Entries in Spitalfields Music (6)


Programme announced for Spitalfields Music Summer Festival 2013 - 7-22 June

Public Booking opens Monday 4 February 2013

Box Office: 020 7377 1362



Spitalfields Music Summer Festival returns in June 2013 with two weeks of invigorating music to surprise, delight and intrigue both the die-hard music lover, and those with a thirst to try music for the first time.

Two Associate Artists – Early Opera Company and Scanner (aka Robin Rimbaud) - set the scene for a festival that gives a fresh take on music, old and new. Events take place in some of East London’s most evocative venues, from little known architectural gems and gritty underground East End locations to the grandeur of Hawksmoor’s masterpiece, Christ Church Spitalfields.

Led by international opera conductor Christian Curnyn, Early Opera Company concerts take in the splendour of Handel’s Susanna in Christ Church Spitalfields, and celebrate two of the most important arrivals in Germany during the 17th century – Johann Sebastian Bach and coffee – with Sunday afternoon performances of Bach’s Coffee Cantata (with coffee courtesy of the Whitechapel Coffee Company). Early Opera Company’s Spitalfields programme continues with a collaboration with East London Dance and choreographer Tony Adigun featuring new contemporary dance inspired by Monteverdi, including the baroque master’s heartstopping contemplation on aggression, love and redemption – Il combatimmento di Trancredi e Clorinda. Early Opera Company also offers an energetic first taste of early music to babies, with a programme of Monteverdi melodies and balletic moves for the 0-2s. The production follows in the footsteps of Spitalfields Music’s pioneering version of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen for 0-2s, which sold out at both Spitalfields Music’s Festivals in 2012 and on tour in East London.

The music of the early renaissance composer John Dowland provides the thread through events curated by Scanner. He invites a range of leading contemporary artists to respond to Dowland’s works: Bobby Krlic, the multi-instrumentalist behind The Haxan Cloak premieres a new work for cello, guitar and treated percussion inspired by Dowland’s Lachrimae; Elizabeth Walling of Gazelle Twin, offers her own reflections on the composer’s Flow my tears in a site specific promenade event in venues in and around Brick Lane. Scanner himself takes up the mantle performing his interpretation of Lachrimae, and a one-off installation: an audiovisual computer junk orchestra.

Other Spitalfields Music Summer Festival highlights include:

Early Music

An international line up of early music ensembles features the debut of La Morra with a tribute to one of the most intriguing figures of the late medieval period, the composer Johannes Cicconia; Arte de Suonatori with soprano Ruby Hughes in an all Handel programme; The Cardinall’s Musick in a programme of 16th century Spanish music. Two Former Summer Festival Associate Artists return to Spitalfields in 2013: The Sixteen and Harry Christophers celebrate renaissance composers of the Franco-Flemish school and The English Concert returns with La Follia, featuring music by Scarlatti, Handel and Corelli. The Choir of Clare College, directed by Graham Ross, is joined by the Royal Academy of Music Brass Ensemble to present a Portrait of Venice, featuring music by Schütz, Purcell and new works by Elgar Howarth and Royal Academy student Carter Callison. The Orlando Consort takes a culinary and musical journey venturing from medieval France to Italy via Burgundy and England – the ‘food capital’ of 13th and 14th centuries.  The Consort offers a musical hors d’ouevre with an early evening concert at Christ Church Spitalfields, and continues the menu of music and food at The English Restaurant.

Music theatre

Staged work includes London Sinfonietta’s At the World’s Edge, a recasting of Greek myths with new music by Elspeth Brooks and puppetry by Seonaid Goody, directed by Anna Jones. Dialogues from Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient, Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley and Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain (all of which became cinematic successes for the late Anthony Minghella) provide the starting point for REPLICA, composer Edward Jessen’s sumptuous experimental music-theatre work for recorder quintet Consortium5 and solo voices. Featuring delicate, transcendent moments which expose the frailty and resilience of human nature, REPLICA unfurls in a stunning aural and visual realisation.

New commissions, premieres and contemporary works

Contemporary music features strongly throughout the Festival, with new works and compositions from the recent past. Premiere performances of works by David Matthews (in celebration of pianist William Howard’s 60th birthday), Nicola LeFanu for rarescale and flautist Carla Rees (who received both professional and press support following the loss of her instruments during the 2011 London riots) and Cheryl Frances-Hoad (a new work for David Cohen and Rambert Orchestra, performed alongside pieces by Rambert Music Fellows Mark Bowden and Gavin Higgins). Composer Emily Hall and lyricist Toby Litt’s new collection of classical and folk inspired songs, Rest, is showcased by Lady Maisery. Birmingham Contemporary Music Group pays tribute to Benjamin Britten, placing his music alongside pieces by Berg, Copland, Henze and Oliver Knussen. For younger ears, City of London Sinfonia and celebrated children’s author Michael Rosen present The Great Enormo, a Kerfuffle in B flat for orchestra and wasps.


The Festival features a number of one-off musical collaborations: Living Room in London, featuring Björk’s percussionist, Manu Delago, and string musicians from the Solstice Quartet and the London Symphony Orchestra, play a series of one-off pieces, including new work by young British composer Charlie Piper. Percussionist Joby Burgess’ Powerplant, featuring cinematic sound designer Matthew Fairclough and visual artist Kathy Hinde, perform their recent collaboration with Gabriel Prokofiev at the Bishopsgate Institute. In Open Souls, Ranjana Ghatak joins forces with Seb Rochford and beatboxer Jason Singh to explore the relationships between their different musical influences, from Indian classical compositions to elements of jazz.  The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain with Theatre of the Ayre honour folk legend Robert Johnson and his work. Young and old participants from across Tower Hamlets work with Magic Me using the aboriginal practice of songlines to create an intergenerational journey through the borough in music.

Young Talent

The cream of a new generation of musical talent features throughout the festival.  Songsmiths brings together rising vocal stars to perform an intimate recital: Mary Bevan (soprano); Anna Huntley (mezzo-soprano); Nicky Spence (tenor); Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) are joined by pianist Audrey Hyland in works by Judith Weir, James MacMIllan and Purcell. A series of instrumental recitals in one of London’s hidden architectural gems, the exquisite Hoxton Hall, features guitarist Morgan Szymanski, composer and clarinettist Mark Simpson and Charlotte Barbour-Condini, the first recorder player to reach the overall final of the BBC Young Musician. Phoenix School Stompers, featuring students with special educational needs – a longstanding musical partner of Spitalfields Music – and Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service Big Band and Youth Orchestra raise the roof in a showcase of East London’s innovative Music Hub and young East End musical talent.

Free for all…

Spitalfields Music’s free lunchtime concerts in Bishops Square have a folk flavour for 2013, with musicians ranging from well-known folk artists taking to the streets and, in the second week of the festival, Folk in a Box, a unique one-on-one concert venue in the shape of a wooden box. At Boxpark Shoreditch, award-winning Elastic Theatre, in collaboration with Savage Mills, presents JULIUS, a coming of age story of intrusive thoughts and compulsive rituals. Part of an international tour, this is the UK premiere of the completed work (original concept and artistic direction by Jacek Ludwig Scarso), featuring multi-screen film fusing dance, theatre and opera, set to a new score by Ivan Hussey.