• Music & Invention

    Event Information 2019

    (Programme subject to change​)

    Barnes Young Musician of the Year

    Final adjudication

    Saturday 9 March Velehrad Centre

    12.00 noon, Tickets free

    Now in its third year, the Award looks ahead to the future of musical performance.

    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 and supported by Chimes Music

    You find more information here


    Opening Concert with Fenella Humphreys


    Saturday 9 March St Mary's Barnes

    7.30pm, Tickets £20

    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.

    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).

    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

    Supported by Russell-Cooke Solicitors​

    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. After the concert, enjoy free tea and cakes with the band members.

    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).

    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.

    Supported by Russell-Cooke Solicitors

    photo©Clare Park

    Organ Recital

    with Luke Bond

    Tuesday 12 March St Mary's Barnes

    1.00pm Tickets £10

    Luke Bond’s programme features works and composers with a truly inventive and innovative approach. Mulet was organist at the Basilica Sacre-Coeur, Paris. He was deeply moved by many of the visual aspects of the church, often reinterpreted such features into musical form. The lengths to which Bach employed established and new compositional devices in this three movement sonata is the very definition of musical innovation. Howells looked back by about 300 hundred years to find the models upon which he would sprinkle a hefty dose of 20th century ideas. Guilmant is the forefather of the Romantic organ form, the Organ Symphony which brought the organ back to life after it’s demise in France post the 1789 revolution.

    Luke Bond plays or directs the choral services at St George’s Chapel Windsor and at services of national and international significance like Royal weddings.

    Lunchtime Recital

    with Henry Chandler, Violin & John Paul Ekins, Piano

    Wednesday 13 March St Mary's Barnes

    1.00pm Tickets £10

    After previous acclaimed performances at the Barnes Music Festival, Henry Chandler and John Paul Ekins return to perform two powerful works for violin and piano. Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata (1803), one of the great triumphs of musical invention, preceded by Debussy’s Sonata for Violin and Piano (1917) which was Debussy’s last major composition.

    Lunch snacks provided by &Feast

    Instant & Eternity

    Oriole Quartet

    Wednesday 13 March St Mary's Barnes

    7.30pm Tickets £15

    In his timeless work ‘Fratres’ Estonian composer Arvo Pärt aims to encapsulate ‘the instant and eternity {that} are struggling within us’.” The piece is scored for unspecified instrumentation and this is perhaps the first performance in this combination.

    A firm favourite of the chamber music canon, Brahms wrote his clarinet trio for the virtuoso Richard Mühlfeld. It is a passionate and emotional dialogue between the three instruments which explores the extraordinary variation in colour.

    As Hindemith had mastered virtually every orchestral instrument, it is only natural that he wrote his masterful 1938 Quartet for this unusual combination. It demonstrates Hindemith's great skill as an orchestrator and he uses his understanding of each of instruments and their various capabilities to great effect.Typical of his early years, Ravel's Sonatine is clear, light, and already indicative of his unique style in which he was able to use the traditional sonata form, yet avoid any clichés.

    Lunchtime Recital

    with Leo Popplewell, Cello

    Thursday 14 March St Mary's Barnes

    1.00pm Tickets £10

    The solo cello suite blossomed in the Twentieth Century following the rediscovery and recording of Bach’s six cello suites by Pablo Casals. Among the most well known subsequent composers in this genre was Benjamin Britten, whose three suites stretch the limitations of the solo cello to new bounds. Much of the first suite is rooted in Baroque forms, with a chorale-like and original ‘canto’ acting as a structural ritornello for the suite.

    Stephen Dodgson’s Partita from 1985 offers a highly characterised exploration of the classical suite, his language not too far afield from Britten, and similarly coherent in structure. In contrast, Elliott Carter’s short Figment from 1994 is an explosion of cellist virtuosity, based on a single musical idea and typically highly rhythmically organised.

    Piano Recital with Cordelia Williams

    Barnes Music Society

    Thursday 14 March St Mary’s Barnes

    7.30pm 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 Tiffin Boys' Choir


    Friday 15 March St Mary’s Barnes

    7.00pm Tickets £25 £20

    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, Charlotte Bowden, Soprano, Tom Scott-Cowell, Countertenor, Gareth John, Bass. The Passion is accompanied by a period instrument ensemble Time&Truth.

    Harrodian School Jazz Band

    A selection of jazz, funk and blues standards​


    Saturday 16 March Oso Arts Centre 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.

    Enjoy delicious food, snacks and drinks from the OSO Café for a relaxing Saturday lunchtime listening to great jazz.

    Turn of the Screw - a Chamber Opera

    Benjamin Britten

    Few tickets left!

    Saturday 16 March St Mary's Barnes

    7.30-9.30pm Tickets £30 £20

    The Barnes Music Festival is delighted to present its very first staged opera in conjunction with Riverside Opera. The Turn of the Screw is regarded by many as Benjamin Britten’s finest work for the stage. Our Artistic Director, James Day, is joined by internationally acclaimed Director, and local resident, Donna Stirrup who regularly works at both the ENO and ROH. The cast is comprised of rising stars in the international opera world:

    Ruairi Bowen, tenor, Katherine McIndoe, soprano, Jasper Jones, Lia Tynan, Sarah Denbee, mezzo soprano, Kezia Bienek, mezzo soprano

    Based on Henry James’s chilling novel, the mystery of this opera explores a governess entrusted to with the care of two lively children. With each scene we come to question whether their youthful playfulness is perhaps symptomatic of something altogether more sinister. Each twist of this gripping tale is ingeniously married with Britten’s construction: with each turn the structure, harmony and melody adds to the anguish of the performance.

    *Suitable for children 11 and older at the discretion of the parent / guardian

    Invictus: A Passion by Howard Goodall

    Come, Sing & Explore

    together with the composer Howard Goodall

    Sunday 17 March St Mary's Barnes


    Postal Bookings for Come & Sing Invictus are now closed.

    Register on the day between 11.30 - 12.00 with completed Registration Form + exact money (cash or cheque made out to St Mary's Barnes)

    Registration Form

    Performance 6.00pm

    Come &Sing £20 Audience £10

    Invictus: A Passion is a new work for choir, soloists, and chamber orchestra by Howard Goodall, taking a fresh look at the meaning and modern resonance of the traditional Passion oratorio. One aspect of the Passion story above all others guides the choice of texts in this piece and that is the role and perspective of women, in particular that of Jesus’ close friend Mary Magdalene, and his mother Mary. This is a unique opportunity to explore this new work with the multi-award winning composer himself, in conjunction with members of the Fulham Camerata Choir led by Music Director Harry Castle. The Come & Sing day finishes with a full performance of the work with soloists Charlotte La Trope (soprano) and Tom Castle (tenor).

    Rachmaninoff Vespers by Candlelight

    King’s College London Choir

    Not very many tickets left!

    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. 

    (a Word&Music Production)

    *Suitable for children 11 and older at the discretion of the parent / guardian

    Lord Byron by Richard Westall © National Portrait Gallery, London

    Organ Recital

    with Martin Neary

    Tuesday 19 March St Michael's Barnes

    1.00pm Tickets £10

    Martin Neary’s programme reveals Bach’s extraordinary powers of invention within traditional forms. The recital opens and closes with two of Bach’s greatest masterpieces, the Fantasia and Fugue in G minor and the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. Contrasting with these massive works are five preludes by Bach, based on Passion chorales, and a delightful selection of 17th and 18th century English voluntaries, which will provide an opportunity to hear some of the new sounds of the recently restored St Michael’s organ

    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 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.

    Re-Inventing the Folk


    Thursday 21 March St. Mary’s Barnes

    1.00pm Tickets £10

    Michael Pandya, Charlotte Bowden and Paul Grant present a programme inspired by folklore. Folk music has been a source of huge inspiration for composers for several centuries; here we showcase famous tunes from all corners of the UK as well as Europe and the USA recount stories of lovers, soldiers and childhood. Composers include Quilter, Vaughan Williams, Brahms, Mahler, Ravel, Grainger, Copland and arguably the master of reinventing folk melodies, Benjamin Britten.

    Community Evening

    Barnes Community Choir

    Thursday 21 March Holy Trinity Barnes

    7.30-9.15pm 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.

    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 & His Flying Machines

    Schools Concert

    with Barnes Primary School, St Osmund's School, Thomson House 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, 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.

    Music in the Dark


    Friday 22 March Olympic Studios Barnes

    7.30pm and 9.30pm Tickets £15

    When the lights are turned off, your hearing is heightened and the music is more intense. Experience this intensity in the new Screening Room at Olympic Studios with their legendary Dolby Atmos surround-sound system. Iconic performances of classical greats will be played with the lights dimmed to minimum levels (and eye-masks provided for the full black-out experience) so that you can savour every note and experience a different and deeper way of listening to great music.


    Since Olympic Screening Room seats only 20 people, there will be two “soundings” on the evening starting at 7.30pm and 9.30pm, each with a short interval to refresh your mind and body!

    In the Home of Leonardo

    A Family Event from Music Around the Park

    Saturday 23 March St Michael's Barnes

    4.30pm (no interval) Tickets £15 £8

    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

    7.00pm 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.

    I Berlioz …

    A Film by Tony Palmer

    Sunday 24 March Olympic Studios

    10.30am-12.30pm Tickets £15

    “I, Hector Louis Berlioz, composer, musician, citizen of France, tell you, in this my last Will and Testament, that my subject is – and always has been – war”. So begins an epic journey through the terrible struggles that Berlioz endured to get his great opera The Trojans performed. He never succeeded and it was not staged complete until twenty-one years after his death 150 years ago in 1869.

    Celebrating the life of this great composer, who obtained far greater recognition posthumously than he did during his lifetime, multi-award-winning director Tony Palmer introduces his film which places strong emphasis on the influence that the innovative Berlioz wielded on subsequent generations of musicians.

    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.

    Music & Invention

    A Photographic Exhibition

    Open daily throughout the festival from

    10.30-12.30 and during all events St Mary’s Barnes

    The myriad of themes that emanate from the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death provide the richest, broadest and most visual storyboard for this year’s exhibition on the theme of “Music and Invention”. And there can be fewer more inspirational lives. Regarded by many historians as the ‘universal genius’ or ‘Renaissance Man’, he was a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”. His contributions can be seen in so many key walks of life, in fields of painting, sculpture, science, music, mathematics, architecture, engineering and astronomy and the exhibition interprets many of these fields of invention with stunning photographs.

    photo©Andrew Wilson

    Young Artists Soirées

    Some of the Friends of Barnes Music Festival
    will again be inviting music-lovers into their own homes for a series of musical soirées giving the opportunity for emerging young artists to perform to small appreciative audiences. These soirées are by invitation only and if you would be interested in being invited, please email soirees@ barnesmusicfestival.com.

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