Spitalfields Music Announces 2024 Programme

Hebrides Ensemble, appearing as part of the Spitalfields Music Festival

Spitalfields Music has announced the full programme for its 2024 Festival, which will take place from 27 June – 10 July at iconic spaces and venues throughout East London. World premieres, cutting-edge new music, cross-artform collaborations and classic repertoire sits at the heart of the festival, which celebrates the extraordinary breadth of classical music.

Curated by Spitalfields Music Chief Executive, Sarah Gee, the 2024 festival places a particular focus on the work of women and female-identifying composers and brings together acclaimed national and international artists of different styles, traditions, genres and artforms for two weeks of unique performances in beautiful and quirky venues. Tickets are on sale now.

Sarah Gee states: “This year, we have drawn inspiration from local history by showcasing works linked to our street markets, our own Royal Palace, and new neighbours, The Vagina Museum.  We’re inviting people to join us in singing some of Fleetwod Mac’s greatest hits – one of the UK’s great bands, and founded by a Bethnal Green local lad – and we’re presenting the world-famous Academy of St. Martin in the Fields for the first time, in a glorious evening of music for string orchestra, including a memorial to Stephen Lawrence, over 30 years since his murder. We’ll also have four walking tours, so people have the chance to understand more about the area of London we’re so proud to call home.

Young Londoners feature through performances by over a hundred singers from local primary schools, and a whimsical look at advertising through the ages, including an interactive market stall.  We’re also partnering with the Royal Academy of Music to take performances into local schools, ensuring everyone has access to music of the highest quality on their doorsteps.

We’re profiling music about climate change, grief and loss, and female-identifying truck drivers, so there’s something for everyone. We’re seeking out lesser-heard composers whose work deserves a wider audience, so there will be unmissable moments.  But underpinning everything we do are the twin imperatives to shine a light on fascinating stories from today and the past, and to make the experience of sharing music with others a joyful, welcoming and enriching experience.”

Programme highlights include:

  • Nardus Williams and Elizabeth Kenny present a concert celebrating East London’s cosmopolitan history including the influence of immigrants on the city – featuring a world premiere by Roderick Williams and Dr Rommi Smith, alongside music by Henry VIII, Henry Purcell, Daniel Bacheler, Alfonso Ferrabosco and José Marin.
  • Cabaret takes centre stage at the Vagina Museum shining a light on the women who wrote and performed songs that said the unsayable and poked fun at the establishment – featuring never-before heard pieces performed by Anna Pool, Amy J Payne and Erika Gundesen.
  • Manchester Collective return to the festival with a concert of contemporary music at Village Underground featuring the world premiere of a new piece by Jocelyn Campbell alongside music by Imogen Holst, Errollyn Wallen, Missy Mazzoli, Dobrinka Tabakova, Kaija Saariaho and Edmund Finnis.
  • Celebrating 35 years of NMC Recordings, the award-winning record label and arts charity, with a performance featuring many of the artists and work that they have championed over the past three and a half decades.
  • Composer Emily Levy and Writer-Director Mella Faye present the London premiere of Me Without You at Metronome London, a highly personal exploration of love, loss and survival told through music, dance and recorded interviews.
  • The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields make their festival debut with an evening of music for strings, featuring Edward Elgar, Benjamin Britten, Philip Herbert, Ruth Gipps, William Walton and Jonathan Woolgar at a Hawksmoor church close to the Thames.
  • Experimental composer and artist Néfur, who was shortlisted for the BBC Sound of the Year Awards 2021, gives the first live performance of her new album The Water, The Lover which combines her voice with the sounds of disappearing Icelandic glaciers.
  • GBSR Duo and composer, multi-instrumentalist and multimedia artist CHAINES combine amplified percussion, keys and vocals with electronically processed sounds, as they undertake an imaginary autopsy in the World Premiere of Autopsy of an Aberration.
  • Stephanie Lamprea and the Hebrides Ensemble perform three pieces that imagine the story behind Pierrot the clown – Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Helen Grime’s Seven Pierrot Miniatures and a World Premiere from Electra Perivolaris.
  • The Carice Singers perform Berio’s Cries of London, inspired by the street sellers of the city’s markets, alongside the London premieres of six new choral works by emerging composers – as the final chapter of the partnership between Spitalfields Music and Cheltenham Music Festival.
  • An evening of choral music from Byrd, Tallis, de Monte, Weelkes and Gibbons performed by Choir of the Chapels Royal, at the Church of St. Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London where it has been sung for over 400 years.