Taking our inspiration from The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments’s event Nine Daies Wonder we’ve come up with nine brilliant things about our Winter Festival to share with you.
- Sounds strange: The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments are, true to their name, bringing lots of strange and ancient instruments to Shoreditch Church. In Nine Daies Wonder they create an Elizabethan evening inspired by the story of Will Kemp, a Shakespearian actor and shameless self-publicist who danced his way from London to Norwich over nine days in 1600.
- Take them to the Tower! An evening in the amazing surroundings of the Tower of London and a chance to hear excerpts from Bach’s famous incomplete Orgelbüchlein performed alongside new compositions bringing it into the present day. Don’t worry though; we’ll let you out again at the end. (Although, for a firsthand experience of getting locked in the tower, read here).
- A feast of early music in some of Spitalfields’s most beautiful spaces: we welcome back festival favourites The Sixteen, Fretwork and The English Concert back to Spitalfields. Come join us in a transformed, candlelit Shoreditch Church on the first night of the festival for an evening of music for voice and lute by Dowland, Handel and Purcell with Iestyn Davies and Elizabeth Kenny.
- Festival firsts: we’re excited to be featuring with some of the best new music and new artists out there. From a premiere performance of Sam Hayden’s Transience by French Quartet Quatuor Diotima to a musical narrative of the traditional Christmas story from vocal ensemble Siglo de Oro, we reckon you’ll love hearing these in Spitalfields for the first time.
- History meets speed dating: intrigued? Come along to Alan Gilbey’s Tales from the Ditch in the hidden spaces of Shoreditch Town Hall as a cast of local storytellers, historians and musicians lead you through a maze of tantalising stories and surprises.
- Join East London’s musicians at our two free Platform concerts in Shoreditch Church where they’ll be singing songs from around the globe with singers from Ex Cathedra, and lifting our spirits with a toe-tapping end of year jazz showcase. There’s also a chance for you to get involved in Sing Out, a half-day celebration of music and song.
- December’s all about food (well… and music): and we don’t expect this year to be any different. Leila’s Shop bar will be at loads of our events serving mulled wine, mince pies, prosecco, panettone and other delicious treats to warm you up on those cold December evenings.
- An underwater adventure for little ones: our interactive opera for babies and toddlers, Musical Rumpus, returns with a new production, Catch a Sea Star. Come along and follow the journey of a hermit crab through a magical world of mermaids and sea monsters all set to the music of JS Bach’s humorous cantatas. There are events for all the family too: after a morning enjoying our Winter Fayre on the Farm, our Market Live Sessions are the perfect way to spend an afternoon exploring all that Spitalfields has to offer in December.
- I can’t remember…: seriously though, Vast White Stillness by Claudia Molitor and Dan Ayling is a part performance part installation work at Toynbee Studios, in which reality and imagination blur to explore things we only half-remember. Also looking at memory, The Clerks have put together a late-evening exploring music and memory, and how we recall the music we hear. Don’t forget to come along. Our late-night concerts also include a performance of Tavener’s Lament for Jerusalem, with the Choir of London,
You can find out more about our programme on our website or take a look at our digital festival brochure. Booking opens on Monday 22 September, but if you want to beat the queues, join as a Spitalfields Music Member from £35 today to access priority booking now.