Highlights of the Autumn 2019 season include:

Showcases of new music: Guildhall Session Orchestra performs newly commissioned music for Illuminated River; an evening of works by Head of Composition Julian Philips; and a residency from Quatuor Bozzini

Alice Farnham conducts Haydn’s rarely performed La Fedeltà Premiata

Concerts in Barbican Hall featuring works by Rachmaninov, Gershwin and Duke Ellington; Sibelius and Mahler

Guildhall School musicians perform alongside international artists including: Alison Balsom, Richard Tognetti, Thomas Søndergård and Julian Joseph

Live events including video projection and light & sound installation projects at Museum of London, Tower Bridge and Hestercombe Gardens

Alumna Lucy Parham’s original Composer Portrait of Clara Schumann, performed in the composer’s bicentenary year, with narrators Lesley Sharp and Sir Simon Russell Beale

Collaborations with London Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra

A host of prestigious guest artists – including Sir Willard White, Kirill Gerstein, Joan Rodgers CBE and members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic – working with Guildhall musicians in public masterclasses


Guildhall Session Orchestra: New Music for Illuminated River: Tuesday 24 September, Milton Court Concert Hall

Guildhall Session Orchestra presents new music inspired by the first four bridges of the Illuminated River project: London, Cannon St, Southwark and Millennium. From sweeping orchestral scores to minimalist electronic pieces, these innovative new works by Guildhall composers have been commissioned by the Illuminated River Foundation to celebrate London’s historic bridges. Illuminated River is a public art commission to light up the bridges of the Thames, using the latest LED technology to ‘paint with light’, producing sequenced patterns that play across the bridge structures. This concert performance is accompanied by live visuals of the artwork, with presentations from the composers themselves. This performance, as part of the Illuminated River engagement programme, is UNESCO endorsed and has been made possible through a grant from the City of London’s ‘Inspiring London Through Culture Fund.’

Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, Chorus & Jazz Orchestra: Friday 27 September, Barbican Hall

Guildhall School’s Head of Opera Studies, Dominic Wheeler, conducts Rachmaninov’s choral symphony The Bells, featuring a new English translation by Writer-in-Residence Stephen Plaice and three Guildhall School alumni in solo roles: Katherine Broderick (soprano), John Findon (tenor) and David Stout (baritone). In the concert’s second half, under the baton of Scott Stroman, the Guildhall Jazz Orchestra & Singers will perform a jazz orchestra arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with celebrated jazz pianist Julian Joseph as soloist, as well as selections from Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts.

Australian Chamber Orchestra & Guildhall Musicians: Saturday 5 October, Milton Court Hall

Directed by Richard Tognetti, the Australian Chamber Orchestra returns to perform side-by-side with Guildhall School musicians as part of their residency as the Barbican’s International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court. The diverse programme, spanning works from inter-war England to the dark heart of Viennese psyche, includes Webern’s Five movements for String Orchestra, Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht.

British Horn Festival 2019: Sunday 13 October, Milton Court Concert Hall

The British Horn Society welcomes international horn players Christopher Parkes and Richard Bissill together with fellow Guildhall School horn professors Sue Dent, Roger Montgomery and David Pyatt for the 2019 Festival. The day includes masterclasses, recitals, coached ensembles, international instrument exhibitors, new professional development sessions for teachers and much more, culminated in an evening Gala concert. Promoted by the British Horn Society in association with Guildhall School.

Alison Balsom in Gabriel: An Entertainment with Trumpet: Monday 21 October, Barbican Hall

Samuel Adamson’s theatrical celebration of Baroque music brings to life the sights, sounds and stories of 17th-century London through the eyes of a court trumpeter. Guildhall School alumna Alison Balsom joins The English Concert with a chorus of singers from Guildhall School. Originally performed at Shakespeare’s Globe, Adamson and director Dominic Dromgoole have reimagined it for the Barbican as part of Balsom’s Milton Court artist residency, programmed by the Barbican.

Guildhall Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Søndergård: Thursday 7 November, Barbican Hall

Guildhall School welcomes Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård, Music Director of Royal Scottish National Orchestra, to conduct two radical, late-Romantic seventh symphonies: Sibelius’ one-movement work and Mahler’s ‘Song of the Night’.

Alumni Recital Series: Beloved Clara: Sunday 17 November, Milton Court Concert Hall

Commemorating the bicentenary of Clara Schumann, alumna Lucy Parham presents Beloved Clara – an original Composer Portrait telling the compelling and tragic story of the passionate yet volatile relationship between Robert Schumann, his pianist wife Clara Wieck and Johannes Brahms. In this special concert, the award-winning pianist – internationally known for her Composer Portrait concert series– performs music by all three composers, interspersed with extracts from their letters and diaries read by acclaimed actors and fellow Guildhall School alumni Lesley Sharp and Sir Simon Russell Beale.

Alumni Recital Series: Guitar Spectacular: Tuesday 19 November, Milton Court Concert Hall

Guitar Spectacular returns as part of the Alumni Recital Series, bringing guitar music centre stage with performances from celebrated performers including Francesco Scelzo, George Tarlton, Isabel Martinez and Marius Gundersen. The evening brings together repertoire by Marco Pereira, Bryan Johanson, Sérgio Assad, Francis Kleynjans, Isaac Albéniz, Regino Sáinz de la Maza and Roland Dyens.

Stories of Sweet Visions: Song & Chamber Music by Julian Philips: Monday 25 November, Milton Court Concert Hall

A programme of song and chamber works celebrates the music of Guildhall School’s Head of Composition Professor Julian Philips in his 50th birthday year. An ensemble of Guildhall School musicians and alumni including baritone James Newby, harpist and previous Gold Medal winner Oliver Wass and the Mithras Piano Trio perform these works, including two world premieres written by Philips, in the superb acoustics of Milton Court Concert Hall.

Quatuor Bozzini: Tuesday 3 December, Milton Court Concert Hall

Canadian string quartet Quatuor Bozzini are an original voice in new, experimental and classical music made up of violinists Clemens Merkel and Alissa Cheung, violist Stéphanie Bozzini and cellist Isabelle Bozzini. This concert of new chamber works by Guildhall composers is the culmination of a six-day residency by the ensemble, in which they coach chamber music groups, present masterclasses and workshops, and provide an open laboratory of works-in-progress by members of Guildhall School’s composition faculty.


A host of prestigious artists visit Guildhall School this autumn to give masterclasses to senior musicians. These include Sir Willard White (16 October); Kirill Gerstein (21 October); Claire Rutter (24 October); Ilya Poletaev (28 October); Ole Kristian Dahl (29 October); Tobias Truniger (30 October); Sa Chen (5 & 6 November); Krysia Osostowicz (11 November); Mark Templeton (14 November); Joan Rodgers CBE (14 November); Kyeong Ham (28 November) and musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Guildhall School’s Electronic Music department also continues its series of masterclasses exploring the recording and production of electronic scores, with a focus this time on sampling techniques. This free masterclass is open to all and suitable for all levels (17 October).


La Fedeltà Premiata: Four performances from Monday 4 November, Silk Street Theatre

Alice Farnham conducts Guildhall School’s autumn opera: Haydn’s rarely performed ‘Fidelity Rewarded.’ Written during the composer’s time at Eszterháza, this pastoral tale of love, sacrifice and a sea monster is told through heartfelt and lively music effortlessly spanning opera seria and buffa, directed by Stephen Barlow.


Guildhall Jazz Orchestra & Guildhall Jazz Band: Wednesday 27 November, Milton Court Concert Hall

Two of Guildhall School’s jazz ensembles perform an evening of toe-tapping performances under the artistic direction of Scott Stroman.

Girls in Jazz: Wednesday 27 November, Milton Court Concert Hall

Guildhall invites young female instrumentalists and vocalists aged 11-18 to explore the world of jazz in a free day of practical workshops and rehearsals led by some of the UK’s most prominent female jazz musicians, all levels of experience welcome.

Live Events

Beasts of London: until Sunday 5 January 2020, Museum of London

The immersive tour through London’s history, narrated by the animals who once lived in the City, continues. Inspired by objects in the Museum of London’s collection and created in partnership with Guildhall School, Beasts of London explores the fascinating role animals have played in shaping the capital. The multi-sensory digital installation features video projection mapping created by Guildhall School Video Design for Live Performance artists. Actors from the School voice many of the characters alongside household names that include Kate Moss and Brian Blessed. Guildhall production artists have designed the experience, and Guildhall composers have created the musical soundtrack.

Guildhall at Tower Bridge: Friday 29 November – Sunday 1 December, Bascule Chamber, Tower Bridge

Guildhall School once again presents a site-specific light and sound installation in the unique setting of Tower Bridge’s Bascule Chamber: a dramatic, subterranean Victorian space normally out of bounds for everyday visitors. As part of Tower Bridge’s 125th anniversary celebrations, the specifically commissioned work tells the stories of the men and women who transformed Tower Bridge into London’s defining landmark.

Christmas Lights at Hestercombe Gardens: Thursday 5 – Tuesday 24 December, Hestercombe House & Gardens, Somerset

Video designers from Guildhall School present a Christmas light installation in the beautiful grounds of Hestercombe House & Gardens, plus a specially commissioned video projection on the façade of Hestercombe House itself.


LSO Platforms: Guildhall Artists: Thursday 14 November, Thursday 12 December, Barbican Hall

Senior musicians from Guildhall School take to the Barbican stage before two LSO concerts this autumn with free performances of complementary repertoire. They present a recital of Russian songs (14 November) and an English programme of Vaughan Williams’ Phantasy Quintet and Howells’ Rhapsodic Quintet for clarinet and string quartet (12 December).

BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion: Chamber Music & Songs by Detlev Glanert and Henze, Saturday 7 December, Milton Court Concert Hall

Guildhall School musicians perform songs and chamber music by Germany’s most performed living composer Detlev Glanert and his teacher Hans Werner Henze, as part of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion day.


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