Must-see Autumn Classical Music and Opera, London 2015
What to book: the best classical and opera coming up in London, including Bernard Haitink, Natalie Dessay, Mitsuko Uchida and Ian Bostridge
Best orchestral concerts autumn 2015
London Symphony Orchestra (Barbican Centre, 15, 20 and 23 September)
Prior to his upcoming tour around Japan, legendary conductor Bernard Haitink (Royal Concertgebouw) opens the LSO's 2015/16 season in three blockbusting concerts, with guests pianist Murray Perahia and soprano Anna Lucia Richter. As one of the last living post-war greats, witnessing his mastery of the classical repertoire live in the Barbican Hall is an opportunity not to be missed.
Philharmonia 70th Birthday Gala (Royal Festival Hall, 27 September)
No one would deny that Beethoven's Symphony No. 9is a work of true immortality and gigantic proportions. For the Philharmonia orchestra of London's seventieth birthday concert, guest conductor Christoph von Dohnånyi will present this titanic masterpiece at the Royal Festival Hall. Beforehand, pianist Martin Helmchen (Pentatone) leads in Schumann's magnificently melodic Piano Concerto.
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (St John's Smith Square, 14 October)
Author and tenor Ian Bostridge (Schubert's Winter Journey) joins superlative period ensemble Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for the first concert of their 30th anniversary season, performing Handel and Telemann. Following his sell-out performance of Winterreise, Bostridge will be exploring baroque music with Horn Concertos and arias from Ariodante and Acis and Galatea. Stephen Devine conducts.
John Adams (Barbican Centre, 29 October)
The great American composer conducts the European premiere of a new piece, along with works by French impressionist Ravel. John Adams (Nixon in China, Harmonielehre) is a hugely popular figure of contemporary music who has managed to combine his signature minimalist style with a range of other influences to remarkable effect. The luminous violinist Leila Josefowicz takes the lead.
Chamber music and recitals autumn 2015
Nicola Benedetti (Royal Albert Hall, 27 September)
Star violinist Nicola Benedetti will take to the Royal Albert Hall stage, performing some of the most famous classical works including Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence. Both commercially successful and critically acclaimed, Benedetti is a rare talent who plays with enticing vibrancy and potency.
Mitsuko Uchida and Magdalena Kozena (Wigmore Hall, 2 October)
Wigmore Hall hosts a very special collaboration between two musical superstars: pianist Mitsuko Uchida, a German music interpreter of genius, and mezzo Magdalena Kozena. The pair will join forces to perform the music of Schumann, Wolf, Dvorak and Schoenberg.
Natalie Dessay (Barbican Centre, 2 October)
The honey-toned soprano Natalie Dessay will make a rare London concert appearance, singing French chansons and German lieder at the Barbican. After her dazzling lead performance in opera La Sonambula, Dessay is set to treat her audience to her radiant coluratura voice, infused with soaring emotion.
Viktoria Mullova and Katie Labèque (St. Johns Smith Square, 6 November)
These two world-class musicians - and frequent collaborators - return to London with a remarkably varied programme ranging from Mozart to Schumman. Labèque is one of the world's most celebrated pianists who delights in playing both canonical pieces and striking new music, whilst violinist Mullova brightens any genre she turns her hand to, be it jazz or pop.
Opera Autumn 2015
Orphée and Eurydice (Royal Opera House, 14 September - 3 October)
Orphée and Eurydice is a landmark collaborative production of Gluck's eighteenth century opera, directed by John Fulljames (Donna del lago) and choreographer Hofesh Shechter (Political Mothers). Given that Gluck was one of the most radical composers of the classical period, you can expect harmonic shifts and modulations that will add further poignancy to this renowned Greek tragedy.
The Last Hotel (Royal Opera House, 9 - 18 October)
Prolific Irish playwright Enda Walsh (Ballyturk) collaborates with composer Donnacha Dennehy on his first opera, a searing psychological thriller set in a hotel where a brutal murder takes place. Walsh has written over twenty productions in the past ten years with incredibly diverse scope; we're excited to see how he will fare when opera is tossed into his dramatic mix.
Orpheus (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, 3 October - 15 November)
Keith Warner and the Royal Opera bring Luigi Rossi's seventeenth century masterpiece to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, one of the most intimate and ornamented stages in London. We're hoping that director Warner will invest this opera with the same flamboyancy we've seen in his other work.
The Force of Destiny (London Coliseum, 9 November - 4 December)
Maverick director Calixto Biatio brings a new production of Verdi's tragic melodrama The Force of Destiny to the English National Opera. This passionate tale explores accidental death, illicit love, revenge and mistaken identity and will be complemented by some of the Italian master's most exuberant work.
Click below to see more of our roundups of the best things to do in London 2015:
The Best Theatre 2015
The Best Dance 2015
The Biggest Films 2015
Fashion Forecast 2015