REVIEW: Sound Unbound Festival at the Barbican

The ever busy Barbican Centre introduced a new event  – Sound Unbound, The Barbican Classical Weekender.

Sound Unbound - Sabine Koch has her bands

Sound Unbound – Sabine Koch has her bands

Over the course of two days there were more than 80 concerts, musical vignettes, debates, films and anything else you can think of, all related to classical music – but in its different forms and incarnations from ancient to contemporary, mixing different arts and themes to countless interesting experiences.

Here we sent Sabine our “Bee In London” to find out more.

Sound Unbound

unboundless programme

Hats off to the organizers for coming up with a program that combined world-class and renowned artists like the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Gould and Max Richter with young musicians of the Britten Sinfonia school. I was lucky enough to dedicate almost my whole Saturday to look into what the Sound Unbound had to offer.

That meant intently visiting things that sounded intriguing from the schedule to others that I could just stumble on by chance. I stayed from 10 am to 10.30 pm at the Barbican and in that time I saw

Inuksuit for 9 to 99 percussions on the Lakeside terrace,

Singum Saxophone Quartet in the foyer

The Big Bang: BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Hall

Psycho Horror: Hitchcock Etudes for piano, soundtrack and film at the Cinema 1

Voxes8: Lux at the St. Giles’ Cripplegate church

Omo Bello: in Love with French Romantic Song in the foyer

Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed

Sound Unbound Sabine Koch musical acts

(r) beautiful Omo Bello ( photo by Eric Lahmann)


I am a very organized person and this means that most of the time I know in advance what I will get, when I will see a movie, a concert, or a theatre play. So with the Sound Unbound festival I appreciated the chance to be surprised, to broaden my horizons and to feel like an explorer of the vast musical smorgasboard that the Barbican put on display, nibbling on a bite here and there.

Sound Unbound

cake and choral with




Max Richter with Thomas Gould by Eric Lahmann,, all others by the author)

Max Richter with Thomas Gould (photo by Eric Lahmann)

It was a chance to discover old and new music and explore the unusual surroundings, the venues and architecture, enhancing the music with different dimensions.

Sound Unbound Sabine Koch cubes

dimenions of sound unbound at the Barbican

The artists made little introductions to the pieces they were performing so the experience was not only visceral but educational.

I  hope that the Barbican will be able to make this a recurring event. I for one, would love to come back for it.
Read more of Sabine’s reviews here:

Clubbing the Blues in Dublin

How To Do The Berlinale – an insider’s tips

Theatre Review: Sea Wall with Andrew Scott 




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