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Celebrities gather in London for European première of ‘Seeing Sound, Hearing Krug’

On Wednesday evening this week, celebrities such as Janet Jackson, along with specialist and lifestyle press gathered in London’s Alexandra Palace for the European première of ‘Seeing Sound, Hearing Krug’.

Janet Jackson attends an orchestral performance of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Suite for Krug in 2008’ at Alexandra Palace on October 19, 2022 in London. Picture credit: Dave Benett / Getty Images for Krug Champagne

The event, which celebrated the composer Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Suite for Krug in 2008 – a three-part symphony inspired by a trio of Champagnes crafted around the 2008 vintage – represented the first time the movements were performed in Europe.

Gathering for the première were around 100 people, comprising a “maverick group of Krug lovers, musicians, and creators”, including Janet Jackson, Moses Boyd, Roísin Murphy, Katy England, and Bobby Gillespie, who joined Krug for a performance, tasting, and dinner.

The attendees were treated to a glass of the three Krug Champagnes crafted around the 2008 harvest – Krug Clos du Mesnil 2008, Krug 2008 and Krug Grande Cuvée 164 – each of which was paired to the live performance of a different movement, with each piece composed by Sakamoto to reflect the character of the different expressions.

The Suite for Krug in 2008 forms the foundation of Seeing Sound, Hearing Krug, which is “an immersive symphonic experience which reproduces the live-orchestra sound using 3D music technology and Devialet Phantom speakers” – and can be experienced in London on 23 November, with tickets priced at £295, coming soon to

This week’s performance took place in the restored Victorian theatre space within Alexandra Palace, which features modern lighting but original flooring and plasterwork, preserved in its damaged and decayed state after decades of abandonment. Such a setting, db was told, was in keeping with Krug’s theme of “rough luxury”, which involves contrasting elements featuring in design and architecture, as well as food and the Champagne itself, with its characters of richness and bitterness.

Speaking at the event this week, director of the Champagne house, Olivier Krug, described Seeing Sound, Hearing Krug as “a unique partnership between Krug and Ryuichi Sakamoto” that began over three years ago, surviving 18 months of zoom meetings during Covid, and myriad exchanges of “words, bottles and sensations”.

Olivier said that the 2008 harvest was an ideal base for such a project, because it was a “dream vintage, in which all the quality boxes were ticked,” adding that Krug cellar master Julie Cavil, on tasting the wines from this year “fell in love with the music of 2008, and gave it the nickname ‘classic beauty’.”

Not only did Oliver point out that music was “a wonderful analogy to express our craftsmanship,” but also expressed his desire to “invite musicians to listen to the Krug Champagnes.”

Sadly, Sakamoto could not be at the European premiere due to health issues, but sent a series of recorded messages that were aired ahead of the performances, which were played by 36 musicians, selected by the Japanese musician, pianist and composer, made famous by his Oscar-winning film score compositions, including The Revenant and The Last Emperor, as well as Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.

A similar event had previously been held at the Brooklyn Museum in the US on 20 September.

Krug director, Olivier Krug at the event on October 19 in London. Picture credit: Dave Benett / Getty Images for Krug Champagne

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