Levin to join his masterclass. She was named 'Rising Star' by the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) for the season 2015/16. In the 2017/18 season, she performed at the production Funeral Blues at Grand Theatre de la Ville de Luxembourg, as well as in concerts with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. In September 2017 her CD Masques, featuring music of Szymanowksi and Debussy, was released on the Cavi-Music/France Musique Partner label. 


Ligeti’s Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes

Ligeti’s Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes

Saturday 21 April, Sunday 22 April & Saturday 28 April 2018
11.00, 13.00 & 15.00
Reading Room
Free, booking essential

György Ligeti (1923–2006) was one of the 20th century's greatest avant-garde composers, with a particular focus on textures. One of his recurring styles was 'meccanico music', where the instruments imitate clocks ticking, but all at different speeds.

The most extreme version of this is his Poème Symphonique, composed in 1962 for 100 metronomes. The metronomes are all set off at the same time at different speeds and gradually stop once they have run down. At the beginning, this gives a cloud-like sound cluster, but later on you can begin to hear individual metronomes, sounding much more like clocks.

These performances take place in the Reading Room, which is temporarily reopening for the festival. In the place where countless famous readers studied, reflect on the relationship of time, knowledge, arts and spiritual echo. 


Listening to others: gaining knowledge through music

Listening to others: gaining knowledge through music

Sunday 29 April 2018, 13.30-14.30
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Since their birth in the Enlightenment, institutions such as the British Museum have been devoted to the ideal of gathering human knowledge. At this closing discussion, Artistic Director of the Festival Daniel Kühnel, members of the Arditti Quartet and other guest speakers to explore this idea in the context of music, and the role of musical knowledge in a broader history of humanity. 


Members' highlights tour

Members' highlights tour

Friday 25 May 2018
18.00 – 19.30
Meet at the Member's cloakroom

Explore the British Museum's treasures and learn more about your Membership benefits with an illuminating 90-minute tour.

Discover fascinating objects, both famous and less well known, with expert guidance that will take you to the heart of the Museum's collection.

Please note that only a small number of tickets will be available on this tour to ensure that Members have the best experience. Please meet 10 minutes before the start time at the Members' cloakroom by the Montague Place entrance. Your ticket includes a free tea or coffee in the Members' Room café.

 


Members' highlights tour

Members' highlights tour

Tuesday 8 May 2018
11.00 – 12.30
Meet at the Member's cloakroom

Explore the British Museum's treasures and learn more about your Membership benefits with an illuminating 90-minute tour.

Discover fascinating objects, both famous and less well known, with expert guidance that will take you to the heart of the Museum's collection.

Please note that only a small number of tickets will be available on this tour to ensure that Members have the best experience. Please meet 10 minutes before the start time at the Members' cloakroom by the Montague Place entrance. Your ticket includes a free tea or coffee in the Members' Room café.

 


Members' late viewing of Rodin and the art of ancient Greece

Members' late viewing of Rodin and the art of ancient Greece

Monday 30 April 2018
18.00-19.30
Room 30

A Members-only late night viewing of the exhibition  Rodin and the art of ancient Greece.

Discover how ancient Greek sculpture inspired Rodin to set a radical new direction for modern art. In 1881 the French sculptor Auguste Rodin visited London for the first time. On a trip to the British Museum, he saw the Parthenon sculptures and was instantly captivated by the beauty of these ancient Greek masterpieces. Experience the magnificent sculpture of a modern master, and explore how the ancient world shaped his artistic vision.

All Members will need to book in advance of their visit for late night viewings of the exhibition (please note: this does not apply to visiting during normal opening hours). You are welcome to wait in the Museum until your timeslot. The Members’ Room will not be open for the duration of the evening and will close at 17.30. However, you can wait in the Great Court or visit the Great Court Café.

 


Nefertiti's face: the creation of an icon

Nefertiti's face: the creation of an icon

Monday 14 May 2018
18.30 – 20.00
BP Lecture Theatre

More than 3,000 years ago a sculptor working in the royal city of Amarna carved a limestone bust of Nefertiti, consort of the ‘heretic pharaoh’ Akhenaten. Plastered and painted, Nefertiti’s bust depicted an extraordinarily beautiful woman. Not long after its creation the stone Nefertiti was locked in a storeroom and forgotten. Today she is displayed in Berlin.

Egypt has yielded more than its fair share of artistic masterpieces but no other sculpture has so successfully bridged the gap between the ancient and modern worlds. The timeless beauty of the Nefertiti bust attracts us and sparks our imagination, but in so doing it obscures our view of the past, shifting attention from other members of the Amarna court, and from other, equally valid, representations of Nefertiti herself.

In this lecture Joyce Tyldesley will explore the creation of a cultural icon, from its ancient origins to its modern context: its discovery, its display, and its dual role as a political pawn and artistic inspiration.

£15, includes a complimentary drink, booking required.

 


Polyrhythms in European avant-garde music and their African origins

Polyrhythms in European avant-garde music and their African origins

Friday 27 April 2018, 18.00-19.00
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

Musical compositions such as György Ligeti's études for solo piano were directly inspired by the polyrhythmic structures of traditional African music. Before a special performance in the Museum’s African Galleries, acclaimed South African composer and musician Eugene Skeef and pianist Cathy Krier discuss 20th-century European avant garde music and its African origins. 


Summer Concert with the London Philharmonic Choir

Summer Concert with the London Philharmonic Choir

Thursday 21 June 2018, 19:30-21:30
Great Court
£24.00 Members and their guests

Experience the sublime sound of the critically acclaimed London Philharmonic Choir as they serenade you with a programme inspired by the Museum's collection in the iconic Great Court of the British Museum. The critically acclaimed London Philharmonic Choir, drawing on the Museum’s collection, use music and song to transport you from the banks of the Thames; through the fields of Tipperary; across the wind- swept isle of Lewis, to an enchanted hill in Mold.

The evening will also feature the première of a specially commissioned piece by composer Paul Fincham, inspired by the Museum’s Celtic objects.

Working under conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Mark Elder, Daniele Gatti, Simon Rattle, Georg Solti and Franz Welser-Möst, the Choir has always met with critical acclaim. Widely regarded as one of the nation’s finest choirs, they perform regularly with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and other world-class orchestras at major venues and festivals throughout the year.

Your evening begins in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery where you will enjoy drinks and refreshments. You will also have the opportunity to treat yourself or pick up the perfect gift in the luxury Grenville Room.

£24 for Members and their guests, including a complimentary drink. Members may purchase tickets for up to six guests. Age 16+.

Important information
The performance runs for 90 minutes, including a 30-minute interval. Ticket holders may arrive from 19.00 through the Main entrance on Great Russell Street. Ticket holders who are in the Museum at closing time (17.30) must leave and re-enter at 19.00. Doors to the Great Court open at 19.25.

Seating is provided for the duration of the performance and is unreserved, available on a first-come, first-served basis. The performance begins at 19.30 and latecomers will not be permitted entry.

A pay bar will be available in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery (Room 4) before the event and during the interval serving drinks and refreshments.

If you have any access requirements, contact the Membership Office before booking on friends@britishmuseum.org or 020 7323 8195.

Tickets are subject to availability and are non-refundable.

 


Summer Concert with the London Philharmonic Choir

Summer Concert with the London Philharmonic Choir

Saturday 23 June 2018, 19:30-21:30
Great Court
£24.00 Members and their guests

Experience the sublime sound of the critically acclaimed London Philharmonic Choir as they serenade you with a programme inspired by the Museum's collection in the iconic Great Court of the British Museum. The critically acclaimed London Philharmonic Choir, drawing on the Museum’s collection, use music and song to transport you from the banks of the Thames; through the fields of Tipperary; across the wind- swept isle of Lewis, to an enchanted hill in Mold.

The evening will also feature the première of a specially commissioned piece by composer Paul Fincham, inspired by the Museum’s Celtic objects.

Working under conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Mark Elder, Daniele Gatti, Simon Rattle, Georg Solti and Franz Welser-Möst, the Choir has always met with critical acclaim. Widely regarded as one of the nation’s finest choirs, they perform regularly with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and other world-class orchestras at major venues and festivals throughout the year.

Your evening begins in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery where you will enjoy drinks and refreshments. You will also have the opportunity to treat yourself or pick up the perfect gift in the luxury Grenville Room.

£24 for Members and their guests, including a complimentary drink. Members may purchase tickets for up to six guests. Age 16+.

Important information
The performance runs for 90 minutes, including a 30-minute interval. Ticket holders may arrive from 19.00 through the Main entrance on Great Russell Street. Ticket holders who are in the Museum at closing time (17.30) must leave and re-enter at 19.00. Doors to the Great Court open at 19.25.

Seating is provided for the duration of the performance and is unreserved, available on a first-come, first-served basis. The performance begins at 19.30 and latecomers will not be permitted entry.

A pay bar will be available in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery (Room 4) before the event and during the interval serving drinks and refreshments.

If you have any access requirements, contact the Membership Office before booking on friends@britishmuseum.org or 020 7323 8195.

Tickets are subject to availability and are non-refundable.

 


The inaccessible Roman Empire

The inaccessible Roman Empire

Monday 25 June 2018
18.30 – 20.00
BP Lecture Theatre

Recent turmoil in much of the Near East and North Africa means that many of the most impressive sites in the Roman Empire can no longer be visited. Sam Moorhead, British Museum, has worked and travelled in parts of the eastern Mediterranean which are now too dangerous to explore. In this lecture, he provides an outline of Roman activity in the region, focusing on cities which have been largely destroyed (for example Hatra in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria), sites which have been heavily looted (Apamaea and Dura Europos in Syria), and places which are now too dangerous to visit (Leptis Magna and Cyrene in Libya). He will present some of finest architecture, sculpture and mosaics from the Roman world, highlighting both the richness of eastern Roman culture and the lives of the people who lived in these exotic places.

£15, includes a complimentary drink, booking required.