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A new season of music for a new decade

Mon 20 January 2020

Our Spring Season of Music features two festivals, three high-profile competitions, eight masterclasses, copious new music, and a rich programme of concerts.


To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, we are delighted to launch our Beethoven + Series this spring. Spearheaded by the Keyboard and Piano Department, the festival features eight events that explore varying aspects of the composer’s output, contextualise his work alongside that of his contemporaries, and venture beyond the traditional canon with original compositions and refreshing ways of understanding Beethoven’s oeuvre (9 Mar – 12 May). The festival opens with international pianist Martino Tirimo’s performance of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations,Op.120. Martino, who is a professor of piano at Trinity Laban, recently released his recording of Beethoven: Complete Piano Works with the Hänssler Classic label. Rounding off our Series, Trinity Laban Fulbright Scholar Garrett Snedeker presents a lecture recital on gender connotation in Beethoven’s themes as part of Tradition and Revolution II (12 May).        

CoLab, Trinity Laban’s Festival of Creativity, returns in February with a fortnight of experimentation and innovation across artforms (6 – 21 Feb). The result is a series of events and happenings that gives the audience a chance to see what goes on under our roof, culminating in the Grand Finale (21 Feb).

This year we have the privilege of hosting a Gala Concert as part of CoLab, dedicated to the Blackfoot First Nations people of Canada. The project is being undertaken in collaboration with Liszt Academy (Hungary) and University of Music and Performing Arts (Graz). Conducted by Nic Pendlebury with viola soloists Rivka Golani and Péter Bársony, the special performance sees the world premieres of 10 new compositions written by distinguished composers from around the globe: Luis Caballeria Barrera, Quim Miracle, David Jaeger, Richard Mascall, Charles Heller, Benjamin Ellin, Oded Zehavi, Balogh Máté, Hollós Máté, Kondor Adam. Trinity Laban professor, Rivka Golani has been made a sister of Blackfoot First Nations people of Canada, the culmination of a relationship stretching back two decades.

Another highlight of CoLab 2020 will be a project in collaboration with John Tomlinson and Brighton Youth Orchestra featuring musicians from both Trinity Laban and Junior Trinity (20 Jan).


Seven outstanding finalists will take to the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room stage to compete for the coveted Gold Medal (27 Jan). A highlight of the musical calendar, the prestigious competition will be judged by leading figures from the music industry Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE (Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation) and Rebecca Allen (President of Decca Records UK) and will be attended by our patron HRH Duke of Kent.

The finalists are rising-star jazz pianist and composer Olly Chalk, described by London Jazz News as “sparkling” and by Head of Jazz Hans Koller as “one of the most gifted players of his generation”; baritone Theo Perry, who recently sung the title role in Don Giovanni with Rogue Opera on a UK tour; dynamic South African violinist Wilmien Janse van Rensburg; Musical theatre graduate Florence Russell, hailed as triple threat by Stage Review and described as ‘charming’ by Chris Omaweng of LondonTheatre1; up and coming composer Ben Leigh-Grossart; Cypriot pianist and master’s student Christos Fountos; and oboist Olivia Fraser, who has already played with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, and the London Mozart Players. This is a premiere opportunity to see the rising stars of our Faculty of Music.

At the beginning of February, musicians showcase their skills in the popular and prestigious Soloists’ Competition Final at Blackheath Halls. The finalists perform a concerto, or selection of songs and arias, as they compete for the chance to perform as a soloist with one of Trinity Laban’s full orchestras in our summer season (5 Feb).

Later in the season we move to Plumcroft Primary School, Woolwich’s spectacular space – a venue that has been used for recordings and launch events – for the Daryl Runswick Competition where Trinity Laban Contemporary Music Group perform new works by composition students to win the coveted Prize (26 Mar).


This season, the beautiful Blackheath Halls plays host to a quartet of large ensemble concerts. Conducted by Andrew Dunn, the Trinity Laban Symphonic Winds present repertoire including Leonard Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Petro Iturralde’s Pequeña Czarda, and works by Sally Lamb McCune, Kathryn Salfelder and Guy Woolfenden (7 Feb).

Directed by Nic Pendlebury, Trinity Laban String Ensemble perform Felix Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 2 alongside Anna Clyne’s Within Her Arms, Igor Stravinsky’s Concerto in D and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95 ‘Serioso‘ arranged for String Ensemble (6 Mar).

At the end of March, Holly Mathieson conducts Trinity Laban Shapeshifter Ensemble for Franz Schreker’s The Birthday of the Infanta, Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68. and a new work by a Trinity Laban composer (27 Mar).

After Easter, Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra present the first act of Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic masterpiece La Traviata, side by side with Welsh National Opera.

For more information on all performances, visit our What’s On page.

Image credit JK Photography