• Event Information



    Barnes Young Musician of the Year

    10 March 2018, 12 noon, Velehrad Concert Hall, admission free

    In its second year, our Young Musicians award looks ahead to the future of musical performance. The festival wants to give local young musicians not only a platform, we also want to play our part in sustaining a high quality of musicianship in future generations.

    The finals adjudication in form of a concert will be led by distinguished educationalist, conductor and broadcaster Hilary Davan Wetton and is open to the public. The final programme will be posted in advance on our website.


    Sam Tannenbaum, our 2017 Young Musician has also been developing his composition skills. His latest cello sonata in e minor can be found on youtube. Sam is now studying music at St John’s College Cambridge.

    For more information please check here

    Opening Concert

    Thames Youth Orchestra with Guy Johnston

    10 March 2018, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £20

    Star cellist Guy Johnston is the soloist in Elgar Cello Concerto with the Thames Youth Orchestra, conducted by Simon Ferries. They present a programme of works written in the first half of the 20th Century exploring the power of music to console and enshrine memory at times of personal and national crisis, including

    Moeran Symphony in G Minor, Williams’ The Lark Ascending and Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music with former TYO leader Jim Tse.

    Photographic Exhibition Peace & Harmonies

    10-25 March 2018, St Mary's Barnes, admission free

    10.30am-12.30pm and during events

    Prominent local photographers Andrew Wilson (©photo) and colleagues return to the Festival with a specially curated photographic exhibition around this year's theme of 'Peace & Harmonies'.

    Barnes Concert Band

    11 March 2018, 3.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, 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. The programme linking to the theme of Peace & Harmonies features a diverse selection of music from a wide range of composers including Gustav Holst, George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein. Listen to the music and then enjoy free tea and cakes with the band members.

    Bach St Matthew Passion

    English Chamber Singers, St Michael's Choir and Tiffin Boys' Choir

    11 March 2018, 6.00pm, St Michael's Barnes, Tickets £40, £30, £20, £15

    Bach’s St Matthew Passion is one of Western music’s greatest masterpieces. Composed in 1727 for the Good Friday services in Leipzig, the work recounts the dramatic events leading up to Jesus’s crucifixion, as well as offering, through the chorales and arias, moments of beauty, peace and contemplation. The Oratorio will be conducted by Martin Neary and accompanied on period instruments with a stellar cast of soloists. Photo©Philip Bovey

    An evening with Howard Goodall

    12 March 2018, 8.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    Howard Goodall, award-winning composer of choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores, is well-known also as a lyricist, author, music historian and broadcaster. Music has infused his life from his early days as an Oxford chorister to becoming England’s first ever National Ambassador for Singing, the Classical Brit Composer of the Year and Classic FM’s Composer-in-Residence. Fellow Barnes resident and BBC TV journalist Elly Oldroyd, author of Composers of Barnes, interviews Howard on his life and the music which has most influenced him, playing recorded excerpt of his own and others music.

    Cello Recital

    with Josh Salter and Adrian Brendle

    13 March 2018, 1.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £10

    Emerging stars Josh Salter cello and Adrian Brendle piano play a programme of Bridge, Britten, Beethoven and Casals with works inspired by the composers’ protests against war and their seeking for peace.

    Blondel: Of all the Birds

    Birds and the Natural World in Medieval and Renaissance Music

    13 March 2018, 7.30pm, Wetland Centre Barnes, Tickets £

    Music by Senleches, Vaillant, Baldwin, Weelkes and others, with Emily Baines, Lizzie Gutteridge and Belinda Paul.

    The natural world, and birds in particular, provided a wealth of imagery and allegory for medieval and renaissance musicians. They were frequently enlisted to enact the dramas found in human life, at a safe remove, but also served to illustrate the harmony of nature. Imitation of birdsong was also used as a means for human musicians to display their virtuosity and this programme will depict both the harmonious balance of nature and the artistry of humans in imitating it. Featuring performances on recorders, shawms, bagpipes and more!

    Piano Peace

    with Alistair McGowan, Anthony Hewitt and Charlotte Page

    14 March 2018, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    After the unexpected commercial and critical success of his recent foray into the world of classical piano, impressionist and actor, Alistair McGowan, returns together with internationally-renowned classical pianist (and fellow Barnes resident), Anthony Hewitt and singer Charlotte Page with a programme featuring Satie, Grieg, Liszt, Arvo Pärt and Ravel. We can expect romance, passion, some of McGowan's trademark wit and a lot of 'peaceful' music.

    Organ Recital

    with James McVinnie

    15 March 2018,1.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £10

    Organist James McVinnie has collaborated with some of the world’s leading composers, producers and performers from classical, contemporary, popular and experimental music. Nico Muhly, Tom Jenkinson/Squarepusher, Martin Creed (winner of the 2001 Turner Prize), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), David Lang (winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in music) and Bryce Dessner (The National) have written works for him. Recent highlights have included a solo recital at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles and a subsequent concerto debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa Pekka Salonen in the LA Phil’s Reykjavík Festival.

    ‘This is bold, brave programming, and situates the organ within a new landscape of contemporary music while paying tribute to its rich heritage’ Line Of Best Fit

    Fibonacci Sequence Piano Trio

    with Kathron Sturrock, Ashok Klouda and Robert Salter

    15 March 2018, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    Kathron Sturrock is the founder member and artistic director of the Fibonacci Sequence Ensemble, which reaches its 24th Anniversary in 2018. Appearing as a piano trio for this Festival concert, they will perform Schubert Notturno in E flat and Tchaikovsky Piano Trio in A minor. In addition the brilliant JS Bach's Cello Suite in C major No 3, BWV 1009, which begins with a simple descending scale, a strong statement of positive energy, and Mozart Violin Sonata in A, K 526 will round off this exciting programme presented by the Barnes Music Society.

    Haydn Creation

    with the Tiffin Boys' Choir

    16 March 2018, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £18

    Join the Tiffin Boys’ Choir as they perform Haydn’s masterwork, a joyous depiction of the six days of the creation. Based on Milton’s epic, Paradise Lost, the work is a celebration of the beauty of nature and man’s ability to love. It is a piece filled with optimism and some of the most lovable and life-affirming music ever composed.

    The Tiffin Boys’ Choir, directed by James Day, is one of the busiest Boys’ Choirs in the world, performing regularly on the BBC and Classic FM, with all of the London Orchestras and at the Royal Opera House.

    Handel Messiah

    with the Fulham Camerata

    17 March 2018, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £18

    As the second part of the Festival Oratorio Weekend, Fulham Camerata’s performance of Handel’s Messiah has a central role within our theme. Does Handel’s Messiah represent Peace? In one of its most stirring choruses the choir sings: “For unto us a Child is born…and his name shall be called…The Prince of Peace!” Listeners in Handel’s time would have been in no doubt of the centrality of Peace in the Messiah. Join us for this performance of the ever-popular Messiah which vividly conveys the great story of ‘Peace and Harmonies’ with the talented choir of Fulham Camerata, expert soloists and full chamber orchestra.

    Come & Sing

    The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace

    by Karl Jenkins, with Howard Ionascu

    18 March 2018, 6.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £10 (audience),

    Rehearsal from 11.30am, Kitson Hall, £20 (Singers tickets via booking form)

    The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace was commissioned by the Royal Armouries to mark the transition from one millennium to another. It reflects on the passing of ‘the most war-torn and destructive century in human history’ and looks forward in hope to a more peaceful future. The Armed Man is dedicated to the victims of the Kosovo conflict, whose tragedy was unfolding as it was being composed. A framework for the work is provided by the traditional Catholic Mass and includes settings of the Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei and Benedictus. But what makes the work distinctive are the lyrics drawn from many parts of the world and from diverse religions and cultures.

    St Paul's Jazz Band

    18 March 2018, 2.30pm, Kitson Hall, Tickets £7 (kids under 12 free)

    St Paul’s School Jazz Bands, including Big Band, Funk Group, Swing Band and smaller combos. Directed by the ensemble leaders of the jazz programme.

    National Youth Jazz Orchestra's Nonet

    18 March 2018, 8.00pm, Bull's Head Barnes,

    Tickets £13 on the door (£11 in advance tickets.thebullsheadbarnes.com)

    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, the Nonet has established a reputation for consummately skillful performances, inspiring soloing and wonderful “cool school” arrangements. Returning to the Barnes Music Festival for the sixth year running, their arrangements this year reflect the Festival theme of Peace & Harmonies in unusual and entertaining ways.

    Johann Sebastian - a Musical Drama & UK Première

    with Davina Clarke and Tama Matheson

    19 March 2018, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    Johann Sebastian is a musico-dramatic voyage through the life of one of the world’s foremost creative geniuses. Part play and part recital, Johann Sebastian is an enchanting, moving, and often hilarious depiction of Bach’s life, which sets his titanic genius in the framework of his biography. An extraordinary fusion of words and music, Johann Sebastian presents the tale of one of the world’s greatest composers struggling, like all of us, to harmonise the dissonances of real life. Johann Sebastian presents a fresh, invigorating, and beguiling picture of one of the world’s greatest geniuses.

    Organ Recital

    with Martin Neary

    20 March 2018,1.00pm, St Michael's Barnes, Tickets £10

    Martin Neary, former Organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey, has chosen a programme to demonstrate the full range of the splendidly restored organ at St Michael’s. He opens with Bach’s sublime Prelude and Fugue in B minor, followed by two contrasting chorale preludes by Bach. He then moves to the French romantic era to play César Franck’s lyrical Pastorale and the quiet, reflective Chant de Paix by the blind French organist, Jean Langlais. The recital ends with Felix Mendelssohn’s melodious and virtuosic first organ sonata.

    Messiaen Quartet of the End of Time

    Labuschagne Quartet

    20 March 2018,7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    Messiaen wrote Quartet for the End of Time while a prisoner of war in German captivity. The unusual combination of piano, clarinet, violin and cello reflects the players he had available at the camp where it was premièred. The pianist Steven Osborne described the piece once as "a stark juxtaposition between the destructive and creative potentials of humanity, a struggle we all embody to some degree."

    The Labuschagne Quartet was formed in 2016 to play the piece which they have done extensively since and combine this performance with Shostakovich Five Pieces and Beethoven Irish, Scottish & Welsh Songs.

    English Chamber Choir

    21 March 2018,7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes,Tickets £15

    After a successful Brahms Requiem in 2017 the LCC return to the with his Liebeslieder Walzer. Over the years the Choir has formed special relationships with certain composers, another one being the American James Sellars. This concert includes a tribute to him, with his Kissing Songs composed as a companion piece to the Brahms waltzes. We also celebrate the centenary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, a close friend of Sellars, and include Samuel Barber’s Adagio. The programme begins with the anthem Heav’nly Harmony by local composer and Festival Patron Roxanna Panufnik.

    Violin & Piano Recital

    with Henry Chandler and John Paul Ekins

    22 March 2018, 1.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £10

    Two local musicians return to the Barnes Music Festival, performing sonatas by Beethoven and Strauss. The “Spring” Sonata (1802) comes at a time when Beethoven was very much continuing a duo tradition set forth by Mozart, expertly balancing innovation with serene beauty. Beethoven is very often paired with Strauss, both composers writing at key transitional phases in music history. Strauss’ Violin Sonata (1888) offers moments of tranquillity amid the unfolding drama of the first movement whilst the lyrical slow movement is improvisatory and spontaneous in character.

    Community Evening

    with the Barnes Community Choir

    22 March 2018, 7.30pm, Holy Trinity Barnes, 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. BCC will be singing a variety of music- gospel, jazz, classical, pop and musical theatre lead by Joe Bunker. Singer-songwriter John Hudson will be joining them with a collection of his songs.


    Schools performance

    23 March 2018, 7.00pm, Wathen Hall, Tickets £5 (kids are free)

    Barnes Primary School comes together with St Paul’s School Junior Choir and Jazz Band, Barnes Community Choir and Rodolfus Choir for this special performance of Zimbe! (translated as Sing Them!) an uplifting celebration of African music for mixed chorus, children’s choir and jazz quintet. Composer Alexander L’Estrange combines traditional songs with infectious accompaniments and vibrant percussion to take us on a whirlwind tour of life in an African village reflecting some of the ways in which music plays a part in everyday life in Africa. It’s a wonderfully simple, joyous realm where music imitates life, and life inspires music.

    Czechoslovakia Centenary Concert

    with Imma Setiadi​ and Nigel Clayton​

    23 March 2018, 7.30pm, Velehrad Centre, Tickets £15

    To mark the centenary of the founding of Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of the First World War, the festival is linking with the Dvořák Society and Velehrad, the newly refurbished Czech Cultural Centre in Barnes, to present music by Czech composers and others associated with Czech and Slovak cultures. The programme of piano duets is played by Imma Setiadi, a young prize-winning pianist, and Nigel Clayton, Professor of Piano Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music and includes Dvořák’s From the Bohemian Forest.

    Mozart Requiem, Goodall Eternal Light

    with the Barnes Choir and Orchestra

    24 March 2018, 7.30pm, St Mary's Barnes, Tickets £15

    This Barnes Choir performance, conducted by Julian Collings, programmes two very different interpretations of the Requiem side by side. The Mozart Requiem which was unfinished at the time of his death in 1791 is contrasted with a contemporary setting by Howard Goodall from 2008 in which the traditional texts of the Requiem are stripped down and interspersed with words of English poetry from the last five hundred years.

    Britten Nocturne

    from and with Tony Palmer

    25 March 2018, 10.30am, Olympic Studios, Tickets £15

    Multi-award-winning director Tony Palmer introduces his extraordinary film which explores Britten’s uneasy relationship to the wider world, starting at the point where he returns to Suffolk in 1942. War profoundly affected Britten, not only because he was a pacifist but also as an artist. What is the role of the artist in such a troubled world? What are his responsibilities? What is the nature of creativity itself? Man's inhumanity to Man now, and always. This is the subject matter which preoccupied Britten and that is the subject of this film.


    One of the most brilliant anti-war documentaries I have ever seen. It is an absolute masterpiece, definitive, original and very moving.” Andrew Billen, The Times

    Festival Choral Evensong

    with St Mary's & St Michael's Choirs

    25 March 2018, 6.00pm, St Mary's Barnes, admission free with collection

    Join us for the final celebratory event of the Barnes Music Festival 2018 at the timeless office of Choral Evensong led musically by the combined choirs of St Mary’s Barnes and St Michael’s Barnes. The address is given by Jeremy Dibble, Professor of Music at Durham University, an acknowledged authority on church music and on CHH Parry (1848–1918) whose centenary anniversary is this year. The anthem is by Parry and hymn tunes include those from Holst and Howells, both Composers of Barnes.

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