Few, if any, music festivals are able to serve up the variety of venues that the Spitalfields festivals do. There are eleven of them in all, ranging from the stunning eighteenth-century Hawksmoor-designed Christ Church to the trendy Village Underground in Shoreditch, via ‘location’ venues like Old Spitalfields Market and Spitalfields City Farm (pictured).
For those unfamiliar with the Spitalfields Festival set-up, this very community-minded organisation hosts summer and winter festivals and a year-round education programme that reaches out to Tower Hamlets residents. The focus of the summer programme, which runs from 10 to 25 June, is on small-scale classical and contemporary music that suits its performance spaces.
The festival takes advantage of being at the centre of a vibrant local history scene, presenting a good dose of baroque music. For example, as well as performing opera at local churches, the English Concert performs an evening of ‘table music’ at the Market Coffee House English Restaurant in Brushfield Street, which has been restored over 15 years to return it to its Huguenot roots.
On the contemporary side of things, local multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Mica Levi is presenting a ‘young musician’s guide to undiscovered Spitalfields’, which includes a new commission for bells of all types and an event in an undisclosed location that will explore the work of a ‘mystery composer’.
Dozens of other events performed by orchestras, choirs, jazz bands, chamber ensembles and community groups (including a new community opera) will light up the area in June. Click here for the full Spitalfields Music Summer Festival programme.
Photo credit: Alys Tomlinson via Spitalfields Music.