“Choose Your Own Adventure” – Axelle Fanyo & Kunal Lahiry Let Audiences Curate Concert at London’s Barbican on 13 October

13 Oct 2023

ECHO Rising Stars soprano Axelle Fanyo and pianist Kunal Lahiry invite audiences at London’s Barbican Centre to a musical game of “Choose your own adventure”. Their 13 October concert gives the audience the opportunity to curate their perfect programme.

The Barbican writes:

“Hear one, choose one: Axelle Fanyo invites the audience to curate the perfect programme, from enchanting French music to American song cycles that set your imagination free. Composers from France and America go head-to-head to win the audience’s affections. The strength of the applause dictates what comes next – will it be music from 20th-century America by Aaron Copland, Edward MacDowell, Florence Price and William Bolcom, or a selection of delightful French songs by André Caplet, Maurice Ravel and Francis Poulenc?”

The programme will also feature a new ECHO commission from Greek composer Sofia Avramidou.

French soprano Axelle Fanyo is making her mark on both the opera world and in concert halls. With multiple accolades including the 2021 Nadia and Lili Boulanger Competition grand prize, prestigious Kaleidoscope prize and the Young Artist prize at the International French Song competition, Axelle is without a doubt an artist on the rise.

Recent and forthcoming highlights include the role of Refka in Saariaho’s Adriana Mater with San Francisco Symphony and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, directed by Peter Sellars; role debuts as Tosca and Luisa Miller; Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue with Orchestre de Paris; We are Eternal at Opéra de Massy; roles at Opéra de Dijon and Opéra de Caen; the French tour of Le Baron de Münchhausen with Le Concert Spirituel; and recitals at the Orangerie du Parc Bagatelle, Festival des Nuits Romantiques, Philharmonie de Paris, Opéra Comique, Paris Music Factory and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.

Indian-American pianist Kunal Lahiry is a current BBC New Generation Artist and recipient of the 2021 Carl Bechstein Foundation scholarship. Recent performance highlights include recitals at Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Pierre Boulez Saal, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Room, Musée d’Orsay, Ludwigsburg Festival, Life Victoria de Los Angeles Festival, and at the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute. He has been broadcasted on BBC Radio 3, Icelandic National Public Radio RÁS1, Austrian Radio Ö1, and RBB Kultur, and was featured on ARTE’s ‘Hope@Home’ and ‘Europe@Home’ series hosted by violinist Daniel Hope. This season includes appearances at Stoller Hall, Bristol St. George’s, Aldeburgh Festival, Opera Holland Park, Cheltenham Music Festival, Harpa Concert Hall, Schubertíada Comillas, Hugo Wolf Academy, Heidelberg Neulied Festival, Philharmonie de Paris.

Originally from Gainesville, Georgia, Kunal was a Schulich Scholar at McGill University and graduated with distinction in song interpretation from the Hochschule for Müsik Hanns Eisler. He is an Equilibrium Young Artist, Samling Artist, Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Artist, and Britten Pears Young Artist. Kunal is currently based in Berlin.

Photos: Axelle Fanyo – Benoit Auguste; Kunal Lahriy – Justin Bach