The Rest is Noise: are you ready for it?

The London Philharmonic Orchestra rehearsingFor those of you who love contemporary music, or for those who are just beginning to discover classical music, The Rest is Noise is maybe an introduction into something that might be for you.

London’s Southbank Centre will be celebrating contemporary classical music with a year-long festival inspired by Alex Ross’ book, The Rest is Noise. The festival will feature nearly 100 events including talks, films, performances and debates all exploring the 20th century classical music in the context of historical, cultural and political commotion.

With more than 30 concerts, The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been described as being the backbone of this festival. Through their music, they reveal the stories behind the rich, exhilarating and sometimes controversial compositions that have changed the way we listen to contemporary music forever.

The festival will be divided into 12 chronological themes from The Big Bang: A New Century, a New World in January to New World Order and No More Rules in December. Other themes include Berlin the 20s and 60s Weekend and The West Does Revolution. The festival will be accompanied by a TV series on BBC4.

Speaking at the launch of the Southbank Centre’s 2012/13 classical music season, director Jude Kelly claims that the festival will take several art forms and aim to involve audiences “hostile to 20th Century music’ while giving those already highly committed to it ‘another route in'”.

The weekends will take audiences through the 20th century and focus on the moments when the art movements were emerging – how music was immersed through visual arts and dance, where that fitted in with literature and commenting on these major moments in history will be poets, dancers, choreographers and musicians.

Ross will also be offering three lectures throughout the festival that will give an overview of 20th century styles and ideas, with the aid of dozens of recorded excerpts and images.

Back in 2008 Ross won The Guardian First Book Award. The judges described it as “a triumph with a magisterial quality and marvellous scope”, praising Ross’s ability “to tell a good story, with good pace, but always keeping his own judgement”.

The Rest is Noise covers everything from orchestral concerts and opera to intimate chamber recitals and discussions, so after one of these momentous evenings why not get together and treat yourself by heading over to our Bar to enjoy one of our world-famous martinis created by the legend that is Alessandro Palazzi?

Image courtesy of Nittentrikken