• Barnes Music Festival

    10 - 25 March 2018

  • Programme 2017

    Brochure to download

  • Event Calendar


    Barnes Young Musician of the Year

    11 March 2017, 1.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, free

    We are proud to announce the winner of the first Barnes Young Musician of the Year:

    Samuel Tannenbaum, 17. This young pianist presented a programme of Scriabin and Kapustin which, despite stiff competition, persuaded adjudicator Ralph Allowed MBE (former Director of Music at Eton College) to award him the title. Samuel, presently in the Sixth Form at the Harrodian School in Barnes, plans to study music at University. His piano teacher, Joseph Dransfield, described him as being adaptable in his musical styles, enjoying playing all genres but excelling particularly in 20th century repertoire.

    Our finalists of 2017: Benjamin Law, Samuel Tannenbaum, Taiki Ono (piano), Ismail Mardin (violin), Tatiana Fraser (harp), Phoenix Mombru (clarinet), Josh Greensmith (saxophone).

    Samuel will perform in the Barnes Music Festival at 7.30pm on March 24th.

    Opening Concert - Four Seasons with Tasmin Little

    11 March 2017, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £25

    Tasmin Little is both the soloist and conductor in this unique coupling: Vivaldi’s ever-popular Four Seasons meets Roxanna Panufnik’s Four World Seasons.

    As a complete cycle, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons offers a set of vivid tableaux, imaginative and enticing, with ample chance for the violin soloist to display technique, sensitivity and colour. These are qualities that Roxanna Panufnik also sought for her own Seasons tribute, Four World Seasons, written especially for Tasmin Little.

    Photographic Exhibition Music & Place​

    11-26 March 2017, St Mary's Barnes, admission free

    10.30am-12.30pm and during events

    Prominent local photographers Andrew Wilson, Tammy Marlar (©photo), James Kirkland & Bill Christie return to the Festival with a specially curated photographic exhibition around this year's theme of "Music & Place”.

    Water is an ever-evolving constant, around which music and place both orbit our daily lives. The images for the show draw inspiration from water in all its guises, from swirling, all-enveloping fog to tinkling miniature ice-crystals, from languid bodies of water to thrashing torrents of storm rain, from the crunch of a veils of frost to the mute of a blanket of ice.

    Barnes & Richmond Operatic Society - Songs from the Show

    12 March 2017, 1.00pm, Kitson Hall, Tickets £10

    Join South West London’s premiere non-professional Musical Theatre Company for a worldwide tour that will transport us from the golden age of musical theatre in the first half of the twentieth century to the modern day. Hit musical numbers from both sides of the pond will take us from Anatevka to Oklahoma, from Beverley Hills to London Town with perhaps a brief stop in Paris and the Cote D’Azur.

    Having been formed over 100 years ago as Barnes Operatic and Dramatic Society they are pleased to return home at last and to make a debut appearance at the Barnes Music Festival.

    Barnes Choir - Music and Place

    12 March 2017, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    The Barnes Choir present three works connected through their associations with different places. The Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein were commissioned by Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester Cathedral, in 1964 for the Three Choirs Festival. Bob Chilcott's vibrant and varied cantata evokes a contemporary impression of London's sights, sounds and moods. Handel was one of the charter founders of the London Foundling Hospital and his Foundling Hospital Anthem was written to be performed at the Hospital.

    Nocturne: Music & Poetry Recital with Madeleine Mitchell

    13 March 2017, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    Violinist Madeleine Mitchell, described by The Times as 'one of the UK's liveliest musical forces' created this wonderful programme together with distinguished Barnes poet and librettist, David Harsent on the theme of Night. Included is the world-premiere of a piece for violin and narrator celebrating nocturnal Barnes. Evocative music for violin and piano alternates with Harsent reading poems from his award winning collection Night, plus the exquisite 3 Pieces for violin and piano by Howells of 1917, including a Russian Lament. BMF regular Marc Verter is the pianist.

    Alke Quartet - Haydn and Janacek

    14 March 2017, 1.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £10

    Haydn, ‘the father of the string quartet’, boasted that he had developed “a new and entirely special kind” of string quartet when he composed Op33, No2, ‘The Joke’ – which features music that playfully defies the expectation of its audiences.

    The Alke quartet provide contrast to this light-hearted Haydn with a performance of Janacek’s musical representation of a passionate psychological drama.

    Janecek’s first string quartet, ‘The Kreutzer Sonata’, was inspired by Tolstoy’s novella, of the same name, and was composed whilst, “imagining a poor woman, tormented and run down, just like the one the Russian writer Tolstoy describes".

    An Evening with Sean Rafferty

    14 March 2017, 8.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    The respected arts broadcaster, Sean Rafferty is best known for presenting BBC Radio 3's flagship evening programme In Tune where live music and interviews present the latest in classical music. Sean is a past master at putting artists at their ease with his relaxed style and infectious humour; from the rich and famous to the student quartet fresh from college, Sean can make anyone feel a star.

    Sean will be in conversation with Artistic Director Daniel Turner who hopes to elicit stories of success, the music that has influenced him and one or two moments where the demands of live broadcasting have called upon Sean's legendary ability to improvise.

    Kit and McConnell: Pheasant Laughter

    15 March 2017, 7.30pm. St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £20

    We are delighted to be welcoming the amazing cabaret double act of Kit and McConnel to present their latest show Pheasant Laughter.with brand new songs that address the really important things: Love, Death and Wet Wipes. They have had sell-out shows at London cabaret venues The Pheasantry, The Crazy Coqs, and St. James’ Theatre plus the Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, and Three Choirs Festivals, as well as a host of theatres and concert halls up and down the UK. They regularly toured the UK with the late, great Joan Rivers and are often to be heard on BBC Radio.

    ‘I could barely write for laughing, most of the time’ (Edinburgh Fringe Review)

    ‘Cabaret Royalty’ (Time Out) 

    Grand Tour Organ Recital - Nicholas Wearne

    16 March 2017, 1.00pm. St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £10

    Nicholas Wearne, previously Organist at St Martin-in-the-Fields and at New College Oxford, was winner of the Poul Ruders Prize at the 2011 Odense International Organ Competition. This Grand Tour of organ music travels through the continent of Europe, taking in music from four centuries, including Buxtehude, MacMillan, Byrd, Mendelssohn, Messiaen and Bach’s masterpiece Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major and displays the ringing tones of St Mary’s organ to full effect.

    Barnes Music Society: London-themed Concert with the Rautio Piano Trio

    16 March 2017, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15, concession £10

    As well as a JC Bach, Mendelssohn and Smyth Trio, the Rautio Trio with Jane Gordon, violin, Victoria Simonsen, cello, and Jan Rautio, piano, will perform Jim Parker's four Betjeman poems. The music has been specially arranged for the trio by Jim Parker.

    We are delighted that Patricia Hodge has agreed to be the narrator for this performance.

    Note: Eleanor Bron is no longer able to take part.

    St Paul's Girls' School Cantamus

    17 March 2017, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    To tie in with their forthcoming tour to Bruges and Ypres, Cantamus, a girls’ chamber choir of 12-15 year olds from St Paul’s Girls’ School, will present a programme with a reflective theme. Repertoire will include a newly commissioned piece by composer in residence Dr Bernard Hughes, Caccini’s reflective Ave Maria, Remembered by Nathan Waring with trumpet solo, Sister Song by Canadian composer Sarah Quartel and Bob Chilcott’s beautiful version of Our revels now are ended. There will also be solo instrumental and chamber items performed by music scholars and choristers.

    Camille - A Song for You, from around the World

    17 March 2017, 8.00pm, OSO Arts Centre, Tickets £10 and at OSO


    Camille, Charlie & friends are delighted to return, as part of the Barnes Music Festival 2017, to what has become one of their favourite venues. To mark the occasion, the programme will follow the thematic link of Music & Place, while remaining close to the song choices that have, over time, become part of their lives.

    Georgian London - Fulham Camerata & Festival Chorus

    18 March 2017, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    Explore the sights and sounds of London town during one of her most exciting periods. This concert celebrates the music of Georgian London as seen at Court, Tavern, Church and the infamous Pleasure Gardens. We are delighted to welcome back the Fulham Camerata and the Barnes Music Festival Chorus for our sonic tour of the capital, accompanied by Barnes Baroque (on period instruments).

    St Paul's School Jazz Bands

    19 March 2017, 1.00pm, Kitson Hall, Tickets £7

    Ensembles from the highly-regarded jazz programme at St Paul’s School return to the Barnes Music Festival to perform in Kitson Hall a programme of jazz from around the world. The performances will include new arrangements written especially for the Festival.

    Come and Sing: Gilbert & Sullivan with John Savournin

    19 March 2017, St Mary's Barnes,

    Tickets £20 for participants incl. all music

    Registration 11.30am-12.00. Rehearsal 11.30am-4.45pm (incl. lunch and tea breaks) download application form (incl. full details)

    Postal Bookings for this event are now closed.

    However, if you would like to join us you are welcome to arrive for Registration at St. Mary's on the day between 11.30 and 12.00. Please email comeandsing@barnesmusicfestival.com with your name and voicepart in advance.


    Join a day of Come & Sing Gilbert & Sullivan with many of his well-known choruses from operas spanning the world from the Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore to The Gondoliers and The Mikado. The Come & Sing day is conducted by leading G&S opera specialist John Savourin.

    Concert details below

    Gilbert & Sullivan World Tour with Gyles Brandreth

    19 March 2017, 6.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, 

    Concert Tickets £10

    A World Tour as told by Gilbert & Sullivan with narration by BBC celebrity Gyles Brandreth with choruses from operas spanning the world from the Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore to The Gondoliers and The Mikado, conducted by leading G&S opera specialist John Savournin.

    National Youth Jazz Orchestra's Nonet

    19 March 2017, 8.00pm, Bull's Head, Tickets £12, at the door

    The National Youth Jazz Orchestra’s Nonet is a showcase for some of the most talented young jazz musicians in the UK with a focus on small-group improvisation. Returning to the Barnes Music Festival for the fifth year running, their arrangements this year reflect the Festival theme by taking a jazz tour around the world.

    Italian Journey - Ashley Fripp Piano Recital

    20 March 2017, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    British pianist Ashley Fripp performs a recital in which Mozart's vibrant D major piano sonata is richly contrasted by journeying to the Gothic horrors of Ravel's fiendishly difficult Gaspard de la Nuit. The concert will also feature the complete second book of Liszt's magnificent “Years of Pilgrimage” which is comprised of works inspired by Italian renaissance poetry, painting and sculpture – one of the great pinnacles of the Romantic era.

    Organ Recital - Martin Neary

    21 March 2017, 1.00pm, St Michael's, Tickets £10

    This sparkling programme is designed to show off the resources of the splendidly refurbished organ at St Michael’s. There is a clear French flavour; the recital opens with Clérambault’s Suite du Premier Ton, followed by Bach’s great Pièce d’Orgue (Fantasia in G) which shows strong French influences. Two classics from the 19th century Romantic repertoire: César Franck’s lyrical Prélude, Fugue and Variation,are followed by Franz Liszt’s virtuoso homage to Bach with his Prelude and Fugue on BACH. The recital ends with the glittering Carnival by the young English composer, Thomas Hewitt Jones.

    A Musical Aviary with Davina Clarke and Friends

    21 March 2017, 7.30pm, Wetland Centre, Tickets £15

    SOLD OUT!!

    The London Wetland Centre is an urban oasis for wildlife and people, and we are delighted to be presenting the first-ever classical music concert to take place there, in the newly-refurbished Thames H2O auditorium. Expect Baroque delights inspired by nature, flight and light with works by Handel, Purcell, Biber and others, presented by Davina Clarke, who is fast establishing herself as a violinist of the highest calibre.

    The concert will be complemented by works from award winning local photographer Tammy Marlar.

    Thyme & Plaice - Cantabile and Barnes Concert Band

    21 March 2017, 8.00pm, Wathen Hall, Tickets £15

    An evening menu of musical delights in aid of FiSH Neighbourhood Care. Featuring Richard Suart, singer and actor, who has specialised in the comic roles of Gilbert and Sullivan, accompanied by Bryan Evans, a leading exponent of chamber opera and co-founder of Diva Opera. The London Quartet, Cantabile a cappella group, outstanding in both comedy and classics. The Barnes Concert Band with a membership of 40 wind, brass and percussion players.

    Brahms Requiem - English Chamber Choir

    22 March 2017, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    Brahms is recognised as the towering figure of late romanticism and in his requiem we find a pivotal work that reshaped his reputation and career. This performance uses Brahms own arrangement for piano duet that was first premiered in London to help bring his music to smaller venues and to a wider audience. The English Chamber Choir, one of London’s leading and busiest vocal ensembles, is led by music director Guy Protheroe and will be joined by Soprano Robyn Allegra Parton. (Baritone tbc.)

    The evening finishes with light-hearted arrangements of Gershwin and Cole Porter songs.

    A Tour around Baroque Europe - Le Petit Orchestre

    23 March 2017, 1.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £10

    Le Petit Orchestre is a small ensemble of eight musicians, specialising in music of the baroque era played on copies of instruments of the period. This programme casts the net wide to encompass works from the leading musical European countries of the day.

    Barnes Music Festival Community Evening

    23 March 2017, 7.30pm, Holy Trinity, Tickets £10

    Barnes Community Choir is for singers of all ages and backgrounds, who share a love of song and an enthusiasm for making music together. The programme includes contemporary choral works, pop, jazz, gospel and show tunes.

    Alan Franks, veteran Times writer, award-winning author and musician, together with West End actress Charlotte Moore, (most recently seen in London in Peter Morgan's Audience) will be performing numbers from his extensive repertoire of narrative and comic songs. For some of these he will be joined by the Barnes Community Choir.

    River Thames and the Boat Race -

    Craig Ogden, James Gilchrist, School Children and Elly Oldroyd

    24 March 2017, 7.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £12

    A main artery for London and a key feature of Barnes’ geography the River Thames is celebrated in much music and poetry. Distinguished British composer Stephen Dodgson is best known for his guitar works and enjoyed a daily walk by the river and this affinity is strongly felt in Watersmeet. The Boat Race paints a picture in music of the excitement of the annual race between Oxford and Cambridge. Local school children have been working hard to create their own musical version, BBC sports journalist Eleanor Oldroyd is our commentator.

    English Chamber Singers and St Michael’s Choir with Taverner, Howells and Fauré Requiem

    25 March 2017, 7.30pm, St Michael's,

    Tickets £20 numbered seats, £10 unnumbered seats, (£25 SOLD OUT)

    Two striking unaccompanied settings, John Tavener’s Hymns to the Mother of God, and Aaron Copland’s In the beginning, (with mezzo-soprano Elspeth Marrow) are followed by Herbert Howells’s By the waters of Babylon, for baritone, violin, cello and organ, and Janacek’s passionate setting of The Lord’s Prayer. The second half is devoted to the Fauré Requiem.

    Aldeburgh & Britten by Tony Palmer with Elly Oldroyd

    26 March 2017, 10.30am, Olympic Studio, Tickets £15

    One of Tony Palmer’s first films. shot at the 1967 Aldeburgh Festival when the Queen opened The Maltings at Snape, has become a classic with brilliant editing making a natural partnership of music and picture and demonstrating how the place of Aldeburgh had such a profound effect on Britten’s music and helped create one of the world’s premier festivals.

    Barnes Blues Band

    26 March 2017, 2.00pm, Bull's Head, Tickets £12, at the door

    Barnes Blues Band returns to the Barnes Music Festival with high calibre rock blues on the Festival theme of Music & Place. The band was formed by vocalist and guitarist Bobby Tench (best known for his work with The Jeff Beck Group, Humble Pie, Streetwalkers and Hummingbird) attracting a broad fan base enthused by infectious, high octane performances. Passionate vocals and committed guitar playing by the respected UK bluesman Papa George entices Tench’s potent creativity.


    Festival Choral Evensong

    26 March 2017, 6.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, free

    Join us for the final celebratory event of the Barnes Music Festival 2017. The timeless office of Choral Evensong is a beautiful marriage of prose and music and has enhanced the place of worship throughout the centuries. The service includes music from Barnes composers Howells and Holst and Brahms evocative anthem How Lovely is your Dwelling Place.  

  • Tickets

    Tickets for 2018

    on sale from December


    in person at Chestertons Barnes and East Sheen Offices,

    by post using booking form.

    The Festival Pass is available from Chestertons and by post

  • Venues

  • About

    Orchestral, Choral, Instrumental, Jazz and Film Events from International Artists and Local Groups

    The Festival

    Barnes Music Festival in South West London is an annual celebration of music-making which includes choral, instrumental, orchestral, opera, jazz and film events with international stars and local groups and schools performing at venues across Barnes.

    The Festival celebrates music-making of the highest standard in conjunction with established and emerging stars. It also raises considerable funds for local charities.


    Music & Place, the theme for 2017, celebrated the way in which music enhances our appreciation of spaces and landscapes, whether this is the countryside or the city, the sea or the sky, the world or Barnes. The relationship between music, space and place is one of the richest creative connections in our cultural history. Real or imaginative landscapes and places have inspired composers through the ages.

    Music and sound are essential to our experience of the world. We not only use them to orientate ourselves acoustically, more often than not do they evoke in us memories of spaces and places, of moments in time. Music can offers us a highly individual experience but also a sense of place and belonging. It connects us to ideas, people and foreign cultures, and supports our understanding of our place in society and in the world as a whole.


    Highlights included the Opening Concert with Tasmin Little, the Fauré Requiem at St Michael’s and the Brahms Requiem at St Mary’s, a Gilbert & Sullivan Come & Sing, an Aviary Concert at the London Wetland Centre, and new Jim Parker settings of Betjeman poems.


    The 2018 Festival runs from 10 to 25 March 2018. The programme will be published in October 2017


    Festival History

    The inaugural Festival took place in March 2013 with the theme Holst & the English Tradition celebrating the centenary of Gustav Holst living in Barnes. The Festival returned in 2014 concentrating on Three Greats: Elgar, Delius, Holst & the English Tradition marking the 80th anniversary of these landmark composers. For 2015 the Festival took as its theme The Magna Carta, Music & Freedom celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and its links with Barnes. For 2016, the theme was Handel & Composers of Barnes focusing on the rich variety of composers who have lived and worked in Barnes from Handel to Holst, Howells to Howard Goodall and Roxanna Panufnik..

    Festival Committee

    The Festival Committee brings together representatives from the Barnes Music Society, Barnes Choir, Barnes Community Association, St Michael's Barnes and The Friends of St Mary’s Barnes.

    Andrew Summers, Chairman; Daniel Turner, Artistic Director; Jane Bennett-Powell, St Michael's Barnes; Miranda Corben, Friends Coordinator;

    Dr Kirsten Fehring, Social & Print Media; Angela Hoggarth, Barnes Choir; Christopher Morgan, Barnes Music Society; Gary Smith, Barnes Community Association; Christine Thornton, Community & Schools Coordinator; Sara Newton, Festival Administrator

  • Patrons

    The Barnes Music Festival is very proud and grateful to our patrons for their fantastic support and generous commitment

    Howard Goodall

    Award-winning composer of choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores and distinguished broadcaster

    "Being local to Barnes, I am thrilled to be associated with the Barnes Music Festival. It is a welcome addition to a part of London that has a long music tradition and that counts Gustav Holst as one of its own"

    Gyles Brandreth

    A prolific writer and broadcaster, former MP and Government Whip

    "Our ambition is to bring world-class music to Barnes - and to make it accessible to the whole community. As a Barnes resident, former parliamentarian and music lover, I am hopeful that, whatever your musical taste, you will find something to satisfy, to stimulate and to surprise you. Please take part. Please enjoy."

    Roxanna Panufnik

    One of the UK's most popular and loved composers

    "Barnes is a fabulous place for a composer to live - our community holds such an inspirationally diverse collection of musicians, writers and artists that it's only natural we should have a Barnes Music Festival to celebrate and promote this highly concentrated cultural epicentre with the highest quality performances in beautiful and serene settings. I'm very proud to be a patron and looking forward enormously to seeing you in March!"

  • Barnes Young Musician

    of the Year 2017

    The Barnes Young Musician of the Year was launched in 2017 to celebrate the very best of young local talent. Applications are invited from students of Grade 6 standard and above who either live, attend school or have their instrumental lessons in Barnes. The finals adjudication led by distinguished conductor Ralph Allwood took place at the beginning of the Barnes Music Festival 2017. The winner was pianist Samuel Tenenbaum, a student at the Harrodian School.
    Details of the Barnes Young Musician of the Year 2018 will be available in October 2017.


    See Guidelines for Applicants

    Application Form

  • Partners

    We are very proud of our close relationship with our partners and sponsors

    The Friends of St Mary’s Barnes raise awareness of the church, which is an inspiring blend of the medieval and the contemporary, to promote its use by the community and to raise funds for its upkeep.

    Barnes Music Society aims to foster appreciation of music, promoting first-class concerts, and encouraging other musical activities especially involving young musicians.

    Barnes Choir is an amateur choir which aims to promote choral singing in the community of Barnes, Sheen and Richmond with regular concerts three times a year.

    Our estate agents in Barnes Village are specialists in providing property for sales and lettings in and around Barnes.

    We are a top 100, London-based law firm with around 200 highly regarded specialist solicitors and lawyers. We advise a mix of commercial, not-for-profit, regulatory and personal clients.

    Barnes Community Association is run by its members on behalf of the residents of Barnes to promote community in the neighbourhood and develop its amenities.

    Barnes Music Festival forms a significant part of the Richmond Music and Drama Festival programme which runs during March in venues across the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. This Festival launched in 2015 to celebrate the breadth of performing arts in the Borough and sees over 60 local arts organisations, professional artists, schools and young people showcasing their work.

  • Composers of Barnes

    The Flow of Inspiration

    by Eleanor Oldroyd

    What is there in the waters of Barnes that holds such an attraction for artists and music makers? Since George Frideric Handel’s sojourn at Barn Elms in 1713, a succession of leading composers have made the village their home. From Gustav Holst and Herbert Howells to Carl Davis and Roxanna Panufnik, they have raised children and written music to the accompaniment of the birds on the Common, and the ebb and flow of the tidal Thames.

    So have they found inspiration in this greenest of London villages? Or is it mere coincidence that has turned a corner of South West London into a creative hub?

    In this book to mark the 2016 Barnes Music Festival, BBC broadcaster Eleanor Oldroyd has put together informative and often affectionate biographical profiles of eight leading Barnes composers.


    The book is available at Barnes Bookshop, at our concerts or order via mail order

  • News

    Check out our latest updates!