GHOST IN THE MACHINE
A Candlelit Theremin Concert with Lydia Kavina and pianist Thomas Ang
Saturday 13th October 2018 from 7:30 pm

No other instrument has as much right to be called ethereal as the theremin. Not only is its tone eerie and otherworldly but its notes are literally plucked out of the ether by the player’s hands in a series of passes and gestures more reminiscent of a shaman than a musician.

The instrument was first demonstrated to the public in 1920 by its Russian inventor Léon Theremin. By 1928 he was playing it on stage with the New York Philharmonic. He went on to use his knowledge of electronics and acoustics to devise a number of listening devices successfully used by the KGB.

The theremin enjoyed its heyday in the 1930s and 40s where virtuosos such as Clara Rockmore, and Lucie Bigelow Rosen toured the concert halls and a whole theremin orchestra once graced the stage of Carnegie Hall. 

Its sound quickly became shorthand for the supernatural and sinister and was much in demand in the movie industry, being used in the soundtracks for films such as Spellbound and The Day the Earth Stood Still. Robert Moog started his career building theremins in the 1950s and it inspired him to create the first synthesiser. 

Tickets £15 including a Hendrick's Gin cocktail. Please click here to buy.


Lydia Kavina

Lydia Kavina was born in Moscow and began studying the theremin at the age of 9 under the direction of  Léon Theremin himself, who was first cousin of her grandfather. She is one of the world’s leading theremin virtuosos and has helped engender the instrument’s renaissance over recent years. She has worked with composers such as Danny Elfman and Howard Shore. As well as championing new and traditional repertoire she also composes for her instrument, most notably in her Concerto for Theremin and Orchestra, first performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra, under Gil Rose, in 1997


Thomas Ang
Thomas Ang is currently on a Masters of Music year at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Hamish Milne. He has won prizes for his performances of Beethoven, Delius, Bliss and the contemporary piano repertoire. He also accompanies and improvises for silent film and writes poetry and piano transcriptions of songs and symphonies.

The Venue - Brompton Cemetery