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Winter 2014/15 by Candlelight - Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Season preview

SHAKESPEARE’S Globe has announced its Winter 2014-15 season of candlelit concerts and events in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

The season features Ian Bostridge, Charlotte Rampling, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Avi Avital, Mahan Esfahani, Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Chilingirian Quartet.

The season kicks off on Sunday, October 19 with the internationally renowned Brodsky Quartet, once again joined by singer Jacqui Dankworth, for an evening of beautiful jazz music by candlelight.

On Monday, October 27, recently appointed Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir – the first woman to hold the position – celebrates her own music as well as works by six previous Masters. Weir was Artistic Director of the Spitalfields Festival from 1995 to 2000 and has won the Lincoln Center’s Stoeger Prize and the Queen’s Medal for Music. In 2005 she was appointed CBE for services to music.

On Monday, November 3 and Sunday, November 9, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will present musical highlights from Molière’s comedy ballet Le Malade Imaginaire, a colourful confection of dance, instrumental and song with score and choreography by Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier. The Orchestra then returns on January 25 and 26, 2015 for a Jacobean programme centred around Matthew Locke’s seminal score for The Tempest.

East meets West in Mediterranean Music Through the Centuries on Monday, November 10, when virtuoso cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras explores the spellbinding music of his native Algeria and the Mediterranean with the Chemirani Brothers – masters of the Persian zarb drum. The eclectic programme of traditional, contemporary and improvised music explores the acrobatic and percussive rhythms of the Chemirani brothers alongside Queyras’ improvisation on Mediterranean melodies remembered from his youth.

For the first time, Shakespeare’s Globe will take part in the EFG London Jazz Festival, with two very special concerts. On Sunday, November 16, saxophonist Andy Sheppard presents Shakespeare Songs with Guillaume de Chassy and Christophe Marguet. A musical journey through Shakespeare’s world, this new Anglo-French project combines the talents of three leading contemporary jazz voices as they weave a rich musical tapestry of characters from Shakespeare’s plays and poems.

Then on Monday, November 17, the worlds of flamenco and jazz collide in a fascinating new collaboration, initiated by renowned producer Fernando Trueba for his label Calle 54. Pianist Chano Domínguez and guitarist Niño Josele – two of the great original voices in Spanish music today – explore the dynamic interplay between their respective musical genres with flair and passion. This concert will be in celebration of the duo’s CD launch.

On Sunday, November 23 and Monday, November 24, award-winning poet and playwright Simon Armitage takes to the Playhouse stage to perform his own acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. At once a ghost story, a thriller, a romance, an adventure story and a morality tale, this Middle English work by an unknown poet has captivated the British imagination for centuries. Armitage’s vigorous, spirited translation brings it to life for a modern audience.

On Sunday, November 30, celebrated tenor Ian Bostridge partners with Xuefei Yang, internationally renowned as one of the world’s finest classical guitarists, to present Songs From Our Ancestors, an eclectic programme of English and Chinese classical and folk music.

On Monday, December 1, the Chilingirian Quartet and guests will perform pieces by Vaughan Williams and Elgar that reflect and explore the composers’ personal experiences of the dawn and the aftermath of the First World War. Vaughan Williams’ Phantasy Quintet, a rarely-performed masterpiece, blends the forms of Elizabethan consort music with his own exquisite contemplative style. The Elgar chamber pieces, amongst the composer’s last great works, subtly capture the past horrors of war and the burgeoning hope of summer.

The Chilingirian Quartet returns on Sunday, January 11, 2015 with the award-winning choir the Tenebrae Consort. This unique programme will offer a rare chance to hear alternating movements between Haydn’s and Gesualdo’s settings of The Seven Last Words. The concert ranges across two centuries to create a theatrical sequence around the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in the life of Jesus Christ.

On December 7, Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital and Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani describe their meeting through the music of Bach in this, their first London concert together. Born in Tehran in 1984, Mahan Esfahani was the first harpsichordist to be named a BBC New Generation Artist and has been shortlisted for Gramophone Artist of the Year Award 2014. Born in Be’er Sheva in 1978, Grammy-nominated Avi Avital is deeply committed to building a fresh legacy for the mandolin. From very different backgrounds, both musicians are passionate advocates for the contemporary resonance of their respective instruments.

The Night Dances, featuring actress Charlotte Rampling and renowned cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton comes to the Playhouse on Monday, December 15. The words of Sylvia Plath and Benjamin Britten’s suites for solo cello are brought together in a unique evening of haunting poetry and music.

Across Christmas and New Year, the candlelit theatre will host a series of Winter Tales – classic stories by some of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, performed by actors with evocative live musical accompaniment. The series will feature James Joyce’s The Dead, Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

More concerts and events for the February to May 2015 period will be announced soon.

For more information or to book, visit

Summer by Candlelight continues in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse until October.