Barbican, London
Mark-Anthony Turnage has channelled his passion for the beautiful game into an electrifying musical tribute to accompany highlights from Arsenal’s 1989 title win over Liverpool

It’s not often you see the Barbican foyer full of people wearing football shirts and scarves, but then I’m pretty sure the BBC Symphony Orchestra has never been involved in a premiere quite like this one, either. Mark-Anthony Turnage has been an ardent Arsenal supporter for more than 30 years, and even lived for a while within a pitch’s length of the old Highbury stadium, but until now he had never composed a tribute to his favourite club. Up for Grabs, which was introduced by the BBCSO conducted by Ryan Bancroft in a thrilling premiere, celebrates one of the most famous moments in Arsenal’s history, the evening in 1989 when they won the First Division title on goal difference, beating their closest rivals Liverpool 2-0 with virtually the last kick of their game at Anfield.

Turnage insists that his score can be a free-standing 25-minute orchestral piece in its own right. But Up for Grabs was designed to be played alongside a specially edited film of highlights of the Anfield game, which was how it was performed at the Barbican, with the capacity audience cheering and applauding every twist and turn in the game as if they were reliving what happened 32 years ago. The atmosphere was electric. In a platform discussion after the premiere, chaired by Amy Lawrence with three members of that winning Arsenal team, Lee Dixon, Alan Smith and Nigel Winterburn, as well as their manager George Graham, Turnage revealed that he had never enjoyed composing anything as much as Up for Grabs.

Up for Grabs is available on BBC Sounds until 5 December.

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