The Kaufmann Residency
Barbican, 4th to 13th February
The world’s “greatest living tenor,” below, is usually only to be glimpsed (from a great distance) at the Royal Opera House, so his first London residency is a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a musician at the absolute peak of his career. It’s typical of Jonas Kaufmann’s intelligent, curious programming that he’s not content with a predictable series of showcase recitals. Instead we get a surprising and wide-ranging sequence of events that roam from his home territory of Wagner, to a rare recital with piano and an even rarer foray into Strauss’s ecstatic Four Last Songs.
Roderick Williams & Iain Burnside: Die Schöne Müllerin
Crucible Theatre, The Studio, Sheffield, 4th February
Fresh from rave reviews for performances at Opera North and Garsington as well as an RPS Award, baritone Roderick Williams joins forces with the star accompanist Iain Burnside to perform all three of Schubert’s great song cycles in Sheffield. Williams’s skill at musical storytelling promises to be at the fore in this Schöne Müllerin, Schubert’s tale of young, hopeful love curdled into sudden, despairing death.
John Adams at 70
Barbican, 25th February
The American minimalist’s 70th birthday is celebrated in style by the athletic Britten Sinfonia and conductor Joana Carneiro. Explore the full spectrum of Adams’s genre-defining style in works ranging from the startlingly rich textures of his Grand Pianola Music to the thrill-ride of his Chamber Symphony. Pieces by Philip Glass and rising young composer Timo Andres place the composer’s style and influence in context.