Audience capacity is reduced to 20 per cent, and other safety measures are in place, but there is nothing reduced about the programme, which features concert favourites and less familiar pieces, performed by leading artists.
Events to look out for includes a lunchtime recital by members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Jan Latham-Koenig and featuring Mark Bebbington (piano), and baritone Roderick Williams. This magical sequence of music by Poulenc concludes with (appropriately for the masked audience) Le Bal Masqué (Fri 2 Oct, 1PM).
At the end of the piece, said the composer, ‘the audience should be stupefied and exhilarated as though they’d just got off a merry-go-round'.
Roderick Williams, seen here at Grange Park Opera, performs on 2 Oct. Photo: Richard Lewisohn
Revolutions of a different type take place in the mould-breaking late quartets of Beethoven. Hear them in a series of four chamber concerts, The Revolutionary Drawing Room (Sat 3 Oct, Sun 4 Oct; Sat 24 Oct, Sun 25 Oct, all 3PM).
Kristian Bezuidenhout directs the English Concert and soloists including soprano Julia Doyle, countertenors Christopher Lowrey and James Laing, tenors Anthony Gregory and Hugo Hymas, and bass Ashley Riches in Purcell's jubilant Odes for a Queen, including 'Sound the trumpet’ (Tue 6 Oct, 7.30PM).
For nearly 50 years the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra has bridged the gap between college life and the music profession for orchestral musicians aged 18 to 25. On Wed 14 Oct at 7:30PM, James Blair conducts Young Musician’s Symphony Orchestra in Wagner's Siegfried Idyll and Beethoven's Symphony No 8, in the orchestra's home base, a long-awaited return to music-making together.
Hear the former church's fine organ in a recital that includes the most famous wedding music, Widor's Organ Symphony No 5 , when Peter Holder gives a recital to blast away the blues (Thurs 15 Oct, 1:05PM).
Bass Ashley Riches sings Purcell on 6 Oct
Latham-Koenig is back, this time with the strings of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Wed 21 Oct, 1:00PM in music by Sir Lennox Berkeley, a new completion by Robert Matthew-Walker of Elgar's unfinished Piano Concerto plus the premiere of Matthew-Walker's Concertante on a Theme of Paganini for piano and double string orchestra.
Euphonia by Rachel Stott takes its name from a story in Berlioz’s Evenings in the Orchestra, which describes a German city in the year 2344, devoted exclusively to music. Composed during lockdown in spring 2020, Euphonia imagines four musicians from this city escaping in a hot air balloon to seek their fortune in London. It is played with a Beethoven quartet at 3PM on Sat 24 Oct.
Dates for November and December, including Christmas music, are to be announced. But for now, the October season concludes with players from the ever-popular Chineke! Orchestra. Chineke! Chamber Ensemble play Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – Four American Spirituals and Schubert's Piano Quintet in A, the Trout (Sat 31 Oct, 2:00PM). At 7:30PM it repeats the Coleridge-Taylor songs, plus Vaughan Williams's Piano Quintet in C minor.
St John's Smith Square joins the many London venues now reopened to live audiences. Its many daytime concerts help music-lovers avoid rush-hour travel while recapturing the thrill of sharing live music-making. Click here for more information and booking.
|What||St John's Smith Square live concerts: autumn dates|
|Where||St John's Smith Square, 30 Smith Square, London , SW1P 3HF | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Victoria (underground)|
01 Oct 20 – 31 Oct 20, 22 events, start times vary. Duration c1hr, no interval
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|