• Music & Invention

    Event Information 2019

    Barnes Young Musician of the Year

    Final adjudication

    Saturday 9 March Velehrad Centre

    12.00 -14.30pm, Tickets free

    Now in its third year, the Award looks ahead to the future of musical performance. As well as giving our own young musicians a platform during the Festival, we are also playing our part in sustaining a high quality of musicianship in future generations.

    This year's adjudicator Paul McCreesh is the founder and Artistic Director of the Gabrieli Consort & Players which he established in 1982 and with whom he has toured world-wide and made many award-winning recordings. McCreesh is well-known for the energy and passion that he brings to his music-making, and he is especially enthusiastic about working with young musicians, broadening access to classical music. He works regularly with youth orchestras and choirs and is active in building new educational initiatives whenever possible.

    In conjunction with Barnes Music Society.

    You find more information here


    Opening Concert with Fenella Humphreys

    Saturday 9 March St Mary's Barnes

    7.30pm, Tickets £20

    The first half features St Paul’s School and St Paul's Girls’ School in the glorious Vivaldi’s Gloria which is set against Biber’s eccentric Batalia and Tibetan Winter by renowned British composer and Festival patron, Roxanna Panufnik (whose most recent work included the BBC Last Night of the Proms commission).

    Rising star Fenella Humphreys plays Max Richter’s 2012 ‘‘recomposition’ of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, a work already recognised as one of the most ingenious compositions of the 21st Century.

    Fenella Humphreys captures the music’s wistful cantabile to perfection, producing a golden tone in all registers with the utmost sensitivity to where every phrase is moving.”
    The Strad Magazine

    ...Spirited yet unhurried...she rises emphatically to their challenges...”

    The Guardian

    Barnes Concert Band

    Sunday 10 March St Mary's Barnes

    3.00-4.00pm Tickets £10

    The Barnes Concert Band brings together over 40 wind, brass and percussion players returning to the Barnes Music Festival to present a relaxed Sunday afternoon concert under their new Music Director Daryle Lowden. The programme covers both popular tunes and some challenging wind band music including Holst First Suite in Eb, Benny Goodman, Hans Zimmer and Malcolm Arnold.

    Glorious Bach

    Sunday 10 March St Michael's Barnes

    7.00pm Tickets £30, £20, £10

    The English Chamber Singers and St Michael’s Choir with the Barnes Period Instrumentalists, conducted by Martin Neary, turn to arguably the most glorious of Bach’s shorter choral works, the Magnificat. Their all-Bach programme includes two other virtuoso works: the motet for double choir, Komm, Jesu, komm, and the brilliant Cantata 51, Jauchzet Gott, for soprano (Colette Boushell) and trumpet (David Blackadder). The concert begins with a rare performance of O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, “one of the most sublimely restrained and deep of all Bach’s works” (Sir Nicholas Kenyon).


    The Virgin Mary and child da Vinci ©The National Gallery

    Larkin - Around the Horn

    The Horn from Roman Times to the Present

    Monday 11 March St Mary's Barnes

    7.30pm Tickets £15

    Everything that you could ever want to know about possibly the most beautiful instrument in the orchestra

    A musical talk on the history and the development of the French Horn with music from Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Carl Nielsen and Hindemith, presented by Chris Larkin, leader of the London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble for the last 45 years, and accompanied on the piano by Matthew Abrahams


    The Life and Loves of Claude Debussy

    Tuesday 12 March St Mary's Barnes

    7.30pm Tickets £15

    In this unique portrait of the French piano giant in words and music, Lucy Parham (on the piano) and Alistair McGowan (very much not) evoke Debussy’s originality and brilliance as a composer and his complex (and often shocking) emotional life.

    Acknowledged as one of Britain's finest pianists, Lucy Parham has created this vivid and highly informative portrait of Debussy with great sensitivity. Barnes's Alistair McGowan, after his own successful foray into classical piano with 'Piano Peace' at the 2018 festival, this year brings his considerable acting skills to the fore in a fascinating, beautiful and highly-memorable show.

    Organ Recitals

    Tuesday 12 March 1.00pm St Mary's Barnes Luke Bond

    Tuesday 19 March 1.00pm St Michael's Barnes Martin Neary

    detailed info to come

    Instant & Eternity

    Oriole Quartet

    Wednesday 13 March St Mary's Barnes

    7.30pm Tickets £15

    more to come

    Lunchtime Recitals

    Wednesday 13 March 1.00pm St Mary's Barnes Violin & Piano Recital with Henry Chandler and John Paul Ekins


    Thursday 14 March 1.00pm St Mary's Barnes Cello Recital with Leo Popplewell

    detailed information to come

    Piano Recital with Cordelia Williams

    Barnes Music Society

    Thursday 14 March St. Mary’s Barnes

    7.30 Tickets £15

    This recital explores the varying ways in which composers have expressed their identities and contexts through different kinds of musical invention.

    Arvo Pärt's unique tintinnabuli style creates simplicity and purity of sound. Bach's three-part 'keyboard exercises' are masterpieces in counterpoint and concision, each varying and transforming a tiny motif in manifold ways. Chopin evokes his homeland in artistic, refined interpretations of its traditional dance, the mazurka. Schubert’s mastery of invention is exemplified in the 3rd of these Impromptus by the transformation of a simple theme into a series of 5 enchanting variations.

    Cordelia will discuss the techniques employed by each composer. She has great enthusiasm for presenting and introducing music.

    Bach St John Passion

    with the Tiffins Boys' Choir

    Friday 15 March St. Mary’s Barnes

    7.30-9.15 (no interval) Tickets £25

    The St John Passion together with his St Matthew Passion are two of Bach's most famous pieces of sacred music. Despite the Passion lasting nearly two hours, it was written to be used as part of a Lutheran church service - Bach wrote the St John Passion for the Good Friday Vespers service of 1724. Rather than expecting the audience or congregation to sit back and take in the music, Bach included a number of chorales within the solo sections for everyone to participate in.


    Internationally renowned conductor Professor Edward Higginbottom, formerly director of New College Choir Oxford, guides an all-star lineup, including Evangelist Nick Pritchard - Samling Artist and winner of the 2013 London Bach Society Singer’s Prize, Dan D’Souza as Christus, Camilla Harris, Soprano, Robin Blaze Countertenor, Gareth John Bass (tenor tbc). The Passion is accompanied by a period instrument ensemble.

    Harrodian School Jazz Band

    A selection of jazz, funk and blues standards​

    Saturday 16 March Kitson Hall Barnes

    1.00pm Tickets £10

    The Harrodian Jazz Band consists of around 18 pupils between the ages of 12 and 17, many of whom are studying Music at GCSE or A Level. The band performs music from a wide range of styles from classic jazz standards to funk and soul covers. They enjoy performing regularly both at school and at external venues such as the Bulls Head Jazz Club in Barnes. Last year the band toured to Budapest, performing at the Budapest Jazz Club as well as other venues around the city.

    Local caterer &Feast will be providing a pop-up food stall serving some delicious Saturday lunch snacks for all the family (with a bar for the adults of course).

    Rachmaninoff Vespers​ by candlelight

    King’s College London Choir

    Sunday 17 March St. Mary’s Barnes

    8.30-9.45pm (no interval) Tickets £15

    The Choir of King’s College London makes its debut at the Barnes Music Festival, performing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil. More typically known as the ‘Vespers’, Rachmaninoff’s composition draws on the sounds of Orthodox worship—particularly the singing of chant and the ringing of bells, both of which permeate the work. Since its premiere in 1915, the All-Night Vigil has established itself as a work dear to choirs and audiences alike. Described variously as ‘a choir as passionate as it is disciplined’ (BBC Music Magazine) and ‘English choral singing at its best’ (Choir and Organ Magazine), the Choir of King’s College London under Joseph Fort is widely recognised as one of the leading collegiate choirs in the country.

    Don Juan - The Scandalous Life of Lord Byron

    A Musico-Drama

    Monday 18 March St. Mary’s Barnes

    7.30-9.00pm (no interval) Tickets £15

    Tama Matheson and Davina Clarke unite once more to bring to life Lord Byron’s greatest literary work, Don Juan, as it has never been experienced before.

    Don Juan explores the seductive and scandalous life of Lord Byron’s fictional libertine, intertwined with the equally outrageous life of Lord Byron himself.

    In this creative interpretation of the literary classic, Byron and Juan become reflections of each other, until it is almost impossible to tell where fact ends and fiction begins.

    Just like Byron’s poem itself, the musical interpretation of Don Juan is full of wit, charm, elegance, adventure and horror, revealing a deep portrait of one of the greatest creative minds of the Romantic era.

    Lord Byron by Richard Westall © National Portrait Gallery, London

    Re-Inventing the Trio

    Linos Piano Trio

    Tuesday 19 March St. Mary’s Barnes

    7.30pm Tickets £15

    The late 18th century saw a wider usage of two great technological inventions that came to define domestic music making: the ‘forte-piano’ and the copperplate printing. With this new affordability of printed music, and a new keyboard instrument that was both loud enough and expressive enough to be accompanied by string instruments, the genre of the piano trio was born.

    After a CPE Bach Sonata and Beethoven Trio Op1, No2, the Trio will include us in the process of re-inventing the piano trio, reimagining orchestral colours of three French masterpieces and creating more personal and intimate versions for a chamber setting. Debussy’s symphonic poem Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, marks an important turning point in European music. Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice was featured in Disney’s 1940 creation of Fantasia. And finally the uncannily haunting La Valse by Ravel, a proto-post-modernist take on the dance: “the birth, decay, and destruction of a musical genre: the waltz” (George Benjamin).

    The Inventive Abbot

    Théodora - Early Music

    Wednesday 20 March St. Mary’s Barnes

    7.30-8.30pm (no interval) Tickets £15

    This programme presents a musical homage to François Timoléon, abbé de Choisy (1644-1724). Transvestite, abbé and author, this contemporary of Louis XIV defied the social codes of his time and defended his freedom of action and belief. Although he was known for his extravagant manners and love of cross-dressing, his lifetime commitment to the religious orders never left him. An amateur chamber musician – he was proficient on the harpsichord and loved playing Chambonnières – de Choisy was also an enthusiastic thespian and entertained his guests with his theatrical talents. The programme echoes the many facets of this fascinating figure of 18th-century France, from the pious intimacy of the Leçons de Ténèbres to the pastoral drama of Rameau’s Berger Fidèle.

    Théodora is an emerging Franco-English ensemble focusing on the performance of French and English Baroque repertoire.

    Community Evening

    Barnes Community Choir

    Thursday 21 March Holy Trinity Barnes

    7.30-9.15pm Tickets £10, £5 for concessions Children under 16 free

    Barnes Community Choir is for singers of all ages and backgrounds, who share a love of song and an enthusiasm for making music together.

    Choir leader extraordinaire and Barnes resident Joe Bunker says: “This choir is based on inclusivity and accessibility. We love to perform for local events and bigger audiences – including the Albert Hall, Tate Modern and the Young Vic!"

    BCC will be singing a variety of music- gospel, jazz, classical, pop and musical theatre. Most of the songs will be in three or four part harmony - inventing new ways of putting familiar music across.


    Guests of the evening are FM Jazz. Having released their debut album “Songbook” this year, FM Jazz seek to provide new flavours to favourite jazz and swing numbers whilst keeping you grooving throughout.

    Musical Flights of Fancy

    Guitar Recital with Marc-Jean Bernard

    Thursday 21 March London Wetland Centre

    7.30pm Tickets £15

    Under the title Musical Flights of Fancy, this guitar recital invites you on a journey of exploration of the multiple facets of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventive genius, reaching across art, science and music. No place could better reflect Leonardo’s love of nature than the Wetland Centre. For Leonardo, birds were not only the charming and legendary creatures of nature. They were the real-world model for his flying machines and the spiritual 'symbol of his destiny’. The theme of Birds will be reflected in an eclectic programme (with music by DaVinci, Byrd, Bach, Rodrigo, Debussy) which has the Fantasy as its golden thread (among others

    Marc Jean-Bernard is a classical guitarist, conductor and academic. He lives in Puerto Rico where he teaches philosophy.

    Leonardo and His Flying Machines

    Schools’ Concert

    with Barnes Primary School, St Osmunds School, St Paul’s Schools Choir, Rodolfus Choir, St Paul’s School musicians

    Friday 22 March Wathen Hall

    7.00-8.00pm (no interval) Tickets £10

    The Schools’ Concert is a creative project for local primary schools, during which the children learn and/or devise a piece that they perform during the Festival.

    Building on a successful collaboration with St Paul’s School and the Rodolfus Foundation, in 2019 we continue with a project based on the current theme: ‘Music and Invention’.

    During workshops in the Autumn term, led by Mark Wilderspin, Director of Music at St Paul’s School for Boys, the children have come up with musical ideas based on aspects of Leonardo’s life and on the idea of flying. Their ideas have been arranged by Mark into a new commission.The children will perform this and other flying related pieces, along with St Paul’s Choir and members of the Rodolfus Choir. Additional info here.

    In the Home of Leonardo

    A Family Event

    Saturday 23 March St Michael's Barnes

    4.30pm (no interval) Tickets £10

    The whole family - from grandchildren to grandparents - is invited to Leonardo da Vinci’s imaginary home for some afternoon entertainment of music and games. Young members of the Rodolfus Choir will lead the merry-making with songs Leonardo might have heard and sung himself. After all, he is remembered as an excellent and skilled musician. He played the lira da braccio, an ancestor of the modern viola and often had musicians playing in his studio whilst painting.
    Children are welcome to bring paper and pencils and follow in the master's footsteps. And all are more than welcome to sing along!

    The Rodolfus Choir has established itself firmly over a period of thirty years as one of the leading young choirs in the United Kingdom. Members are all alumni of the famous Eton Choral Courses and some of the finest young singers in the country. Under the leadership of founder Ralph Allwood, the choir has become renowned for imaginative programming, innovative and exciting performances, as well as an extensive array of prestigious recordings.

    Music for Royalty

    Barnes Choir

    Saturday 23 March St Mary’s Barnes

    7.30pm Tickets £15

    From the intimacy of Purcell’s Funeral Sentences and serenity of John Tavener’s Song for Athene to the pomp and ceremony of Handel’s Coronation Anthems and Parry’s two great anthems, Music for Royalty features a wide range of works written for or performed on royal occasions over the last three hundred years.

    The Barnes Choir conducted by Julian Collings with Peter Jaekel (organ) is an amateur choir of around 65 voices who have been part of the music scene in Barnes and Sheen for many years.


    This concert will be preceded by a short performance by the Winner of the Barnes Music Festival Young Musician of the Year 2019 introduced by Festival Patron Gyles Brandreth.

    Events at the Olympic Studios

    22 March 7.30pm and 9.30pm Music in the Dark

    24 March 10.30am, I Berlioz .. a Tony Palmer film

    detailed info to come

    Festival Choral Evensong​

    Sunday 24 March St Mary’s Barnes

    6.00-7.30 Free entry with collection

    Join us for the final celebratory event of the Barnes Music Festival 2019 at the timeless office of Choral Evensong with the combined choirs of St Mary’s Barnes and St Michael’s Barnes. The address is given by Rt Revd David Stancliffe, previously Bishop of Salisbury and Vice-President of the Royal College of Church Music who is himself a musician and conductor of his own group Bishop’s Consort.

    The service is followed by a reception to celebrate the Festival to which all are invited.

    more to come - thank you for your patience

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