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Aurora in Brussels

  • Henry le Boeuf Hall Rue Ravenstein 23 Brussels (map)

John Tavener The Protecting Veil
Jonathan Coe Extract from Middle England
Benjamin Britten Les Illuminations, Op. 18
Ali Smith Extract from Autumn
Joseph Haydn Symphony No. 45 (‘Farewell’)

Ian Bostridge tenor
Nicolas Altstaedt cello/conductor
Jonathan Coe writer/speaker
Ali Smith writer/speaker

On the scheduled night of Brexit, we celebrate the deep and vibrant cultural exchange between Europe and the UK – past, present and future – in a concert of music and words. With renowned British tenor Ian Bostridge and French-German cellist/conductor Nicolas Alstaedt, we pair music by two British composers from different eras, placing Benjamin Britten’s radiant Les Illuminations, a song cycle set to Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry, next to the much-loved late twentieth-century work The Protecting Veil by John Tavener. Interwoven among these performances, British literary giants Jonathan Coe and Ali Smith read extracts from their novels Middle England and Autumn, offering their perspectives on the cultural bonds between Europe and the UK. We end the evening with Haydn’s tongue-and-cheek ‘Farewell’ symphony, where we see the players bid farewell in the iconic final movement, leaving the stage one by one until only a pair of muted violins are left.
Part of Klara Festival

Earlier Event: March 10
MacMillan Seven Last Words