Sandi Toksvig to present ‘1920s Paris, the Crazy Years’ with City of London Sinfonia at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

Posted on: February 18, 2020 in: Programmes>2019-20 Season>London Season, Comment & Media

Broadcaster Sandi Toksvig OBE will present the second concert in City of London Sinfonia’s (CLS) Worlds Colliding series at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Tuesday 28 April, telling original, whimsical interpretations of the stories that encapsulate the concert’s music and theme.

The Orchestra’s programme is dedicated to the ‘crazy years’ of 1920s Paris – a decade of music which combines the surreal, the bohemian and the bizarre – and features pianist David Greilsammer as soloist and director in Francis Poulenc’s C-sharp minor Concerto and other works including Maurice Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte.

Sandi’s monologues, written by sister Jenifer Toksvig, will include an original, satirical take on the story of Igor Stravinsky’s 1920 Ballet Russe, Pulcinella, as well as a comedic interpretation of Jean Cocteau’s surreal tale of Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel (‘The Wedding Party on the Eiffel Tower’) – a strange and nonsensical plot of a bizarre wedding on the Parisian landmark featuring guest-eating lions and magically appearing telegraph offices.

1920s Paris, the Crazy Years is the second concert in CLS’s Worlds Colliding concert series. The London series focuses on four evocative times in music – present-day New York, 1920s Paris, Baroque Vienna and Enlightenment Venice – at two of London’s most celebrated and culturally diverse arts venues. Further concerts include Radio Rewrite (16 March) at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, featuring contemporary classical music by Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Mica Levi, and I’m a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (20–23 May) at Wilton’s Music Hall, celebrating Mozart and Vivaldi as the rock ‘n’ roll stars of their day.

The Toksvig sisters join City of London Sinfonia’s incredible roster of creative artists this Spring. The Orchestra will also be joined by conductor and curator Robert Ames, director and pianist David Greilsammer (pictured), pianist and classical music specialist Robert Levin, and Norwegian violinist Terje Tønnesen.

Read/download the full press release (CLS website) >>

Worlds Colliding series

‘Worlds Colliding’ with City of London Sinfonia

Radio Rewrite: Greenwood Glass and Reich

  • Monday 16 March, 7.30pm
  • Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall
  • Artists include Robert Ames (director/conductor) and Bishi Bhattacharya (tanpura)
  • Repertoire includes Steve Reich Radio Rewrite, Philip Glass Echorus, Mica Levi Love, Bryce Dessner Rafael and Jonny Greenwood Water
  • Tickets available at and

1920s Paris, the Crazy Years: Pulcinella and Paris

  • Tuesday 28 April, 7.30pm
  • Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall
  • Artists include David Greilsammer (piano/conductor) and Sandi Toksvig (presenter)
  • Repertoire includes Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte, Milhaud Le bœuf sur le toit, Stravinsky Pulcinella Suite, ‘Les Six’ Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel (excerpts) and Poulenc Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor
  • Tickets available at and

I’m a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star

  • Wednesday 20-Saturday 23 May, 7.30pm, and Saturday 23 May, 2.30pm
  • Wilton’s Music Hall
  • Artists include Robert Levin (piano/director) and Terje Tønnesen (violin/director)
  • Repertoire includes Mozart piano concertos No.18 and No.19, Shostakovich Chamber Symphony Op.110a, Biber Battalia à 10 and Vivaldi The Four Seasons
  • Tickets available at and


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