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Why Birds Sing: Aurora Orchestra with Pierre-Laurent Aimard
Messiaen | Oiseaux exotiques
Brett Dean | Pastoral Symphony
Ligeti | Poème symphonique
Beethoven | Symphony No. 6 in F major, Pastoral (from memory)
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
Nicholas Collon, conductor
We explore the vibrant world of birdsong, inviting you on a cross-arts journey that interweaves orchestral performance with animation, audio storytelling, birdcall recordings, and an installation of 1,000 origami cranes.
Celebrated pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard joins us for Messiaen’s Oiseaux exotiques, an enchanting work that draws on the exquisite soundworld of 47 birds from around the world. Brett Dean’s Pastoral Symphony offers an ode to nature of a different, darker kind – an elegiac meditation on the beauty of birdsong and its silencing by humankind, evoking the birdcalls of the Australian outback alongside the whir of an axe, a plunging lift, and a helicopter. The programme concludes with a memorised performance of Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony, with its poetic references to the nightingale, cuckoo, and quail.
Part of The Orchestral Theatre: The Claus Moser Series at Southbank Centre – an Aurora series that brings orchestral music to life in adventurous ways. The series is generously supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (in memory of Sir Claus Moser), Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation, and the Hargreaves & Ball Trust.
Join the conversation #WhyBirdsSing.