The fourth SUMMER MUSIC IN CITY CHURCHES festival takes place 14th - 24th June 2022 on the theme ENGLISH RHAPSODY: a festival of evocative and glorious music marking the 150th anniversary of Vaughan Williams and the platinum jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
A fledgling festival founded in 2018, SUMMER MUSIC IN CITY CHURCHES presents beautiful music to engage, divert and inspire, in ancient and architecturally stunning churches in London's Square Mile: oases of history, beauty and peace in the midst of 21st century City life. Following the pandemic, the festival ran against the odds in 2021, presenting intimate and uplifting concerts to socially distanced audiences, whose reactions more than justified the complications of going ahead.
This year's fabulous artists include the English Chamber Orchestra, clarinettist Emma Johnson, principals of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of London Choir under conductor Hilary Davan Wetton, pianist Mark Bebbington, mezzo soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons, vocalists Michael Dore and Jacqueline Barron, the Academy of St Mary-le-Bow, string quartet Brother Tree Sound, pianist Thomas Kelly, and this year's most talented graduates from the Yehudi Menuhin School - all performing in the historic churches of London's Square Mile.
Box office receipts can never cover the costs of staging these concerts and the festival is therefore dependent on the generosity of sponsors and donors. The organisers are determined to keep the festival viable for future years and are therefore appealing for donations. We have received generous offers of matched funding and therefore will be able to double whatever we can raise by crowd-funding. All contributions, however modest, help us maximise those pledges and are very gratefully received.
What the audience said about some of our concerts in 2021:
“Deep respect to the organisers of this festival for forging ahead with their plans against the odds. This was a superb evening of lush English string music from the brilliant London Mozart Players..."
“It was incredibly moving to hear a live orchestra again. I realised that without knowing it I had survived lockdown by shutting down some of my feelings. The acoustic of the church is magnificent and the strings sounded glorious... With live music we become human again.”
“What a joyful way to resume live performance! ... Given the restricted numbers, seating was beautifully arranged to give excellent sightlines, too and it was a privilege to be in the audience. This was a wonderful start to the Summer Music in City Churches series."
“My summer definitely kicked off yesterday in the most glorious style... I feel blessed to have the opportunity to experience an excellent standard of music in glorious surroundings."
"The most intimate and moving portrait of an extraordinary life and an extraordinary time, beautifully executed by both artists. Exquisite piece selection, all deeply relevant to the story. Inspiring and uplifting."
“A beautiful and life affirming concert in a wonderful historic church. The highlight was undoubtedly the performance of Vaughan Williams’ song cycle On Wenlock Edge, which was accompanied by an exquisite shadow puppet animation. So moving and emotional. Balanced with some more light hearted chansons of love and parties, it made a perfect evening out.”
“What a lifting of the spirits to hear beautiful songs, performed live by two such talented singers with a wonderful pianist. And the music - Gershwin, Kerr, Berlin, Rogers and Hart, what more could you ask for? Well, being in the beautiful St Giles Cripplegate, fantastic acoustics, a very warm welcome and despite the masks and social distancing it was a hugely enjoyable evening.”
“I don’t think brass and organ playing can get any better than this! "
“This was a wonderful concert and a real privilege to be in the audience and hear such top-class musicians performing. I really didn't want the evening to end."