Brian Eno Embarks On First Ever European Solo Tour

Brian Eno. (Picture by Cecily Eno)

Brian Eno will perform seven live shows in five beautiful venues across Europe in October, starting Oct. 21 at Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Italy, during the Venice Biennale Musica.

The annual music festival dedicated to contemporary music will visit the scenic Italian city of Venice Oct. 16-29, and Eno will perform twice on the 21st, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The tour probably wouldn’t have happened without the Biennale Foundation, which commissioned Eno to make the album Ships, an orchestral adaptation of his acclaimed 2016 album The Ship, featuring new and classic Eno compositions, according to a press release.

He will be performing together with Baltic Sea Philharmonic, orchestrated and conducted by Kristjan Järvi, and featuring cameo appearance from actor Peter Serafinowicz, and support from long-time collaborators: guitarist Leo Abrahams, and programmer/keyboarder Peter Chilvers.

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Bestival Festival 2006
A rare picture from a rare Brian Eno live performance, this one taken at Bestival 2006, in Newport, Isle of Wight, where he performed with the the late Rachid Taha and his Band. (Photo by John Horsley/Avalon/Getty Images)

The tour marks Brian Eno’s first live tour in a five-decade spanning solo career, as well as his first appearance with orchestra. He’s only ever played a handful of solo shows, most recently in 2021 at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, together with his brother Roger Eno.

The other tour stops are the Philharmonie Berlin concert hall in Germany (Oct. 24), La Seine Musicale in Paris, France (Oct. 26), the TivoliVredenburg contemporary music complex in Utrecht, Netherlands (Oct. 28), and the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank (Oct. 30), where Eno will also perform twice, at 6.30 p.m. and 9 p.m. (All dates below).

Said Brian Eno about Ships: “The album The Ship is an unusual piece in that it uses voice but doesn’t particularly rely on the song form. It’s an atmosphere with occasional characters drifting through it, characters lost in the vague space made by the music. There’s a sense of wartime in the background, and a sense of inevitability. There is also a sense of scale which suits an orchestra, and a sense of many people working together.

“I wanted an orchestra which played music the way I would like to play music: from the heart rather than just from the score. I wanted the players to be young and fresh and enthusiastic. When I first saw the Baltic Sea Philharmonic I found all that…and then noticed they were named after a sea. That sealed it!”

The performances coincide with his attendance at the 2023 Biennale Musica in Venice, where he will be honoured with the Golden Lion lifetime achievement award.

Brian Eno – “Ships” European Tour

Oct. 21 – Teatro la Fenice – Venice, Italy (3 p.m.)
Oct. 21 – Teatro la Fenice – Venice, Italy (8 p.m.)
Oct. 24 – Philharmonie Berlin – Berlin, Germany
Oct. 26 – La Seine Musicale – Paris, France
Oct. 28 – TivoliVredenburg – Utrecht, Netherlands
Oct. 30 – Royal Festival Hall, Southbank – London, England (6.30 p.m.) & 9pm)
Oct. 30 – Royal Festival Hall, Southbank – London, England (9 p.m.)

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