© Photography by Jake Davis (instagram.com/jakephilipdavis)


Inside Beethoven at Printworks

Duh-duh duh-duh. 

Duh-duh DUH-DUH. 

That’s Beethoven’s 5th Symphony as played inside your head by three letters of the alphabet. But trust us when we say, the Aurora Orchestra do it much better.

And one that you’ll be able to hear at Printworks of all places this March. For Inside Beethoven, the British chamber orchestra will be performing the legendary composer’s masterpiece from memory without any printed sheets (kind of ironic, eh?), which – aside from requiring nerves of steel and being an incredible feat of focus – just makes the whole experience that much more exciting. And yes, that does sound practically impossible – but they’ve actually already done it with Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, playing to a sold-out crowd in 2021.

inside beethoven

The iconic South East London clubbing venue (once Western Europe’s largest printing press that printed national newspapers including the Evening Standard and The Daily Mail) is actually the perfect venue for this genre of music when you think about it. The audience gets closer to the players than they would at the city’s famous concert halls; the orchestra itself won’t be in a typical stage formation, rather spread out through the 500sq m main press hall in different positions (making the whole thing feel more immersive) annnd the sound will be helped along by ‘a three-dimensional ‘acoustic shell’ audio reinforcement provided by leading German specialists d&b audiotechnik’… which in very simple terms means Inside Beethoven is going to be quite epic.

You’ll be free to wend your own way through the venue, guided by light and sound installations as you get up close to different sections of the orchestra, who’ll be playing not just in different parts of the building, but different parts of the symphony, giving you the impression of walking through the anatomy of the composition itself. And it’s all been co-curated with artist-composer Nwando Ebizie, who’s created some brand new music to thread through the classic score.

Though the rumour mill had it that Printworks was supposed to be done for good at the end of the year after its winter schedule concludes, the venue’s organisers thankfully managed to extend its shelf life through to next summer. And so, on the final and possibly most important note: the actual date to mark in your diary is Thursday March 23rd. Do keep your eyes peeled for Printworks’ final season lineup as well.

In case you wanted to come bach…


NOTE: Inside Beethoven at Printworks is happening on Thursday 23 March 2023 . Tickets cost £29 and there’s two shows; the first at 6pm and the second at 9pm. You can purchase tickets here.

Printworks | Surrey Quays Rd, SE16 7PJ

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Inside Beethoven at Printworks

Surrey Quays Road, Rotherhithe, SE16 7PJ