Handel and the Grand Tour
The London Handel Festival returns with a month-long autumn series
29 September – 24 October 2021

The London Handel Festival today reveals plans for a month-long series of live concerts this autumn, taking place in venues all across London. The concerts, taking place between 29 September and 24 October, will be the first London Handel Festival performances with a live audience since its Festival was cut short in March 2020 due to the UK lockdown. The theme of the autumn series is Handel and the Grand Tour, exploring Handel’s early years in Germany and Italy.

Ed Hossack, Acting Festival Director, says: ‘We’re thrilled that the London Handel Festival is returning this autumn with a variety of concerts in venues across London. We look forward to welcoming live audiences back for a packed Festival featuring LHF debuts, repertoire rarities, familiar friends and new partnerships. The Handel Singing Competition enters its 20th year and we have had over 200 applications from 7 continents. Audiences will have the opportunity to hear former finalists and prize winners perform throughout the Festival. We hope you’ll join us and enjoy four weeks of live music across the city.’

Performances at St George’s, Hanover Square
The main venue for the London Handel Festival is St George’s, Hanover Square, where Handel himself worshipped regularly. Opening the series is a recital by Morgan Pearse and Jessica Cale, two finalists from the 2020 Handel Singing Competition [29 September]. Lucy Crowe and David Bates perform a programme of nine German arias with La Nuova Musica [12 October] followed by a full performance of Handel’s Samson by The English Concert and Harry Bicket with soloists Stuart JacksonSophie Bevan and Matthew Brook [13 October].

London Handel Festival Musical Director Laurence Cummings leads the London Handel Orchestra in a Concerti Grossi programme [14 October] and Opera Settecento bring their programme Arias for Annibale ‘Ballino’ Pio Fabri with Jorge Navarro Colorado and Leo Duarte [15 October].

Performances elsewhere
Beyond St George’s, Hanover Square, the London Handel Festival also presents a performance by Southbank Sinfonia and Adrian Butterfield at St John’s Smith Square [8 October] and a recital by two Handel Singing Competition prize-winners Jerome Knox (2020 winner) and Ruairi Bowen (2020 finalist) at the Foundling Museum as part of this year’s Bloomsbury Festival [24 October].

Handel Singing Competition
The Handel Singing Competition returns again this year, with the Semi-Final [1 October] and Final [20 October] both taking place at St George’s, Hanover Square, with Laurence Cummings and the London Handel Orchestra accompanying the finalists.

Save the date
In addition to the Festival’s October series, there will be a performance of Handel’s Messiah at St George’s Hanover Square on 2 December followed by a performance of Messiah Reimagined, which blends live and pre-recorded, at St John’s Smith Square on 10 December.