Barbican calls the kids for New York Philharmonic week

Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic in Mahler 9 at Barbican Centre, Picture: Chris Lee

Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic in Mahler 9 at Barbican Centre, Picture: Chris Lee - Credit: Archant

Alongside a headline performance of Stravinsky’s Petrushka, a week long collaboration between London and New York will see compositions written by young pen pals performed.

Gillie and Musical Postcards

Gillie and Musical Postcards - Credit: Archant

The Barbican welcomes back the New York Philharmonic for its second International Associate residency this week, and is hosting a special concert, installation and series of family friendly events to celebrate.

The headline event takes place on Sunday (April 19), with the Giants Are Small and New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concert. The night will see the European premiere of their theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky’s Petrushka.

Since December 2014 five young composers in East London – including nine-year-old Gillie Beckett from Hackney (postcard pictured) – have been partnering with five young composers in New York to discuss and explore each other’s cities and create new music inspired by postcards, emails and Skype exchanges with each other. The results of their collaboration will also be showcased on Sunday afternoon on the Barbican Freestage, and will be performed by musicians from the New York Philharmonic and Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

A unique installation, Musicjelly: Build an Orchestra, runs every day until Sunday. Featuring specially filmed performances of New York Philharmonic players, this is the first time Musicjelly’s intuitive audio-visual mixing technology has been teamed with classical musicians, so complete novices can build their own versions of Beethoven and Mozart symphonies using simple interactive touch-screens and ambient projections.


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Elsewhere, there will be a host of free family events in the foyers before the lead concert on Sunday. Running from 1pm to 4pm, they will include a puppetry drop in class, percussion workshops, singing workshops and the opportunity to watch master classes with young people from Tower Hamlets, Redbridge and Waltham Forest Music Services.

Visit barbican.org.uk for a full list of programmes

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