(subject to change)
Barnes Young Musician of the Year
11 March 2017, 1.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, free
The adjudication will be led by Ralph Alwood MBE, former Director of Music at Eton College. It is open to the public and families and friends of the performers are particularly welcome. The programme will be posted in advance on the website. The holder of the title will be announced at the end of the afternoon and will have an opportunity to perform during the Festival. (Find more info below)
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 global tour with familiar numbers from G&S through to the roaring 20s and 30s Broadway hits that will transport us to the golden age of theatreland in the first half of the twentieth century and beyond. Featuring hit show tunes from Merrie England, The Gondoliers, Oklahoma, 42nd Street and a Little Night Music alongside stand alone songs.
Having been formed as an offshoot of the Barnes Choral Society over 100 years ago we are pleased that BROS returns home to make its debut in 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 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, Mendelsohn and Smyth Trio, the Rautio Trio with Jane Gordon, violin, Victoria Simonsen, cello, and Jan Ratio, piano, will perform Jim Parker's four Betjeman poems. The music has been specially arranged for the trio by Jim Parker.
Note: Eleanor Bron is no longer able to take part in this concert and the narrator for the Betjeman poems will be announced as soon as possible.
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)
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
21 March 2017, 7.30pm, Wetland Centre, Tickets £15
One of the most notable places in Barnes is the London Wetland Centre, 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. A Musical Aviary features music inspired by birdsong through the ages including works by Vaughan Williams, Biber and Handel (who lived at nearby Barn Elms when he first came to London in 1712).
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 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, award-winning author and musician, performs a solo set and joins the Choir for a couple of his songs.
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 £25 & £20 numbered seats, £10 unnumbered seats
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.
The Barnes Music Festival is very proud and grateful to our patrons for their fantastic support and generous commitment
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"
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."
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!"
We are very proud of our close relationship with our partners and sponsors
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.