Spittle Fields Music Festival: Best Concerts to Book at the Annual Classical Music Jamboree


Or for hundreds of years, Spitalfields in East London has been a haven for rebels, disobedient people and immigrants from all over the world. Today, its location on the city’s east coast makes it a popular destination for property developers, but since 1976, the annual Spitalfields Music Festival has celebrated the area’s reputation for resistance and inclusion.

Over the course of two weeks, this year’s festival features both ancient and modern music, some from the heart of European classical collections, some from very different traditions. In addition to concerts, there are also walks in areas that are hidden, overlooked, or considered trivial. Below, we present a selection of concerts that capture the spirit of Spitalfields 2022.

Bach’s mathematical genius

Thursday, June 30, 7:30 p.m., Christchurch Spitalfields, Commercial St.

Since Pythagoras, music and mathematics have always been in close harmony. If there is one composer who embodies this relationship, it is JS Bach. In this concert, James Spricks – a former organ scholar, now a professor of mathematics physics at Oxford University – takes a mathematical insight into Bach’s music before setting up a string orchestra of Goldberg variations in Synophonia, London. Provide

Nevertheless, he persisted.

Saturday, July 2, 6:30 p.m., Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane

The pair, formed in the early days of the epidemic, say it is “Britain’s first female and non-binary orchestra”. The aim is not only to address the widespread backwardness of female musicians, but also to change the way we think about how classical music should be presented. As founder Eleanor Constanta puts it, “Challenging the status quo is essential to development.” We can all drink it.

The ritual of spring

Sunday, July 3, 7 p.m., VOCES8 Center, St. Ann’s and St. Agnes Church

The piano plays music through holes drilled in the piano rolls. Excited by the ability to play beyond mere human abilities, Stravinsky wrote several pieces for this tool. The Panola version of The Right of Spring in particular takes advantage of the device’s supernatural quality, and Rex Lawson is known for his ability to make the panola anything more than a mechanical sound.

Afghanistan’s Orchestral Music: Looking Forward

Tuesday, July 5, 7:30 p.m. Earth, 11-17 Stoke Newington Rd

Afghanistan has a rich musical heritage that embraces and celebrates many different cultures. Currently, this legacy is forbidden by the Taliban and musicians fear for their lives. The concert brings together instruments and artists from the Afghan and Western classical traditions to perform the art of Afghan musicians, whether in exile or in hiding, determined to keep their homeland’s music alive.

Melting ceremony

Thursday 7 July at 7.30pm, The Octagon, Queen’s Building, Queen Mary University of London

It’s easy to make fun of Morris’s dance, but in recent decades it has been revived by groups seeking to liberate it from rustic nonsense by retelling its pagan past. At the melting ceremony, musician Neil Luck and filmmaker Haider Devachi, along with students from local schools and the Black Heath Morse Dance Group, appear as a force that can unite us.

Laura Bowler’s distance

Saturday 9 July, 5pm Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethanel Green Rd

Laura Bowler is a composer who tackles big issues: climate change, carbon footprints, isolation due to cod. For this performance of Distance, in which she creates what a critic has called the “world of wonderful strange sounds,” we will have a transatlantic experience: Suprano Juliet Fraser in London, joined by Zoom via Talea Ensemble in New York Will be

Enchanted Vistas: Music by Barbara Monk Feldman

Saturday, July 9, at 8:30 pm VOCES8 Center, St. Anne and St. Agnes Church

Like her late husband, Morton Feldman, Barbara Monk Feldman writes music that moves quietly and slowly, with a few notes to disturb the silence around her. The meditative church environment should be an ideal place to experience its short and extensive work, played by musicians who fit perfectly into the idiom of Monk Feldman.

Hildguard change

Tuesday, July 12, 8.30pm, Dutch Church, 7 Austin Freres

Over the past 30 years, the 12th-century mystic and sweetheart Heldguard of Bangun has become a major figure, his music and thought influencing feminists, transcendentalists and trans composers alike. Vocal trio Voice presents its work with pieces inspired by modern musicians. The theatrical presentation, we are told, “will be the best in the evening.” Let’s hope for a wonderful sunset.

The Spittle Fields Music Festival runs from June 30 to July 13. Box Office 07311 622 393, spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk