Music in the City

Ivan Sutton MBE   
  Ivan Sutton MBE

Inspired by the famous series of concerts given during World War II by Dame Myra Hess at the National Gallery and the Royal Exchange, City Music Society was founded in 1943 by the late Ivan Sutton and is one of the country's leading music societies. The Society presents around 20 concerts per year and has over 2200 lunchtime and early evening concerts to its credit. It completed its 70th-anniversary season in 20013-14.

In addition to featuring well-established musicians, it has always been the Society's policy to invite out-standing young professional artists who are at the beginning of their careers, many of whom have since attained international status. From January to March 2004 the Society presented a new series of lunchtime concerts running parallel with the series at Bishopsgate on Tuesdays. This Free Winter Series was renewed every year between 2005 and 2014, in collaboration with the City of London Corporation, the City of London Festival and the City of London Sinfonia. The twelfth Free Winter Series begins in January 2015. See Free Winter Series for details.

Members of the Society are more than just passive listeners. Over the years the Society has commissioned many new works - on average one every three years - from a wide and diverse range of British composers, including Roger Smalley, Nicholas Maw, Diana Burrell, Richard Rodney Bennett, Elizabeth Maconchy, Phyllis Tate, Robin Holloway, John McCabe, Geoffrey Burgon, Peter-Paul Nash, Kevin Volans and Michael Berkeley.

Spring 2015 sees a further evening concert organized by City Music Society in collaboration with Bishopsgate Foundation who are now the sole promoters. Details of the 11th March concert are given in the CMS and Bishopsgate brochures. Membership of the Society will continue to provide you with ticket price concessions for the new series of evening concerts. See Early Evening Concerts for details. Patrons can now book online, by telephone and in person. The Young Artists Series of lunchtime concerts continue in Bishopsgate Institute Great Hall alongside the Free Winter Series Concerts. See Lunchtime Concerts for details.

For details of membership of the Society please see Membership Details.

You can now follow City Music Society events on Facebook. Why not sign up?

The City Music Society's Sponsors and supporters are:

  • The Bishopsgate Foundation
  • Allen & Overy LLP
  • Clifford Chance LLP
  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • The Mercers' Company
  • The Tallow Chandlers' Company

    The Free Winter Series is funded and promoted by:

  • The Corporation of the City of London

    Individual concerts are supported by:

  • The Eric Falk Trust
  • The Royal Philharmonic Society
  • The Worshipful Company of Musicians

The Society depends on sponsorship and donations. To discuss how you and your company can support the Society's work, please contact us on 07740 214 248.

Individuals can now join our Friends Scheme - see membership form.

You can write to the Society at


Latest update: 7 January 2015

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