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Your Guide to St John’s, Smith Square Concerts This Autumn

11 September 2019 | London Calling

Ever since its restoration in 1969 as a concert hall, St John’s Smith Square has been a musical landmark in the heart of Westminster. Thanks to its beautiful architecture and acoustics, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a concert from leading international artists. The autumn 2019 programme is here, and though we could recommend you attend everything, here are a list of highlights sure to be music to your ears.

For something of a patriotic atmosphere, try Gabriele’s performance of King Arthur, the 17th century opera by Henry Purcell on the evening of 30 October. Re-jigged for a new performance by Chrisopher Suckling, the opera tells the story of the ancient battles against the invading Saxons by King Arthur and his army. Lyrical, vivid and mystical, the opera will be performed by an impressive cast of singers and conducted by Paul McCreesh – this is not one to miss.
 
Eric Whitacre fans will be pleased to hear that the Grammy-winning composer and conductor will be bringing his very own choir, the Eric Whitacre Singers, to St John’s Smith Square for the European premiere of his new piece The Sacred Veil on the 25 and 26 October. The 12-movement work, written alongside Charles Anthony Silvestri, tells a story of love and loss and all the soul-searching that comes with it – sure to be an emotional evening.
 
Aretha Franklin was undoubtedly one of the greatest musical talents of our generation, and this celebration of her music is not to be missed. Hear such legendary tunes as Amazing Grace, Say A Little Prayer, Natural Woman, Spirit In The Dark, Respect and many more sung by the sensational Nicole Henry, accompanied by virtuoso guitarist Nick Finch and his 6-piece band.
 
Make 21 October the night you celebrate the internationally celebrated Scottish Ensemble string ochestra’s 50th anniversary with them. This collaboration between the orchestra and harpsichordist Jonathan Cohen makes for a lively and diverse concert alternating between concerti grossi and violin sonatas by a host of composers from Vivaldi to Corelli. 
 
Lastly, if you’re stuck for time to attend concerts in the evening, or you simply like your lunch break with a side of classical excellence, you’ll be pleased with the 2019/20 London Mozart Players’ Piano Explored lunchtime series with conductor laureate Howard Shelley. Continuing from 2 October with Mozart’s C major piano concerto, the sixth season of the series always include a rather perceptive talk on the piece by Howard Shelley, followed of course by a full performance.
 
Take a look at the St John’s website for more information on this autumn’s concerts.
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