We are delighted to announce the launch of the Spitalfields Music Festival 2018. Following the success of last year, we are continuing to develop our vision for a 21st-century music festival with Artistic Curator André de Ridder. As a visionary and pioneering musician, conductor and performer, we will be taken on a rich, boundless journey of musical exploration, of musical beauty and depth, alongside unexpected turns and discoveries.
The 2018 Festival examines connections that span many centuries and genres of quintessentially English music, redefining the boundaries between old and new, and exploring the possibilities of music, performance and space. We will discover a deeply innate sense of melancholy, lyrically and musically, common to early masters like Byrd, Tallis and Purcell, and the seminal Manchester post-punk bands Joy Division and The Smiths. André de Ridder’s programme includes stand-alone performances of classical and early masterpieces alongside bold new work from innovative contemporary musicians and collaborations that blur musical genres and styles – all delivered by the most exceptional variety of international artists including Richard Reed Parry from Arcade Fire, Shiva Feshareki, the Fidelio Trio and Mary Bevan.
Additionally, we are spotlighting a number of Canadian musicians and composers on the cutting edge of contemporary and popular music. These include Nicole Lizée, Christopher Mayo and Richard Reed Parry, one of our 2018 featured composers. Richard Reed Parry presents an inventive and unique performance with The Riot Ensemble, utilising the most basic of all rhythms, the human heartbeat, for his Heart and Breath on Wednesday 5 December.
Another of our featured artists, Shiva Feshareki will bring fresh musical perspectives with one of our highlighted events Unknown, Remembered – an immersive hybrid of opera, theatre and art installation. Following on from the success of our RPS award-winning Schumann Street, we have created another immersive, site-specific production taking place at Studio 9294, a warehouse turned nightclub in Hackney Wick. Interweaving Handel’s brilliant operatic scena La Lucrezia, Feshareki’s new setting of lyrics from Joy division’s seminal album Unknown Pleasures and Haroon Mirza’s film installation The Last Tape, audiences will experience a woman haunted by the memory of tragedy in an original blend of the old and new.
The festival showcases some of the most exciting venues across our home borough of Tower Hamlets, including the home of British boxing, a sixteenth-century fortress, an Edwardian Town Hall and a vast nineteenth-century museum.