BBC Philharmonic return for Lancaster Arts exciting spring season

The conductor for the BBC Philharmonic Ben Gernon (right) and Linton Kwesi Johnson in action (left).
The conductor for the BBC Philharmonic Ben Gernon (right) and Linton Kwesi Johnson in action (left).

Lancaster Arts has announced an exciting spring line-up to include the BBC Philharmonic, Linton Kwesi Johnson and the Russell Maliphant Dance Company.

Lancaster Arts will welcome the BBC Philharmonic back to the city, as part of their thrilling spring line-up.

On the new annual theme of Ritual, this exciting season will see the celebrated orchestra return to the Great Hall on Thursday 2 March for the first time since 2019, with the concert broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

With rising international star conductor, Ben Gernon and award-winning pianist, Juan Perez Floristan, the BBC Philharmonic will present a spectacular programme, including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

Concert-goers won’t have to wait that long for the first performance of the season though, with multiple award-winning pianist and composer Nicolas Namoradze, performing in Lancaster Priory on Friday 20 January.

Pianist Martin Roscoe, a Lancaster Arts favourite, will perform alongside renowned American violinist Tai Murray on Thursday 23 March, with the same special programme they performed last year at the Barbican Hall in London.

Away from music, there is a strong dance programme, with no fewer than five contemporary dance performances taking place between February and June.

From the edgy hip hop of Joseph Toonga’s Born to Exist to VORTEX, the latest stunning production from the Russell Maliphant Dance Company, there is plenty on offer for dance fans and those wanting to try something new.

Manchester’s Proto-type Theater, present their new show Dead Cats, part of their critically acclaimed Truth to Power Project, in the Nuffield Theatre on Wednesday 25 January.

Legendary Reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson will perform at the same venue on Thursday 20 April, for an unforgettable evening of poetry, prose and conversation about his life and work, in partnership with Lancaster Litfest.

The Peter Scott Gallery will welcome the free exhibition, Objects in Ritual from 13 February to 17 March as well as Tuesday Talks, a series of artist talks, on Tuesdays between 24 January and 28 February.

Speaking ahead of the season, Lancaster Arts Director Jocelyn Cunningham said: “We are excited to start our year on the theme of Ritual. Over the past year, in our conversations with artists, audiences and collaborators, we began to notice an interest in rituals – old and new.

“Rituals connected with remembering or commemorating, rituals associated with the milestones in our lives and the creation of new rituals. In 2023, we look forward to taking these ideas forward with the artists we are working with, our partners and with you, our audiences.”

Alongside the programme of events, there will be participatory projects taking place across the district, including Human Rights Bingo on 11-12 March, where audiences and performers play together in a surreal game of bingo, based on their understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

From 10-18 June, This Endless Sea, an installation by artist Chloe Smith, will explore themes of grief and the sea. This will be situated by Morecambe Bay, providing a space for people to reflect on their own experiences.

Between 20 February and 13 March, a new online programme will feature work that was performed live last year, including Mahler’s Tenth Symphony, with pianist Chris White, Drawing on a (Grand) Mother’s Experience by Bobby Baker and Re:Birth by the Van Huynh Dance Company, all works that can’t be seen in this format anywhere else.

Tickets for performances and more information can be found at or by emailing

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