Awaken the Sleeper – American music for our time


Contemporary. Urgent. Heartfelt

Sun 6 Nov 2022 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Barbican Hall, London

Carlos Simon Portrait of a Queen
Wynton Marsalis Tuba Concerto (UK premiere)
Joel Thompson To Awaken the Sleeper

André J Thomas conductor
Ben Thomson tuba
London Symphony Orchestra

Tickets: £65 £49 £35 £24 £18

£3 online booking fee, £4 telephone booking fee per transaction - click here for more information on booking fees


£10/£15 Wildcard tickets
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Young people
£5 for under-18s
Young Barbican 14–25
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Barbican Access members
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On sale dates

Priority Booking 
From Thursday 31 March 10am: LSO Patrons, LSO Pioneers & LSO Ambassador Friends
From Monday 4 April 10am: all LSO Friends (Ambassador, Benefactor, Associate & Supporter levels), Groups

Public Booking
From Friday 8 April 10am


Please note that finish times are approximate and subject to change.

André J Thomas delivers a despatch from the front line of Black classical music in the US – including Wynton Marsalis’ dramatic new Tuba Concerto.

One woman crosses centuries: a musical story of injustice, courage and enduring strength. A narrator and an orchestra lead a meditation, based on the words of James Baldwin, on the world as it is – and as it could be. And a jazz icon takes the lowest instrument in the orchestra – the tuba – and makes it a star. This is music that speaks straight to the heart about the stories that matter right now.

André J Thomas is one of the most inspiring forces in modern American music: a composer, a conductor and a world expert on the Gospel tradition. His energy and commitment make him a perfect partner for the LSO’s Principal Tuba Ben Thomson in Wynton Marsalis’ new Tuba Concerto.

‘We are living in a world in which everybody and everything is interdependent ... The future of this world depends on everyone in this room.’~
James Baldwin (from To Awaken the Sleeper)

Your Visit

Standard seating is being used for this concert. We encourage audience members to bring and wear a face covering, unless you are exempt.


The Barbican Centre is fully accessible. Please visit this page for full details or contact us at [email protected] at any point ahead of your visit to let us know how we can support you.


Recorded for broadcast on Marquee TV

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Main image © Doug Peters