Her Ensemble @ BAC Credit: Tom Lovatt

Spitalfields Music Announces Programme For 2022 Festival

Spitalfields Music has today announced the line-up for its 2022 Festival, which will see world premieres, new music and classic repertoire performed in iconic East London locations. Taking place from 30 June – 13 July, tickets go on general sale on Tuesday 15 March. 

Bringing together music traditions and artists from around the world, the Festival curated by Spitalfields Music Chief Executive Sarah Gee, will celebrate the power of music to transcend culture, communities, languages and borders at a time when global unity is urgently needed.

Performances will combine different styles, artforms and genres to demonstrate the extensive range and resilience of classical music. 

Loosely threading through this year’s festival is our relationship with the natural world, and the threat we face if environmental concerns are left unaddressed, with concerts challenging us to think about our own carbon footprints, and our place within a wider ecosystem. 

Programme Highlights include: 

  • Professor James Sparks will discuss the mathematical genius of Bach, illustrated by a performance of the Goldberg Variations by City of London Sinfonia, in a concert paying homage to The Spitalfields Mathematical Society – a working men’s club founded in 1717. 
  • Composer and clarinettist Arun Ghosh presents the London premiere of Canticle of the Sun. A reimagining of St Francis of Assisi’s sacred song through spiritual music from across the world, creating a transcendental sound world and a powerful reminder of our place within the planet’s larger ecosystem. 
  • Award-winning quintet Inner City Brass will perform the World Premiere of a new work by composer, trombonist and big band arranger Callum Au – commissioned by Spitalfields Music and Ryedale Festival. 
  • Pianola virtuoso Rex Lawson will perform Stravinsky’s ground-breaking ballet score The Rite of Spring
  • Co-curated with conductor Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey and Afghan pianist and composer Arson Fahim, Spitalfields Music has commissioned Afghan musicians in exile or hiding to write new compositions and create arrangements of Afghan traditional songs which will be performed by a chamber orchestra of instruments from Afghanistan and the Western classical music tradition. 
  • The UK’s first women and non-binary orchestra Her Ensemble – which was formed just over a year ago to shine a light on the overlooked canon of music written by women over the last thousand years – will perform a programme of music from Barbara Strozzi to Dobrinka Tabakova. 
  • Six new works by James Batty, Michele Deiana, Will Harmer, Electra Perivolaris, Claire Victoria Roberts and Aileen Sweeney will receive their London premieres as part of Spitalfields Music and Cheltenham Music Festival’s ongoing partnership. The programme will be completed by The Carice Singers performing Ralph Vaughan Williams in celebration of his 150th anniversary. 
  • World Premiere of The Melting Ceremony a new collaboration between Composer Neil Luck and filmmaker Hydar Dewachi exploring the need for ceremony and community following a period of enforced isolation.
  • Kazakh violinist Aisha Orazbayeva will give two rare performances of Biber’s virtuosic Mystery Sonatas played on baroque violin. 
  • World premiere of Laura Bowler‘s Distance – a groundbreaking multimedia chamber piece performed by Soprano Juliet Fraser in London with the Talea Ensemble live streamed directly from New York City. Reimagining how we can collaborate internationally, the piece will challenge the way we think about our own carbon footprint. 
  • Celebrating the lasting legacy of Benedictine nun and polymath Hildegard of Bingen, new works by Stevie Wishart, Marcus Davison, Emily Levy, Tim Young and Laura Moody will be juxtaposed with Hildegard’s haunting melodies to recreate her vision for a 21stC audience by Voice trio. 
  • George Barton, Siwan Rhys and Mira Benjamin will perform a concert celebrating composer Barbara Monk Feldman’s minimalist masterpieces. 
  • Internationally-renowned vocal ensemble VOCES8 join forces with the TUKS Camerata from the University of Pretoria in a programme of music around hope, creating a suitable end for the festival 

Sarah Gee, Chief Executive of Spitalfields Music, says: “Our plucky little festival brings together the East End’s diverse communities through music. We look forward to welcoming those with open hearts, minds and ears for a varied programme covering a thousand years of music. This year, we’ll turn up the volume on nature and the environment; celebrate music by women, migrants and refugees; explore the history of our home patch; platform over twenty world or London premieres; and create moments for calm reflection and riotous joy.” 

Spitalfields Music Festival 2022 will run at various locations in London’s East End from 30 June – 13 July. 

Tickets are now on sale for members, with general on sale from Tuesday 15 March www.spitalfieldsmusic.co.uk