Wednesday 26 March 2014

Summer celebrations at St John's Smith Square

St John's Smith Square in the 18th century
This year is St John's Smith Square's 300th Anniversary and they are celebrating in fine fashion. The new season starts with a bang with the London International A Cappella Choir Competition, with 12 choirs competing and a jury chaired by Peter Phillips of the Tallis Scholars (22-26/4). Tallis Scholars will also be giving a concert to launch the competition (21/4). Other tempting events include appearances from the Joyful Company of Singers, as well as the launch of a Handel oratorio series. The Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music celebrates the year 1714, whilst Richard Strauss's 150th birthday is celebrated.  Other visitors include sopranos Ruby Hughes, Danielle de Niese and Joan Rogers all in recital.

Worcester College, Oxford is celebrating its Tercentenary with a concert featuring the chapel choir and Charivari Agreable conducted by Nicholas Cleobury and Nicholas Freestone in a programme which combines a new work by Deborah Pritchard, Robert Saxton's At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners with music by Handel and Haydn. (2/5). The Joyful Company of Singers gala concert, conducted by Peter Broadbent, includes Richard Strauss's outrageous Deutsche Motette plus music by Schoenberg, Brahms, Judith Bingham and Alexander Campkin (10/6). The Holst Singers and the Brook Street Band, conductor Stephen Layton, perform Handel's Israel in Egypt and the concert marks a new initiative to present all of Handel's oratorios at St John's over a seven year period. Baritone Maciek O'Shea joins the Orchestra Vitae for a performance of John Adams' The Wound Dresser plus RVW 4 (1/5)

French soprano Sandrine Piau joins the American ensemble Apollo's Fire, director Jeannette Sorrell,  for a programme of Vivaldi, Rameau and Handel (8/5). Ian Page and Classical Opera are joined by Louise Alder, Eleanor Dennis, Stuart Jackson and David Shipley for a programme of Mozart opera arias (4/6)

More intriguing perhaps is a joint concert from the Morley Accordion Orchestra and the Nuremberg Accordian Orchestra (8/6).

Song recitals include Ruby Hughes and James Cheung along with viola player Lawrence Power in Brahms, Bridge, Strauss, Schubert and Mozart (30/4), whilst Joan Rogers and James Cheung perform Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Canteloube, Schubert and Strauss (30/6). Danielle de Niese and Cameron Stowe give a recital on 24 June.

Artur Pizzaro's complete Rachmaninov cycle continues (6/5). And there is an extraordinary weekend, Occupy the Pianos curated by Rolf Hind celebrating piano playing in all its myriad forms (30/5 - 1/6)

The Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music runs from 16 to 24 May, with a variety of wonderful events centred on the year 1714. And the London International Players celebrate Richard Strauss's 150th birthday with a trio of concerts featuring Strauss's chamber works alongside those of his contemporaries. (11/6, 27/6, 8/7)

Further information from St John's Smith Square website.

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