Two years in the making, Requiem 2020 will receive its world premiere in Portsmouth Cathedral on Saturday 21 May 2022. Following the traditional form of a Requiem Mass, a format that honours the dead and remembers those left behind, the hour-long work explores the prominent themes of 2020.

The different movements are all based on a theme from the year: Dies Irae (Climate Change) is set to the words of Greta Thunberg; Tuba Mirum (Covid-19) follows a morse cypher to the pattern of ‘Covid-19’, dedicated to those who have lost their lives during the pandemic; and a Lacrimosa (Animal Rights) is set to a quotation by Joaquin Phoenix. The Pie Jesu is dedicated to the memory of George Floyd, and the movement of 8 minutes and 46 seconds features quotations from Martin Luther King Jr.

Teresa Barlow, Composer of Requiem 2020, said

“The concept of Requiem 2020 came to me during the first lockdown, in March 2020, when it felt as though the world had slowed down: I noticed a strength of community and a united front I hadn’t seen before. As I revisit the work, I increasingly feel that it continues to be relatable in many different ways— ultimately, this piece is about hope and unity, and I hope that listeners will experience this too.”

BSO Voices released a single movement of the new work last year, Terra Eleison. This piece pays homage to the natural world and was shared on Earth Day 2021, ahead of the full Requiem this spring. Read more in our blog here.

BSO Voices is our vibrant Southampton-based community choir and is a part of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) family. Established in 2015 thanks to a generous gift from David and Jill Peters, the group of over 140 singers rehearses weekly in Southampton, giving at least three performances each year with the professional orchestra.

Come along to see Requiem 2020  performed at Portsmouth Cathedral on Saturday 21 May, at 7.30pm. The concert will also be available to livestream. Tickets from £7.50. 

Here’s a the video of Terra Eleison to give you a taster!