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 2013-14.

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 2004 and 2016, in collaboration with the City of London Corporation, the City of London Festival and the City of London Sinfonia.

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.

City Music Society is continuing to present its lunchtime concert series in the beautiful surroundings of St Bartholomew the Great in Smithfield. See Lunchtime Concerts for details.

The Society is immensely grateful to The Musicians' Company for its support of the Autumn Concert Series which also features some of The Musicians' Company's outstanding award winners

The church of St Bartholomew the Great is situated in West Smithfield between St Bartholomew's Hospital and Smithfield Market. It is best approached via West Smithfield via the Tudor gateway but access is also possible via the gate in Cloth Fair. The nearest stations are Barbican, Farringdon, St Paul's and Holborn Viaduct.

The Spring Series of concerts is presented in association with St Bartholomew the Great (by kind permission of the Rector and the Churchwardens).

NOTE! Two special occasions!

On 22nd February we present a concert in association with the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia to celebrate the Republic's 99th anniversary (see Lunchtime Concerts).

As a special offer to CMS members our collaboration with The Brandenburg Choral Festival of London continues on 22nd March (see Evening Concerts ).


City Music Society is delighted to announce a collaboration with the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London.

The Brandenburg Choral Festival presents outstanding concerts, mostly but not exclusively of choral music, in iconic venues across London. (For full details of their Autumn series see

City Music Society members are offered a concessionary ticket price for the event listed below. The Premium package ticket comprises a reserved seat and a free copy of the programme. Pre-concert and interval drinks in The Cloister Café are available at an extra cost. Please note the booking arrangements. For full details, see Evening Concerts.

Plans are in train for a special CMS Members' Evening in the autumn of 2017. The date set aside for this is Tuesday 17th October 2017 in St Bartholomew the Great. It will begin at 6.45pm and will consist of a one-hour concert and a (free to members) 'Meet the Artists' reception with wine and nibbles. This event will be confirmed with more details in July 2017.

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

You can help City Music Society in its mission to support young musicians at the start of their careers. Join us as a Member (£15 per annum), Joint Members (£20pa), Friend (£25pa), Patron (£100pa) or Benefactor (£250pa).

Every year we give outstanding soloists, ensembles and groups from the major conservatoires vital opportunities to develop their performance experience in a first-class venue.

Membership also grants discounts on CMS evening concert ticket prices.

For our Membership form, please visit the Membership Details page of the CMS website.

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

The City Music Society's Sponsors and supporters are:
• The Musicians' Company
• Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
• The Mercers' Company
• The Tallow Chandlers' Company

Individual concerts are supported by:
• The Eric Falk Trust
• The Royal Philharmonic Society

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: 30 December 2016

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