Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Back in business: St John's Smith Square announces a season of live concerts and digital events

St John's Smith Square
St John's Smith Square

Having successfully piloted concerts with live audiences in July, St John's Smith Square has announced a season of live concerts commencing in October and stretching all the way to the venue's 35th Christmas Festival. The concerts for October have already been announced and start on 1 October 2020 with a lunchtime concert, Foi d'animal from soprano Sian Dicker and pianist Krystal Tunnicliffe, organised in conjunction with the Oxford Lieder Festival. Concerts for November and December will be announced on 5 October 2020, with the Christmas Festival running from 8 to 23 December. Alongside the live concerts is a programme of digital events.

Other lunchtime concerts in October include Anneke Scott (horn) and the Consone Quartet in the intriguingly titled Mozart's Stolen Beauties with music by Michael Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart, baritone Roderick Williams, pianist Mark Bebbington with members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jan Latham Koenig in Poulenc's Aubade and Le bal masque,  The Gesualdo Six in Tallis and White juxtaposed with Roxanna Panufnik, Judith Bingham and Alec Roth, the Minerva Piano Trio in Schubert and Ravel, and the Early Music group Improviso as part of SJSS Young Artist Series. There will also be a chance to hear the SJSS organ in recital with Peter Holder.

There are also afternoon concerts, including bass James Platt and pianist Michael Pugh in Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death and Brahms' Four Serious Songs, Chineke Chamber Ensemble, the Revolutionary Drawing Room in Beethoven's Late Quartets (including the Grosse Fugue) spread over four concerts. 

Evening concerts include Rolf Hind's festival Occupy the Pianos returns, pianist Joseph Havlat in Suk and Dvorak as part of SJSS Young Artist Series, James Blair conducting the Young Musician's Symphony Orchestra, a repeat of the Gesualdo Six's lunchtime concert, a further appearance from Chineke Chamber Ensemble in Samuel Taylor Coleridge and RVW, and Kristian Bezuidenhout conducting the English Concert in a programme of Purcell odes.

Many of the concerts will also be available on line, and Improvisio will also be giving an online workshop, whilst soprano Lotte Betts Dean and pianist Joseph Havlat will be giving an exclusive online performance of Messiaen's Hawari

The hall will be operating at significant reduced capacity (20% of peak capacity) with a one-way system in operation and many other measures. 

Full details from the SJSS website.

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