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Your September Musical Fix At St John’s Smith Square
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Your September Musical Fix At St John’s Smith Square

Picture of Beverley Vong
Updated: 24 April 2017
Located within earshot of the chimes of Big Ben in Westminster, St John’s Smith Square is the UK’s only baroque concert venue. With over 250 concerts lined up for the new 2015/16 season, there are plenty of choices and opportunities for a visit to one of London’s leading classical music venues. From piano to orchestras to singing to dancing, this season-opening September features countless talented musicians and exciting concerts.
St John's Smith Square, the UK's only baroque concert venue | © Matthew Andrews
St John’s Smith Square, the UK’s only baroque concert venue | © Matthew Andrews

Complete Chopin Cycle

A master of 19th-century Romantic music, Frédéric Chopin was the genius behind some of today’s most well-known piano music. Despite his early death — before his 40th birthday — Chopin composed no less than 240 works for solo piano with ten featured in the soundtrack for the Academy Award-winning film The Pianist. In an epic and almost super-human effort, British pianist Warren Mailley-Smith embarks on an impressive tour de force of Chopin’s complete piano works – entirely from memory!

Beginning on Friday 4 September at 7.30pm, the Complete Chopin Cycle includes eleven concerts. Tickets from £15.

Did you know? – Chopin taught piano to the rich so that he could afford his lavish Parisian lifestyle, but he felt so embarrassed at the thought of taking their money that he would purposely look away while they left their lesson fee on the mantelpiece.

Complete Chopin Cycle with Warren Mailley-Smith | © Benjamin Ealovega 2015
Complete Chopin Cycle with Warren Mailley-Smith | © Benjamin Ealovega 2015

Occupy The Floor

An event that involves singing, dancing and plenty of music may initially be considered out of place in a 300-year-old baroque building, but that’s exactly what’s in store for Sunday 13 September with Occupy The Floor. Dancer Jonathan Goddard, who has worked with the likes of Rambert Dance Company, will join pianist extraordinaire Rolf Hind on stage – and by that we mean off-stage as the entire event will take place in-the-round – for a performance of a brand new work for pianist and dancer. Singer Loré Lixenberg brings her Royal Opera House-worthy vocal technique to St John’s Smith Square with some fiendishly difficult music for voice, where extremely high notes are interrupted with intentional coughs and mutters.

Come and join the occupation on Sunday 13 September at 7pm! Tickets £10 (£5 for Under 26s)

Pianist Rolf Hind (left) and Jonathan Goddard (right) | © Paul Frank Rogers (left) and © Simon Weir (right)
Pianist Rolf Hind (left) and Jonathan Goddard (right) | © Paul Frank Rogers (left) and © Simon Weir (right)

Operetta Gala

Operetta – that’s opera but light-hearted. So expect more than a few waltzes and plenty of popular operatic melodies in Opera Danubes Viennese-themed Operetta Gala! This semi-staged concert on Saturday 19 September features excerpts from all-time favorite operettas such as Die Fledermaus by composer Johann Strauss, aka ‘The Waltz King,’ the same man who wrote the famous Blue Danube, which was used in Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Tickets from £10

London International A Cappella Choir Competition Final

Following three days of intensive and competitive heats, the chosen finalists of this year’s London International A Cappella Choir Competition Final battle it out for the First, Second, and Audience Prizes on Saturday 26 September. Hear the finalists perform a wide range of repertoire, from 15th-century church music to works composed in the 21st century. This year’s featured composer is three-time winner of the British Academy of Songwriters, Gabriel Jackson. The panel of distinguished judges include Peter Phillips, Founder and Director of the internationally renowned vocal ensemble The Tallis Scholars.

Tickets £8 (£5 conc.)

2014 London International A Cappella Choir Competition | © Matthew Andrews
2014 London International A Cappella Choir Competition | © Matthew Andrews

Strauss’s Alpine Symphony

Composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949) loved the Alps. His Alpine Symphony, a 50-minute orchestral piece, depicts the experiences of climbing in the Alps from dawn to dusk. Scored for no less than 125 musicians, the Alpine Symphony is one of Strauss’s largest orchestral works. The fascinating array of percussion instruments include a wind machine, a thunder machine, cowbells, and even a gong! Come hear the exceptional young musicians of YMSO — all aged under 25 —perform this monumental masterpiece on Wednesday 30 September at 7.30pm.

Did you know? – Strauss’s Alpine Symphony became so popular that it was used for the first ever test pressing of a CD!

Tickets from £10 (£8 conc.)

Alpine Symphony with Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra | © Matthew Andrews
Alpine Symphony with Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra | © Matthew Andrews

Located in the heart of Westminster, St John’s Smith Square is within walking distance of London’s most iconic tourist attractions.

St John’s Smith Square, Smith Square, London, UK, +44 20 7222 1061