Due to ongoing government advice, Spitalfields Music has today announced that the 2020 festival and programme has been reimagined as a series of digital events which will be broadcast via the Spitalfields Music website on Saturday 5 December. Tickets for Spitalfields Music Festival at Home are on sale now.

Supported by HM Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and recorded as live using state-of-the-art filming techniques, this online edition of the Festival will place women composers front and centre with world premieres, singer-songwriters and early choral music sitting side by side. Featuring previously announced concerts, reworked for online broadcast, and brand new events, the 2020 Festival will continue to bring artists, audiences and communities together, during these unprecedented circumstances, to celebrate the extensive range and transformative power of classical music.  

Programme highlights include:

Dunedin Consort, one of the world’s leading Baroque ensembles, will present Lagrime mieSongs of Prayer and Solitude recorded at Christ Church Spitalfields, East London, the site where the festival originated over 44 years ago. The programme will feature sublime works by early Baroque composers such as SchutzMonteverdi and his assistant at St. Mark’s, Venice, Alessandro Grandi, and works by lesser-known but equally exciting female composers, Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini.

Eight short commissions by contemporary women composers will receive their world premieres as part of Fast Food, Fast Music. Written for and performed by the Miller-Porfiris Duo and Siwan Rhys the programme will feature new works by Victoria Benito, Joy Effiong, Bobbie-Jane Gardner, Millicent James, Sarah Rodgers, Jasmin Rodgman, Susannah Self and Heloise Werner performed alongside Errollyn Wallen’s Five PostcardsFast Food, Fast Music is part of the festival’s pledge to Keychange, the international initiative to empower women to transform the future of music.

Author and historian S. I. Martin, a specialist in black British History, has joined forces with the Chineke! Junior Orchestra to reimagine a walking tour of East London which will feature the first ever recording and broadcast of composer Amanda Aldridge’s work, Three Arabian Dances. Each stop on this virtual tour will be accompanied by a different performance of music with historic ties to the area, lifting the lid on the Black history of Spitalfields going back 500 years.

Completing the festival line-up is a curated song writing showcase lead by Errollyn Wallen and Katie Melua. They will be joined by video by singer-songwriter friends with their original songs.

Sarah Gee, CEO of Spitalfields Music, said:

“Music – and the feelings of joy, comfort and solace it brings – has become ever more important in 2020. In shaping this special online edition of Spitalfields Festival, we wanted to highlight the diversity of the music world, and shine a light on some lesser-known pieces alongside strong new works by women.

We are very grateful for HM Government’s support through the Culture Recovery Fund, which has enabled us to work with more musicians and composers on this Festival, with more projects and events to come in 2021.”

For further information on Spitalfields Music Festival at Home and to buy tickets, visit www.spitalfieldsmusic.co.uk