City of London Sinfonia announces six more performances at Southwark Cathedral


Building on the success of their return to live indoor performance last month, City of London Sinfonia (CLS) will return to Southwark Cathedral this autumn with six more socially distanced performances.

Restore and Revive features hand-picked favourites from CLS musicians across three concerts, in an uplifting and invigorating series that celebrates the long-awaited reconnection with audiences through the revival of live music performance.

The concerts have been designed in accordance with current safety guidelines around live public performances during the Covid-19 pandemic whilst retaining the familiar signatures of City of London Sinfonia’s seriously informal style.

Audiences will be able to experience the concert series in flexible and socially distanced seating configurations positioned in the nave or in-promenade taking in the breathtaking architecture and distinct acoustics throughout the cathedral.

Alexandra Wood, City of London Sinfonia’s Creative Director & Orchestra Leader, said: “Our autumn concerts are a reunion and a celebration of different parts of the orchestra: a string concert, a wind concert and, after many months, we will finally come together for a full-scale symphony.

“The winds have chosen music which is special to them. In the string concert, we explore two “staples” of the string repertoire: Serenades by Elgar and Tchaikovsky, filled with emotion, passion and drama.

“Haydn’s ‘London’ Symphony is not just a chance for everybody to perform together again, but a nod to our name, and a chance to remember how culturally important and resilient London has been and will continue to be.”

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Matthew Swann, City of London Sinfonia’s Chief Executive, said: “We were delighted to welcome audiences back for our first Southwark Cathedral performances in six months in September – both those who joined us in-person and those who experienced the concerts online, totalling more than 30,000 on Facebook and YouTube.

“Restore and Revive takes the vision of reconnecting with audiences further, inviting them into the concert going experience and the heart of the music in a safe but engaging way.”

On Thursday 22 October at 2pm and 7pm, City of London Sinfonia strings will perform Elgar’s Serenade for Strings in E minor (Op.20) and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C (Op.48), directed by Alexandra Wood (CLS Creative Director & Leader).

Each performance will open with a Mindful Music introduction, a CLS initiative first launched in 2018, which unites live classical music with mindful meditation. Violinist Ann Lovatt will lead a short mindfulness session encouraging audiences to connect with the breath of the music, to enlarge the calming and restorative qualities of the experience.

On Wednesday 4 November at 2pm and 7pm, City of London Sinfonia will perform Haydn’s String Quartets, Op.76, No.2 (Movement I: Allegro), Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet (Movement II: Rubato. Lamentoso) and Haydn’s “London” Symphony, No. 104.

This concert will feature living programme notes, an invitation to take a stroll around the “forest” cathedral and connect with the musicians and the music in unexpected ways. Continuing CLS’s live+digital offer, this concert will also be available to watch online from Tuesday 17 November at 8pm on the Orchestra’s YouTube and Facebook channels. The September performance of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations is also available to watch online until 30 October 2020.

On Thursday 26 November at 2pm and 7pm, City of London Sinfonia winds will perform R. Strauss’ Suite for Winds in B-flat, Op.4, Mozart’s Sonata in F (KV497), in an arrangement for wind nontet by Quentin Poole, Amy Beach’s Pastorale for Wind Quintet, Op.151 and Cecilia McDowall’s Subject to the Weather.

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