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On White

Musical Conversations between Aurora Orchestra and Edmund de Waal

To mark the launch of white at the Royal Academy and the publication of The White Road, Edmund de Waal has collaborated with Aurora Orchestra to create a programme of events across London this Autumn, exploring the colour white through music, poetry and the visual arts.


Monday 9 November, 6.30pm Royal Academy of Arts

World premiere of Psalm, Martin Suckling
Edmund de Waal, Martin Suckling, Principal players of Aurora Orchestra

In this special hour-long event, Edmund de Waal and Aurora Orchestra join forces to commission a new work by the Scottish composer Martin Suckling. Exploring the role of white in the world, Psalm will be premiered in the intimate surroundings of the Fine Rooms at the Royal Academy. The evening will close with a discussion between de Waal and Suckling about the commission and its context.

Paul Celan: Sounds and Visions

Thursday 12 November, 8pm Kings Place, Hall One

Three Little Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op.11, Anton Webern
Piano Sonata, Op.1, Alban Berg ‘Todesfuge’ from Pulse Shadows, Harrison Birtwistle
Psalm, Martin Suckling

Edmund de Waal, Professor Karen Leeder John Reid, piano, Principal players of Aurora Orchestra

Aurora and Poet in the City present a unique evening of poetry, music and art in celebration of the life and work of Paul Celan. Widely recognised as one of the most important European poets after 1945, de Waal reveals Celan’s influence on his own work, alongside performances of music by members of Aurora Orchestra, illuminating the artistic background to and wider impact on Celan’s writing.With readings and vivid contextualisation from leading academic Karen Leeder, this event promises an inter-disciplinary introduction of one of the world’s great poetic voices.


Tuesday 8 December, 7.30pm Shoreditch Church (St Leonard’s)

Pre-concert talk with Edmund de Waal and Nicholas Collon, 6.15pm

Winterreise, Franz Schubert (arr. Hans Zender) Allan Clayton, tenor, Nicholas Collon and Aurora Orchestra

As part of the Spitalfield’s Music Winter Festival, Aurora Orchestra presents Hans Zender’s extraordinary ‘composed interpretation’ of Schubert’s well known song-cycle, Winterreise. This adaptation of the original piano accompaniment for virtuosic chamber forces follows a ‘winter journey’ of Schubert’s wanderer, sung here by the outstanding tenor, Allan Clayton. The concert will be preceded by a conversation between the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of Aurora, Nicholas Collon, and Edmund de Waal who reflect on the music and writing of Winterreise as a study of white, from its stillness and serenity, to raw desolation.

Earlier Event: October 20
John Sandoe Books | Chelsea
Later Event: November 16
LIVE from the NYPL | New York