Saturday 3 September – Thursday 23 December 2022

St John’s Smith Square, London

This autumn, St John’s Smith Square hosts an array of baroque and contemporary music from Saturday3 September- Thursday 23 December with Southbank Sinfonia, Consone Quartet, The Hermes Experiment, Duo Aina, Vox Luminis, Siglo di Oro, Gesualdo Six, Polyphony,
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and much more.

Highlights include a new commission by Roxanna Panufnik for Southbank Sinfonia, cutting edge performances from The Hermes Experiment, Claire Booth and Jason Rebello, and up-and-coming ensembles, such as winner of the 2019 Cambridge Early Music Prize, El Gran Teatro del Mundo, in a season of ground-breaking contemporary collaborations.

In addition, a new Belle Époque Festival will be launched in November, exploring the music of Hahn and Viardot with renowned vocalists Véronique Gens and Marie-Laure Garnier, and, in December, St John’s Smith Square’s much loved Christmas Festival returns with music from Polyphony, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Gesualdo Six, Vox Luminis, and Siglo di Oro.

Southbank SinfoniaUnder the baton of Simon Over, Southbank Sinfonia celebrates its 20th Anniversary at St John’s Smith Square with 20, a new commission by Roxanna Panufnik to be premiered on Thursday 13 October and repeated during its Birthday Party concert on Saturday 5 November.

Southbank Sinfonia’s 20th Birthday Party will showcase new orchestral talent from the orchestra’s 2022-23 fellowship, as well as Southbank Sinfonia alumni, Tamás András (violin) and Andrew Skidmore (cello), who will perform the Brahms Double Concerto.
Contemporary classicsThree evenings of experimental music welcome new voices and fresh perspectives on legendary figures.

On Wednesday 28 September, The Hermes Experiment presents an eclectic programme including Heloise Werner’s arrangement of Barbara Strozzi’s Tradimento alongside music by Anna Meredith, Tom Coult, Caroline Shaw, Errollyn Wallen and others.

On Friday 11 November, three composers, Annelies van Parys, Aftab Darvishi and Calliope Tsoupaki, come together to reimagine mythological figures Medea, Circe and Penelope through the prism of our age for an evening titled They Have Waited Long Enough.

On Tuesday 15 November, Claire Booth collaborates with pianist Alasdair Hogarth and jazz pianist Jason Rebello to reimagine Robert Schumann’s Frauenliebe.

Belle Époque FestivalThe Belle Époque Festival (Thursday 24 November – Sunday 27 November) celebrates the culture and glamour of late 19th and early 20th century Paris with songs and orchestral works by the Venezuelan-born French composer Reynaldo Hahn, Pauline Viardot, and Louise Farrenc, who deserve far greater recognition alongside their better known contemporaries Debussy and Ravel.

On Friday 25 November, the renowned soprano Véronique Gens will perform Hahn’s melodies, many of which she recorded on her album Néère released in 2015. Born in Caracas, Hahn is best known for his songs – mélodies – of which he wrote more than 100 that entertained the Paris salons during the Belle Époque.

On Saturday 26 November, soprano Marie-Laure Garnier sings a collection of vocal works by Pauline Viardot, the French mezzo-soprano and composer of Spanish descent whose sister was the famous Maria Malibran. Viardot composed several operettas, including three to libretti by admirer Turgenev, and more than 100 songs, exploring the best of contemporary poetry in the texts of Musset, Turgenev, Pushkin, Gautier, Mörike, Goethe and others.
Thursday Lunchtime ConcertsDue to popular demand, St John’s Smith Square is pleased to announce the return of their Thursday lunchtime concert series providing a welcome hour-long respite during the working week. The series is set to resume on Thursday 22 September, with the Westminster Ensemble, Thursday 6 October with Duo Aina, and Thursday 20 October with The Adamās Trio. Further concerts to be announced.
37th Christmas FestivalFinally, the Autumn Season at St John’s Smith Square concludes with the 37th Christmas Festival (10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 December) featuring a stunning line-up of ensembles including Polyphony, The Gesualdo Six, Trinity College Choir, Cambridge, Vox Luminis, Ex Cathedra, The Tallis Scholars, Siglo di Oro, the London Concert Choir, the City of London Choir, Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and Southbank Sinfonia.

Following their critically acclaimed Easter Day concert, Vox Luminis return with Schütz’s Christmas Story.

On Friday 23 December, Polyphony, Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will perform Handel’s Messiah under the direction of Stephen Layton with soloists Anna Dennis, Iestyn Davies, Gwilym Bowen and Neal Davies.

All concerts are on sale from Monday 18 July 2022 from