&ldquoAs Alsop faced the cellos and drew from them the most tremendously shaped phrases with every inflection of her baton, you were aware of being in the presence of greatness.&rdquo
4th November 2014
Marin conducts Britten’s War Requiem in London on Remembrance Sunday

Rememberance Sunday website






On Sunday November 9, 2014, Marin will be taking part in Remembrance Day commemorations at London’s Southbank Centre, on a day that marks the 100th anniversary of World War I.

As part of a series of events taking place, Marin will conduct musicians of the Royal Academy of Music, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Voicelab Children’s Choir and soloists in a performance of Britten’s towering War Requiem at the Royal Festival Hall.

Talking of her involvement Marin commented:

“I am so looking forward to this special week of rehearsals leading up to the War Requiem performance on Sunday, “Remembrance Day” at London’s Southbank Centre.

Creating a continuum that connects us to our shared past is one of the most inspirational aspects of great music.  

I can’t think of a better way to honor and remember the sacrifices and contributions of so many than by working with several hundred young people to bring this project to fruition.”

Throughout the day you can explore the history of World War I with talks on related literature, poetry and films. Taking a closer look at the War Requiem and Benjamin Britten himself, Marin will join Southbank Centre’s Head of Classical Music Gillian Moore to discuss Benjamin Britten’s response to two World Wars in a pre-concert talk. For more information on all the events and to book tickets to the concert, click here.

The day has a strong emphasis on education. For the performance Marin has gathered hundreds of young people around her. As well as the young musicians and singers taking part in the performance, the Southbank Centre’s education team have been running an outreach project with students from Lilian Baylis Technology School in Lambeth. The students have taken part in a number of activities to educate them on the music of the War Requiem and about the history of the First World War, including taking part in a Q&A with Marin ahead of the concert that will be part of a film they are making about the experience. Using this performance as their inspiration, their film is their own exploration of what they think Britten’s War Requiem means to audiences today. These students, some of them having never listed to classical music before, have been on a long and varied journey and the film will be shown before the concert. You can watch the film below:

Photo credit: GL Archive/Alamy

Concert information:

Royal Festival Hall
Sunday 9 November 2014, 3pm


Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor
Natalia Tanasii, soprano
Ben Johnson, tenor
Johannes Kammler, baritone
National Youth Choir of Great Britain
Voicelab Children’s Choir

Before the performance: 
Southbank Centre is delighted to screen a selection of imagery from Robert Wilson’s Helmand, 2008, and Helmand Return, 2014, prior to the afternoon performance. The exhibition Helmand Return, presented by Gallery One and a Half in London, runs until the 30th November 2014.

Film: War Requiem Uncovered
Students from Lilian Baylis Technology School in Lambeth have been working together with Southbank Centre’s Education team to explore the context, the music and the poetry of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. Using today’s performance as their inspiration, their film is their own exploration of what they think Britten’s War Requiem means to audiences today.

Young people involved in this concert:
Recognising that many of the soldiers in the First World War were young adults, participants in the Southbank Centre’s new 1521 courses for young people have been working to devise a piece of music inspired by Britten’s War Requiem. The piece is premiered on The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall before the concert. Alongside this, students from Lilian Baylis School, in Lambeth, have been developing a film project exploring the context and themes of the War Requiem (see above). Over the half term a group of primary children have attended workshops at Southbank Centre, and they sing as the children’s choir in the performance.
Henry Ward, Southbank Centre’s Head of Education