BNY Mellon Sponsored 2012 City of London Festival

 The BNY Mellon Sponsored 2012 City of London Festival

The Festival’s theme, City of London – Trading Places with the World, will be brought to life through 155 events over 34 days. Each event and performance acts as a new instalment in the story of the City, taking the audience on an international journey that connects back to London’s heart. City workers will also be provided with a range of unique opportunities ranging from enjoying piano lessons and free lunch-time concerts through to Sir Colin Davis and English National Ballet performing in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Full public listings at www.colf.org.

Highlights include:

Unleash your inner musician with one of the 300 free piano lessons taking place in one day on 50 Golden Pianos which will be on streets across the Square Mile for the duration of the Festival (24 June, no booking required).

Reclaim your lunch break and enjoy the beauty of the City with one of 12 free lunchtime concerts in the City’s beautiful churches, performed by the Guildhall School’s finest emerging musicians (Full Listings on www.colf.org)

The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davis who celebrates his 85th Birthday this year, performing Berlioz’s colossal work Grande Messe des Morts in St Paul’s Cathedral (25 & 26 June).

English National Ballet performs two new commissions for the Festival by Antony Dowson and Van Le Ngoc, together with excerpts from the lost treasure of the Ballets Russes, Suite en Blanc, at St Paul’s Cathedral (3 July).

Composer Tansy Davies will première her new work Delphic Bee for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at Mansion House (28 June).

Violin sensation, Tasmin Little, will be performing alongside the internationally acclaimed pianist Martin Roscoe at the Plaisterers’ Hall (11 July).

The première of Golden Fanfare by Francisco Coll for the LSO Brass and commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Company will take place at Goldsmiths’ Hall (27 June).

Gold Medal winners from the renowned Tchaikovsky Competition and Queen Elisabeth Music Competition of Brussels, the cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan and pianist Denis Kozhukhin will make their London recital debut together at Merchant Taylors’ Hall (9 July).

Six free concerts in Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, featuring Jamaica’s first lady of Jazz Myrna Hague, drum ‘n’ bass, soul and the opportunity to celebrate Bastille Day (13 – 15 July).

Performance of Rafael Bonachela’s dance duet specially created for the 50 Golden Street Pianos, set to new music by Mercury Prize-nominee, Gwilym Simcock and danced by Sydney Dance Company (27 – 29 June).

The Brodsky Quartet performing a unique programme with a quirky twist: The Wheel of Four Tunes, with four works selected at random by the spin of a wheel onstage, from 40 choices, celebrating 40 years of the Brodsky Quartet (2 July).

Internationally-acclaimed guitarist John Williams, who will commemorate the Festival’s golden jubilee by giving a recital, which echoes the performance he gave at the first City of London Festival in 1962 (10 July).

Live music sculptures at Tower Bridge and Monument, created specifically for the two icons by composer Samuel Bordoli. At Tower Bridge, guests can watch musicians play along the length of the high-level west walkway, 42 metres above the Thames. At The Monument, the music will travel up its 311 steps, inviting the audience to experience an aural and actual sense of ascension as they climb the stairs to the very top (8 July).

The Festival’s commitment to supporting work for disabled and non-disabled performers continues. New work by composer Nigel Osborne will receive its world première by tetraplegic former trumpeter Clarence Adoo on his specially-designed new Headspace instrument which has enabled him to perform once again with fellow professionals. Christian Lindberg’s award-winning Dawn at Galamanta, created and performed by Swedish artists of all physicalities, receives its UK première at the Guildhall (both 6 July).

A series of eight early evening concerts featuring the BBC’s New Generation Artists; all to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (see colf.org).

Sustainability remains a core part of the Festival’s programme, with flowers in the spotlight for 2012. The Festival will be promoting and nurturing wildflowers across the Square Mile, providing vital support for the City’s population of pollinators. The public will be invited to feast on City honey taken from the Festival’s roof-top beehives, as well as celebrate urban flowers, at the Festival’s closing event in Paternoster Square (27 July).

Public information and tickets; Box office: 0845 120 7502 and online at colf.org.

City of London Festival Director Ian Ritchie said: ‘The Festival was first created to revitalise the cultural life of the City, and in 2012, as we celebrate our Golden Jubilee, it is ranked among the finest cultural celebrations in the world. Words about the Festival from Sir Frederick Hoare, the Lord Mayor of London in 1962 and the Festival’s first President, have a powerful resonance today as to the Festival’s purpose:

“Amidst a period of the worship of Mammon, this Festival is trying to show many things that are beautiful and inspired in the arts, in the setting of this our most historic capital, and perhaps by doing so release man for a while and remind him that there are other things than those entirely material.”

The insight of these words still ring true for the Festival today – 50 years later – and it is in this spirit that our programme for 2012 not only looks back with pride over the achievements of the past half century but also looks forward to the next 50 years.’

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