Lunchtime Concerts
Thursdays at 1.05 pm at St Bartholomew the Great,
West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE

Admission to all lunchtime concerts is Free.

The City Music Society Young Artists Series celebrates the amazing talent of musicians performing and studying in the UK.

Many of our artists are major prize winners, emerging from the UK's leading conservatoires, while some of the concerts mark the role of The Worshipful Company of Musicians in supporting and encouraging outstanding young musicians as they begin their careers.

One of the UK's musical strengths in the past thirty years has been its contribution to the development of historically informed performance, the recreation, as far as it is possible, of the performance practice of previous centuries. Each year for City Music Society, young exponents of this approach come together to perform some of the works of the giants of the past in a way those composers would have recognised. Our annual celebration of J S Bach is one such manifestation (26th September), complete this year with Baroque trumpets and kettledrums, but to this we add a truly outstanding Handel singer (17th October) and a string quartet that plays with the appropriate bows and strings for music by Haydn and Mendelssohn (24th October). Why not venture into the past with these extraordinary musicians?

Seats cannot be guaranteed after 1.00pm.

Limited standing is permitted at the discretion of the Society.

Latecomers are only admitted during a suitable pause in the programme.

All programmes are subject to change at short notice.

The City Music Society reserves the right to refuse admission.

Please note that City Music Society concerts are not suitable for children under the age of 8 and the Society reserves the right to refuse entry to children under that age.


26th September 2019

Adrian Butterfield director/violin
Charlotte Bowden soprano
Annabel Kennedy alto
Andrew Brown tenor
Hugo Herman-Wilson bass

J S Bach Cantata: Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben BWV 77
J S Bach Cantata: Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren BWV 137
J S Bach Cantata: Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm BWV 171
Three outstandingly joyous cantatas grace our annual celebration of J S Bach's genius. Performed in his first year as Cantor of St Thomas's in Leipzig, BWV 77 dwells on the parable of the Good Samaritan. BWV 137, like BWV 77, was created for one of the Sundays after Trinity and, with its three trumpets and timpani, marked with appropriate pomp the inauguration of the town council. In contrast, BWV 171 was intended for performance on New Year's Day 1729, celebrating the naming of Jesus eight days after his birth. A consort of baroque specialists from the leading London conservatoires is joined by four outstanding young soloists from the Royal College of Music and is led by Adrian Butterfield, one of the UK's leading baroque violinists and director of the Tilford Bach Society.
Supported by the Worshipful Company of Musicians
3rd October 2019

Jesse Flowers guitar
Lotte Betts-Dean mezzo-soprano
Andrey Lebedev guitar

Photo: Masahiro Nishio

Stephen Goss

Phillip Houghton Stele

John Dowland

Three Short Pieces
John Dowland Five Songs

Nick Drake

Five Songs
Winners of The Musicians' Company New Elizabethan Award 2018

The New Elizabethan Award celebrates the rare artistic achievement in solo and ensemble repertoire of composers for lute and guitar during the two golden ages of Elizabethan music. By coincidence all boasting Australian roots, the three winners of the inaugural award explore the riches of the late 16th century from the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth alongside remarkable music by composers living under the current Queen, displaying by turn truly dramatic, meditative and lyrical music for guitar and voice.

10th October 2019

Andrei Iliushkin piano

J S Bach Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue BWV 903


Sonata in D Op. 10, No. 3
Janácek Piano Sonata 1.X.1905

Andrei Iliushkin received his first concerto engagement at the age of ten and since then has performed as a soloist in concert halls throughout Europe. After completing his studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire he received a scholarship to study for a Master of Arts at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Following his Wigmore Hall debut in October 2015, Andrei has won several prizes including the Musicians' Company's Beethoven Medal and in 2018 he was awarded the Company's Carnwath Piano Scholarship.

17th October 2019

Eszter Balogh mezzo-soprano
Asako Ogawa harpsichord

Handel Crude furie degl' orridi abissi (Xerxes HWV 40)
Handel Cara speme (Giulio Cesare HWV 17)
Handel Brilla nell'alma (Alessandro HWV 21)
Rameau L'entretien des Muses
Rameau Les Tourbillons


Les Cyclopes


Sposa son disprezzata (Bajazet)


Gelido in ogni vena (Farnace)


Armatae face et anguibus (Juditha Triumphans)

The London Handel Festival's Handel Singing Competition is celebrated for discovering the very best emerging talent from around the world and this year's winner, Eszter Balogh from Hungary, is no exception. The Transylvanian-born mezzo-soprano began her musical studies with the Hungarian Radio Children's Choir. She received her Master of Music in Oratorio and Lied from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 2014. Her repertoire encompasses Baroque, Romantic and 20th-century music. Asako Ogawa performs as a soloist and continuo player and is a baroque repertoire coach at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Together they present music from three giants of the High Baroque with Rameau's delicate solo harpsichord morsels providing repose between some of the most dramatic arias by Handel and Vivaldi.

24th October 2019
Agata Daraskaite violin
Magdalena Loth-Hill violin
Elitsa Bogdanova viola
George Ross cello
Haydn Quartet in D Op. 20 No. 4
Schumann Quartet No. 2 in F Op. 41
Formed at the Royal College of Music, the Consone Quartet is dedicated to exploring Classical and early Romantic repertoire on period instruments. Winner of the 2016 Royal Over-Seas League Ensemble Prize, the quartet was also awarded two prizes at the 2015 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition. Its debut CD was released in 2018 and received glowing reviews. In 2018 the group became Concordia Foundation Artists and in May 2019 was selected as BBC New Generation Artists.
31st October 2019
A film company is taking over St Bart's that week!)

Mark Messenger director
Bethan Griffiths harp



Danse sacrée et Danse profane
Richard Strauss Metamorphosen for 22 solo strings
The Royal College of Music's policy of rewarding their most outstanding musicians with concerto opportunities has thrown up some fascinating works and Debussy's miniature harp concerto gives prize-winning Bethan Griffiths a delicious platform for her musicianship and virtuosity. In striking contrast to Debussy's sunny, dance-based piece, Strauss's Metamorphosen is an elegy of searing emotion, written in late 1944 and early 1945 and thought to have been the composer's agonising reflection on the devastation of Germany and the pain inflicted on German culture as the end of the second world war approached.
7th November 2019

Roma Tic violin
Joanna Gutowska cello
Anna Szalucka piano


Trio in C Hob.XV:27


Trio in A minor
Established in 2014, the Bukolika Piano Trio is renowned for its intensely expressive music making and its passionate interest in music of the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly the music of their homeland Poland. Selected as Young Artists in residence at St John's Smith Square for 2017/18 the trio was able to explore music inspired by folk music across Europe. Haydn's Trio, first published in London in 1797, captures the power of the English grand pianos of the time, with their full tone and impressive bass register, while Ravel's Trio explores the extreme ranges of each instrument, creating an unusually rich texture.
14th November 2019

James Davison trumpet
Sam Watts piano
Conor Chaplin bass
Will Glaser drums

Winner of The Musicians' Company Young Jazz Musician Award in 2018, and following studies at the Royal Academy of Music, James Davison enjoys a busy career playing with orchestras and in West End shows while also contributing to the Misha Mullov-Abbado Group, Jonny Mansfield's Elftet, the Sam Watts Band and Joe Hill's North Ark. His own band, co-led with Callum Au, specialises in the music of Clark Terry and Bob Brookmeyer. On the eve of the 2019 EDF London Jazz Festival James's band will present a rich mixture of standards and new works for our concert.
21st November 2019

Stephen Jackson conductor


Motets for Advent
Brahms Drei Gesänge Op. 42


Motets from Geistliche Chormusik Op. 12


This Worldes Joie
Led by renowned choral director Stephen Jackson, the Trinity Laban Chamber Choir explores German music from three centuries, contrasting sacred and secular. The beauties of Heinrich Schutz's advent motets - composed for the Dresden court in the 1620s - will sound spectacular in the St Bartholomew acoustic while there will be a rare chance to hear the clean lines and textures of Hugo Distler's neo-Baroque sacred works, written in the shadow of Nazism which led to his suicide at the age of only 34. Bax's dark and densely polyphonic motet provides a magnificent conclusion to a concert of strong contrasts and searing emotions.
28th November 2019

James Kreiling piano

Photo: Victor Eric Emmanuel


La Lugubre Gondola
McCabe Tenebrae


Sonata in A flat Op. 110
April 2019 would have marked the 80th birthday of John McCabe who died in 2015. His works have featured on several occasions in City Music Society concerts, in some cases with McCabe himself performing his own piano works alongside sonatas by his beloved Haydn. James Kreiling has become a major champion of McCabe's music and has made Tenebrae a cornerstone of his contemporary repertoire. After studies at the Guildhall School, he has enjoyed a varied career as recitalist, chamber player and concerto soloist. He shows off his versatility in this concert, contrasting Tenebrae with the second of Beethoven's final three piano sonatas. Written at the request of the publisher Moritz Schlesinger, this contains one of the composer's most arresting finales, contrasting soulful, meditative Arioso sections with not one but two fugues, the second intriguingly based on the inverted subject of the first.


Future events
The 2019-20 season at St Bartholomew the Great continues on 23rd January 2020 at 1.05pm with a very special lunchtime concert. See below for details. The Spring series will run on every Thursday from 23rd January to 26th March.

Thursday 23rd January 2020
At St Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE



Quintet in A Op. 114 D667 (The Trout)
This concert is dedicated to the memory of City Music Society former Vice President, Bryan Marson-Smith.
Don't miss this very special event opening our Spring series. Because of its slightly unusual scoring - violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano - this, one of Schubert's sunniest works, is not heard as often as it should be. An exceptional group of soloists from the Guildhall School will present The Trout Quintet for the first time in a City Music Society lunchtime concert.

Full details of this concert will be announced in November 2019.


For further information about these concerts please contact

Latest update: 31 July 2019
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