Ladies and gentlemen, let’s Baroque! Starting today, the 2023 London Festival of Baroque Music (LFBM) is bringing 10 days of cabaret, intimate solo performances and concerts to the capital.
This year’s festival title is Kaleidoscope and it aims to explore the Baroque in all shapes, colours and sizes with artistic talent from Spain, France and the UK. Rather aptly, all takes place in the beautiful Baroque setting of St John’s Smith Square.
The Festival kicks off with La Grande Chapelle, a performance taking place in the round. This vocal and instrumental group focus on European Early music. Their main objective is to revive the great Spanish vocal works of the 16th to 18th centuries, so this is certain to be something a bit different.
On Sunday, guitar specialist José Miguel Moreno is presenting a programme of pieces from the 16th century played on Vihuela and Baroque Guitar. And later in the festival calendar, L’Apotheose gives a glimpse of both the sacred and secular music that filled the salons and ballrooms of Madrid´s Royal Court between 1720 and 1750. Raquel Andueza and La Galanía spotlight several reconstructions of lost or forgotten typical Spanish dances and their melodies. So, whether you fancy yourself as king or queen of the ye olde dancefloor or not, these performances should be interesting and inspiring.
Get immersed in music
French-British ensemble Le Concert De L’Hostel Dieu characterise themselves as half baroque, half contemporary. So, their concert fuses Baroque and Contemporary sounds to showcase the freedom of Baroque music and the rich sounds of its instruments. Meanwhile the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is taking audiences on a musical journey through the shapes, colours, and timbres of favourite Baroque composers.
Exclusively for the festival, St Johns Smith Square is also hosting a Baroque Cabaret. It’s an opportunity to hear Southbank Sinfonia chamber groups, coached by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, in a cabaret setting. Plus, there’ll be cheese and wine served at your table, so what’s not to like?
The festival ends with a series of Meet the Harpsichord sessions lead by English conductor and historical keyboard specialist, Steven Devine. This gives you the chance to have a go at playing the harpsichord and a range of historical keyboards. So, why not immerse yourself in new and familiar Baroque music this May?
When: 12th – 20th May 2023
Where: St John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA
£: Tickets cost from £10. Young Friends tickets available for £5