It’s All About Piano returns to the Institut français, 27 – 29 March

The third edition of the music festival It’s All About Piano returns to the Institut français at the end of March, with a wide variety of piano-themed events featuring musicians and artists from all around the world.

Curated by the Institut’s Head of Classical and Contemporary Music, Françoise Clerc, It’s All About Piano is the only festival in London that’s dedicated to this, the “king of instruments”. The festival aims to give its audience a chance to become more familiar with the instrument through events that combine piano playing with art, film and theatre. The festival also allows artists from a wide variety of different disciplines to work together.

It's All About Piano 2015

The festival will open on Friday 27th March with two multimedia recitals that will fuse animated images by the Brothers Quay and Kandinsky with music by Janáček and Mussorgsky, commissioned by the Cité de la Musique in Paris and performed by Uzbekistan-born French pianist Mikhail Rudy. That same evening, French-Cypriot pianist Cyprien Katsaris will improvise to a champagne tasting given by French Bubbles co-founder Maud Fierobe; this will be followed by a recital given by British jazz pianist John Taylor. All of these events will be held at Kings Place.

On the Saturday and Sunday of the festival, events will move to the Institut français itself with recitals and readings, film screenings, a sing-along concert, a story-telling event, and free tuition for beginner piano players, plus workshops on How to Build Your Own Piano and The Art of Piano Tuning. The Institut français’ house bistro will also be turned into a ‘piano bar’ on these two days, with improvised jazz sessions being performed on both days.

It's All About Piano 2015
Pictured left to right: Angela Hewitt (credit Bernd Eberle) Cyperien Katsaris (credit Jean-Batptise Millot) François-Frédéric Guy (credit Benjamin de Diesbach) Mikhail Rudy (credit mr) Peter Donohoe (credit Sussie Ahlburg)

These weekend events will include recitals from international pianists François-Frédéric Guy and Peter Donohoe; a concert from Julien Gonzales, who is the 8-time winner of the Accordion World Championship; the London première of Messiaen’s La Fauvette Passerinette given by pianist and scholar Peter Hill who discovered the work in 2012; a collaboration between students from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and students of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama recorded by BBC Radio 3; a masterclass with Angela Hewitt; and ciné-concerts with improvised accompaniment to French classics created by Louis Feuillade and Max Linder.

Locals will of course know of the Institut français as a famed language centre, which today also comprises a multimedia library, cinema and French bistro. The centre also strives to contribute to London’s cultural life with many of its events that are held throughout the year – these include live broadcast screenings of the Opéra national de Paris and the Aix-en-Provence Festival; family chamber concerts organised in collaboration with the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust; and a network of contemporary classical music projects organised in partnership with the Franco-British fund for contemporary music, Diaphonique.

The full line-up of It’s All About Piano can be found at, where you can also book tickets for all events.

It’s All About Piano
27th – 29th March 2015
Institut français
17 Queensberry Place


Kings Place
90 York Way
London, N1 9AG

A Celebration of Christmas helps raise funds for BTRC

Last week (10th December) saw the fourth annual Celebration of Christmas hosted by the Brain Tumour Research Campaign (BTRC) at All Saints Church in Fulham.

Celebrities, carol singers and local residents with plenty of festive cheer came together for this event which was dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of brain tumour patients, as well as helping to raise funds for research at Imperial College’s Charing Cross Hospital. Each year, over 600 patients with brain tumours are diagnosed at the hospital.

The BTRC’s Celebration of Christmas included readings from actress Geraldine James, Charles Collingwood and Judy Bennett (Brian Aldridge and Shula of the Archers), Bob Cryer and family, Rob Curling (Sky News presenter), actress Jill Baker, June Whitfield and Deputy Lieutenant Sandy Cahill.

BTRC's A Celebration of Christmas

BTRC co-founder Wendy Fulcher said:

“The evening was a huge success and we are delighted to announce we have exceeded our Christmas Appeal of £25,000 by raising almost £30,000!

“These monies will continue to position Imperial College at the forefront of innovative neurosurgical techniques which, together with their laboratory work, will bring a better choice of treatments to brain tumour patients.”

More details on the BTRC and the work they do can be found at

University of London Symphony Orchestra concert – The Chairman Dances, 23rd November 2014

The first concert in the University of London Symphony Orchestra’s new season sees a programme of Shostakovich, Adams and Bernstein in a concert titled The Chairman Dances.

Daniel Capps will return as musical director for this concert, which contains an ambitious and varied programme with plenty of virtuosic flair and emotional connection. Starting off with the pseudo jazz inflections, chugging rhythms and colourful orchestration of Chairman Dances by Adams, followed by the musical theatre of Berstein’s On The Town, the concert will finish off with Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony, which is considered his greatest work; one forged in the heart of oppression and terror in Soviet Russia, and a piece of profound meaning and subtlety.

London University Symphony Orchestra

The ULSO is one of the leading student orchestras in the UK, run by students for students. It brings together the best musical talent of London’s universities to create a youthful, exuberant orchestra with a unique vitality. MusicWeb International has described the ULSO as an orchestra of “unfeigned commitment and concentration…obvious talent“.

Tickets for the concert cost £10/£8/£5 and can be purchased at the door or online.

As part of the ULSO’s Education and Outreach programme, all secondary school students are being offered tickets for this event for only £1. With Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 one of the set works for A-Level Music in 2014, it’s a great opportunity for all those studying the work to see it live! To claim this discount, students can use the special code ALevelStudents when booking online. Alternatively, simply buy a ticket at the door using student ID.

ULSO’s next concert will be held in Spring 2015 and will feature Brahms’ illustrious 3rd Symphony, and the Sibelius Violin concerto.

Further details of the ULSO can be found on their website at

The University of London Symphony Orchestra: The Chairman Dances
7.30pm, Saturday 23rd November 2014
St Stephen’s Church
Gloucester Road

London University Symphony Orchestra

It’s All About Piano! returns to the Institut français, 4th to 6th April

From 4th to 6th April 2014, the Institut français in London will celebrate the king of all musical instruments with its second piano festival, It’s All About Piano! Come down to discover the infinite possibilities offered by the black & white keys, from recitals to film screenings, kids activities, workshops and much more. Rising stars and the greatest pianists – including Alexeï Lubimov, Lucy Parham, Pascal Rogé, Jacky Terrasson, Pascal Amoyel – will enchant with all styles of piano music, from the classical repertoire to harpsichord recitals and jazz performances.

It's All About Piano

There’s a full range of events on each of the three days of the festival, from a recital by Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov on the Friday; a screening of the children’s film The Magic Piano (followed by a storytelling of The Out-of-Tune Piano), and a documentary on The Making of a Steinway Piano, both on the Saturday; Musical Storytelling with award-winning storyteller Jan Blake, and recitals from Geoffroy Couteau, Kenneth Weiss and David Bismuth on the Sunday – with much more on each day as well, of course! There will also be several activities and events also taking place throughout the festival, including free piano tuition and a Build Your Own Piano workshop. And if you’d like to take things easy, why not relax in the Piano Bar where you can enjoy some music whilst sampling cocktails and piano-themed delicacies?

Each event is individually priced – please see the full It’s All About Piano guide for details and to book tickets:

You can also purchase a Piano Pass for £10, which will give you 50% off the price of all recitals during the festival!

Make sure to come down to the Institut français this April to sample the delights of the piano!

It’s All About Piano
4th – 6th April 2014
Institut français
17 Queensberry Place

‘Tell Me On A Sunday’ and ‘Putting It Together’ at St James Theatre in January 2014

News reaches us of a couple of fantastic musical theatre productions that will be held on our doorstep – at St James Theatre in Victoria – early next year.

First up, Tell Me On A Sunday is on from 7th to 12th January 2014 starring Marti Webb, one of this country’s most popular musical stars – she’s had leading roles in musicals such as Oliver!, Evita, Cats and Godspell. This one-woman show – which is an original production by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black – tells the tale of an English girl who’s newly arrived in New York, and who’s on the look out for success, companionship and love. But after enduring frustration and heartache, she starts to wonder whether she’s been looking in the wrong place all along.

Marti Webb will be reprising her original role in Tell Me On A Sunday, one that saw her receive huge critical acclaim. Originally performed as a album (which reached number one in the UK charts), the show became a TV special and was then performed on stage as one half of Song & Dance.

St James Theatre - Tell Me On A Sunday

Ms Webb last performed the role 10 years ago, and this special run will see only eight shows take place, supported by hits from theatreland’s latest and greatest shows, exclusive to the UK. Of returning to her role, Ms Webb says:

“I’m thrilled and delighted to be doing Tell Me On a Sunday again. It means so much to me, it really does. It was one of the most important things to have happened to me in my life.”

Tickets cost £20 to £37.50, and there’s also a special £60 premium ticket which includes a post show meet-and-greet with Marti Webb. To book tickets, please call the St James Theatre box office on 0844 254 2140 or visit

Next up in January at St James Theatre is the London premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Putting It Together, by arrangement of Sir Cameron Mackintosh and featuring an award-winning cast that includes David Bedella, Daniel Crossley, Janie Dee, Damian Humbley and Caroline Sheen.

St James Theatre - Putting It Together

Putting It Together was first produced by Sir Cameron Mackintosh in New York over twenty years ago, starring Julie Andrews. The show is a revue with a difference – set at a cocktail party in New York, it tells the story of two couples – one middle-aged and married, the other young lovers who are just starting out – who reflect on the complexities of modern relationships through the songs of Stephen Sondheim.

Sir Cameron Mackintosh says:

“I couldn’t be more delighted that my brother, Robert, is presenting the London premiere of Sondheim’s review ‘Putting it Together’ – a companion piece to Side by Side by Sondheim that I put together with Julia MacKenzie in England many years ago starring Diana Rigg and subsequently in New York with Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett.

Robert’s theatre, the stylish and innovative St. James, should prove the perfect venue for Sondheim’s brilliant, witty and moving material culled from many of his great musicals. ‘Putting it Together’ is a musical theatrical cocktail that promises to leave audiences shaken, stirred and highly entertained.”

Putting It Together at St James Theatre is directed by Alastair Knights, choreographed by Matthew Rowland, with musical supervision by Alex Parker, and associate direction and choreography by Scarlet Wilderink.

Tickets cost £20, £30, £35, £37.50 and £47.50 for premium tickets. To book tickets, once again please call the St James Theatre box office on 0844 254 2140 or visit

The St James Theatre opened its doors in September 2012, and has seen productions such as Scenes from a Marriage starring Olivia Williams and Mark Bazeley and directed by Trevor Nunn; Bully Boy by Sandi Toksvig, directed by Patrick Sandford and starring Anthony Andrews and Joshua Miles; and The American Plan, directed by David Grindley and with a cast including Diana Quick and Dona Croll. The theatre is entirely funded by private investment and its space includes a 312 seat theatre, a studio space, brasserie and bar.

Tell Me On A Sunday
Tuesday 7th – Sunday 12th January 2014


Putting It Together
Tuesday 14th – Saturday 1st February 2014

St. James Theatre
12 Palace Street

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2013-2014 season of concerts at Cadogan Hall and The Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have recently announced the full listing of concerts for their 2013-2014 season at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea and the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington. There’s a wonderfully wide variety of artists performing this season, and the concerts include their usual special Christmas events in December.

Read on below for details of all these concerts, including information on how to book tickets for each event. You can also book tickets for any of these concerts by calling the venues’ box offices – Cadogan Hall on 020 7730 4500, or the Royal Albert Hall on 020 7589 8212.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will also be performing concerts at the Southbank Centre for the 2013-2014 season – to find out more details, please see

More details on the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra can be found on their website at, but do also remember to check them out on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2013-2014 concerts at Cadogan Hall

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Natasha ParemskiNatasha Paremski performs Schumann

7.30pm, Wednesday 18th September 2013
To book tickets:

DVORÁK Carnival Overture
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto
DVORÁK Symphony No.7

Pianist Natasha Paremski takes to the stage for Robert Schumann’s beautiful Piano Concerto, one of many works written for his wife, Clara. Framing the Concerto are two works by Dvorák: the spirited Carnival Overture, which brims with lively Czech folk music, and the Symphony No.7, considered by many to be Dvorák’s greatest achievement. Shortly before its completion, he wrote: ‘I am now busy with this symphony for London, and wherever I go I can think of nothing else. God grant that this Czech music will move the world!’

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Grzegorz NowakGrzegorz Nowak conducts Berlioz, Beethoven and Brahms

7.30pm, Tuesday 8th October 2013
To book tickets:

BERLIOZ Roman Carnival Overture
BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto
BRAHMS Symphony No.1

Three outstanding works by three great masters, beginning with the glittering festivities of a Roman carnival, as portrayed by Berlioz in music full of romance and joie de vivre. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto is a masterpiece of the genre, bridging the gap between Classical and Romantic concerto styles with elegance and wit. Beethoven’s genius so overwhelmed Brahms that he was slow to write works that might be compared with those of his idol. It took Brahms nearly fifteen years to compose his First Symphony, but the work was worth the wait. The Symphony exudes great nobility and mastery of form, with a powerful opening movement, lyrical Andante, graceful third movement and stirring finale.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Top Brass!Top Brass!

7.30pm, Thursday 17th October 2013
To book tickets:

COPLAND Fanfare for the Common Man
WALTON, arr. ERIC CREES Spitfire Prelude and Fugue
TOVEY Pictures in the Smoke 
VIZZUTTI Prism: Shards of Colour for brass and percussion
BROUGHTON Fanfares, Marches, Hymns and Finale
ARLEN, arr. ALLEN VIZZUTTI Somewhere Over the Rainbow
TRADITIONAL, arr. DEL STAIGERS Carnival of Venice

A scintillating concert showcasing the outstanding Royal Philharmonic Orchestra brass section, joined by the dazzling American trumpet player Allen Vizzutti. A true virtuoso, Vizzutti is equally at home playing classical and jazz, and his performance style incorporates elements of both styles – with thrilling results. The great jazz musician Chick Corea hailed Allen Vizzutti for his ‘easy control, polyharmonic wit, orchestral penmanship, punctuated spiritual warmth’, adding that ‘rarely do so many qualities find themselves in one musician’.

This all-brass programme is conducted by Bramwell Tovey, whose composition Pictures in the Smoke is also featured. Opening with Copland’s glorious Fanfare for the Common Man, the concert includes an arrangement of Walton’s rousing Spitfire Prelude and Fugue, and Vizzutti takes centre stage for the breathtaking Carnival of Venice.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Tasmin LittleTasmin Little performs Bruch

7.30pm, Saturday 19th October 2013
To book tickets:

BIZET L’Arlésienne Suite No.1
BRUCH Violin Concerto No.1 
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No.2, ‘Little Russian’

An unmissable concert, featuring celebrated violinist Tasmin Little playing Bruch’s ravishing Violin Concerto No.1. Bruch’s most famous composition, this irresistible work showcases the violin’s capacity for soaring, singing melodies and dazzling display. Little was hailed earlier this year for her ‘careful articulation and a truly beautiful elegance of playing… Hers is a warmly human personality, and her artistry is truly refined.’

The programme also features Bizet’s first suite of music from L’Arlésienne, full of memorable tunes, and culminates in the joyous Second Symphony by Tchaikovsky. The Symphony includes three Ukrainian folk songs, which gives the Symphony its nickname – ‘Little Russia’, which was a term used to describe Ukraine at the time.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Mario GaleaniMario Galeani performs Beethoven

7.30pm, Thursday 7th November 2013
To book tickets:

HUMPERDINCK Hansel and Gretel Overture
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No.3 
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No.6, ‘Pathétique’

A programme encompassing delicious refinement and great passion, opening with the Overture to German composer Humperdinck’s ‘fairy tale opera’, Hansel and Gretel. The work was first conducted by Richard Strauss, and Humperdinck’s Overture exudes a Straussian romance and wit, full of charming melodies and rich orchestration. Pianist Mario Galeani performs Beethoven’s majestic Third Piano Concerto, with its dramatic first movement, a deeply beautiful Largo, and the famous Rondo. While composing his extraordinary Sixth Symphony, Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother, declaring: ‘It seems that the best of all my works is coming forth from me.’ Many would agree: the ‘Pathétique’ represents some of the most intensely personal and powerful of all Tchaikovsky’s music.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Barry Wordsworth conducts TchaikovskyBarry Wordsworth conducts Tchaikovsky

7.30pm, Thursday 12th November 2013
To book tickets:

TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings
TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto 

An essential concert for all lovers of Tchaikovsky’s music, this programme celebrates the many facets of the composer’s style, from elegant poignancy, to unfettered emotion, to dancing good humour. Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings was inspired by Mozart, a composer much admired by Tchaikovsky, who said of the Serenade that it was written ‘from inner compulsion. This is a piece from the heart’. The Violin Concerto was not much appreciated during Tchaikovsky’s lifetime, but its vibrant and heartfelt melodies have ensured that the work remains hugely popular with audiences today. The programme concludes with unique arrangements of Tchaikovsky’s glorious Swan Lake, made by the concert’s acclaimed conductor, Barry Wordsworth.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Jamie WaltonJamie Walton performs Elgar

7.30pm, Thursday 28th November 2013
To book tickets:

RAVEL Le tombeau de Couperin
ELGAR Cello Concerto 

A programme of contrasting musical styles unified by exquisite emotional power. Composed during World War One, Ravel dedicated each movement of his Le tombeau de Couperin to a fallen friend. Yet the influence of the Baroque composer, Couperin, results in music of bittersweet understatement. Also written in response to the First World War, Elgar’s Cello Concerto is one of his greatest works, the cello evoking the human voice as it unfolds aching, deeply moving melodies. The Concerto is performed by Jamie Walton, hailed by the Washington Post as ‘a major cello talent… Though relatively young, he plays with the dignity and reserve of a well-seasoned artist’. Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony offers a profound insight into the composer’s tumultuous emotional history, travelling a longed-for journey from unfulfilled desires to joyful acceptance.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - The Magic of ChristmasThe Magic of Christmas 2013

3.30pm, Sunday 8th December 2013
To book tickets:

As winter sets in, warm up with a magical concert full of festive cheer for all the family.

Featuring popular classics Sleigh Ride and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, orchestral favourites such as Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz and a selection of music by composer and conductor Debbie Wiseman, including the world première of The Christmas Party and the orchestral suite from Father Brown.

In aid of Breast Cancer Campaign

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Christmas CrackerChristmas Cracker 2013

3pm & 7.30pm, Saturday 21st December 2013
To book tickets:

Programme to include:
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 
Mary’s Boy Child 
Sleigh Ride
The Little Road to Bethlehem
Santa Baby
Let it Snow …plus many more!

Back by popular demand, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Christmas Cracker is a delightful evening of festive musical gems. This enchanting and melodious concert is sure to fill you with good cheer as the Orchestra, Mary Carewe and Michael Dore sing their hearts out to get the Yuletide celebrations off to an entertaining start.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2013-2014 concerts at The Royal Albert Hall

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - The Very Best of John BarryThe Very Best of John Barry

7.30pm, Friday 4th October 2013
To book tickets:

This concert celebrates John Barry’s music and features hit pieces from: Goldfinger, Dances with Wolves, The Black Hole, Midnight Cowboy, Out of Africa, Born Free, Moonraker, Zulu and many more!

John Barry had huge success in the world of film music, having written some of the best soundtracks for the silver screen including, of course, the James Bond films. Conductor Nic Raine is joined by guest vocalists Alison Jiear and Lance Ellington. Presented by Tommy Pearson, a renowned authority on film music.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - The Great ClassicsThe Great Classics: Grand Opera Gala

3pm, Sunday 27th October 2013
To book tickets:

An unforgettable afternoon devoted to the most popular operatic arias of all time, written by some of the world’s greatest composers. Magnificent music from well-known operas, including: The Barber of Seville, The Magic Flute, Rigoletto, Madame Butterfly, The Pearl Fishers, Candide, Die Fledermaus, Turandot, Carmen and many more!

This season sees the return of the fantastic Grand Opera Gala concert, featuring a stellar line-up of vocalists. British soprano Claire Rutter, baritone Stephen Gadd and Classical BRIT nominee Gardar Thor Cortes will be joined on stage by Renato Balsadonna (from the Royal Opera House) and Barts Choir.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Best of Broadway 2013Best of Broadway 2013

7.30pm, Wednesday 6th November 2013
To book tickets:

All your favourite songs from best-selling Broadway shows performed at London’s most iconic venue. Including hit songs from: Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Sweeney Todd, Cats, West Side Story, Mamma Mia and many more!

NEW FOR 2013: a mesmerising tribute to the music of Les Misérables including Bring Him Home, One Day More, I Dreamed a Dream and more from the worldwide blockbuster film and Broadway production.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - John Rutter's Christmas CelebrationJohn Rutter’s Christmas Celebration

3pm & 7.30pm, Thursday 12th December 2013
To book tickets:

A yearly favourite, John Rutter’s Christmas Celebration returns to the Royal Albert Hall. Enjoy a festive evening with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer himself.

Yuletide music would not be complete without that of the one and only John Rutter. Join him in this best-selling concert as he conducts a popular selection of the very best Christmas carols, choral pieces and orchestral works.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Pirates of the Carribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in concertPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in concert

3pm & 7.30pm, Saturday 5th April 2014
To book tickets:
Fine Dining Packages are available at this event

Watch the adventures of Captain Jack and his motley crew unfold in this hi-tech thrilling adventure on the big screen, while the live Royal Philharmonic Orchestra simultaneously perform the electrifying score of the sensational blockbuster, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. With rumbustious strings and buccaneering brass, the movie springs to life in the magnificent Royal Albert Hall!

This fascinating runaway hit tells the story of an upstanding young blacksmith (Orlando Bloom) who enlists the help of an eccentric, dishonest pirate (Johnny Depp) to rescue the beautiful young woman (Keira Knightly) with whom he is in love and who has been kidnapped by cursed, undead pirates.

This swashbuckling adventure is not to be missed!

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Symphonic RockSymphonic Rock 10th Anniversary Concert

7.30pm, Thursday 1st May 2014
To book tickets:

Enjoy the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of chart classics from iconic bands and artists, including Robbie Williams, Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf, U2, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and many more!

Symphonic Rock is celebrating its 10th year with an evening of thrilling rock anthems and classic songs in this electrifying orchestral event.

NEW FOR 2014 – A special tribute to the music of Coldplay, featuring Viva La Vida, Trouble and Fix You.

Accompanied by a spectacular light show.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Film Music GalaFilm Music Gala 2014

7.30pm, Thursday 5th June 2014
To book tickets:

Highlights include: Star Wars®, Harry Potter, Gladiator, Jurassic Park, The Lord of the Rings, Big Country, Indiana Jones, Rocky, Ghostbusters, Mission: Impossible and many more!

Lights! Camera! Action! A popular evening with movie-fans celebrating some of Hollywood’s much-loved and iconic soundtracks.

NEW FOR 2014: A tribute to the great film composer Elmer Bernstein featuring classic film scores: The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, Walk on the Wild Side, The Man with the Golden Arm.

It’s All About Piano! at the Institut français, 22nd to 24th March

From 22 to 24 March, the Institut français in London will celebrate the king of all musical instruments with its very first piano festival, It’s All About Piano! Come and discover the infinite possibilities offered by the black and white keys, from recitals to jazz, film screenings, kids activities, workshops, a ciné-concert and much more.

Whether you delight in Schubert or only sway to the jazz greats, whether you want to listen to the masters or watch fascinating films unveiling what goes on behind the scenes in the music world, It’s All About Piano! is sure to enchant and amaze you.

Full details on It’s All About Piano!, including the artists taking part, and all the concerts and other events that will make up this fine Festival, can be found online at

Its All About Piano

Classical music concerts in Kensington & Chelsea in March and April

We’ve been informed of a couple of fantastic classical music concerts that are due to take place in Kensington & Chelsea in the next couple of months. The first features popular composer and conductor Eric Whitacre and the Eric Whitacre Singers at St Luke’s Church in Chelsea on Tuesday 12th March, whilst on Thursday 4th April, renowned choir Tenebrae will perform at Cadogan Hall, near Sloane Square.

Eric Whitacre
Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre and the Eric Whitacre Singers will be performing Mr Whitacre’s recent works – including Alleluia and The City and the Sea – as well as some of the much-loved greats in his back catalogue such as A Boy and a GirlLeonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine and When David Heard. Works by composers including Lauridsen, Monteverdi and Bach will also be performed on the night.

Eric Whitacre’s Light and Gold won a Grammy Award in 2012 for Best Choral Performance, and the album has received numerous five star reviews – about the album, The Independent stated “it is grateful to sing, scrumptious to listen to, and rejoices in those ecstatic harmonic suspensions that turn dissonance into consonance and make something highly seductive of the thoroughly chaste.”

Tenebrae Choir
Tenebrae Choir

Tenebrae are known for their concerts by candlelight and their dramatic use of movement. The chamber choir will be conducted by Nigel Short and joined by the English Chamber Orchestra for their concert at Cadogan Hall, performing music by Bernstein and Elgar. They will also be performing works by celebrated Jubilee composer Will Todd, as well as pieces that have inspired him, such as Bernstein’s rarely heard by profound Chichester Psalms.


Eric Whitacre and the Eric Whitacre Singers
7.30pm, Tuesday 12th March 2013
St Luke’s Church, Sydney Street, Chelsea, SW3 6NH

Tickets cost from £10 to £25 and can be purchased online or by calling 0800 411 8881.

Tenebrae – Among Angels
7.30pm, Thursday 4th April 2013
Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, SW1X 9DQ

Tickets cost £18-£25 and cabe be purchased online or by calling the Cadogan Hall Box Office on 020 7730 4500.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra extends their 2012-2013 series of concerts at Cadogan Hall

We wrote earlier this year about the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s magical series of concerts for 2012/13 at the wonderful Cadogan Hall in Chelsea. Excitingly, news now reaches us that six concerts have been added to the existing series, beginning with Martyn Brabbins conducting Sir Peter Maxwell Davies in March, through to Bernstein Night in June.

The six additional concerts are (click on the name of any concert for additional details and to book tickets):

Tuesday 12 March 2013 – Martyn Brabbins conducts Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 2012/13 - Martyn Brabbins conducts Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

Thursday 11 April 2013 – Russian Masterpieces

Tuesday 23 April 2013 – Heart of Darkness

Saturday 18 May 2013 – Mozart Classics

Tuesday 4 June 2013 – Mozart, Weber and Tchaikovsky

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 2012/13 - Mozart, Weber and Tchaikovsky

Tuesday 11 June 2013 – Bernstein Night

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 2012/13 - Bernstein Night

More details on the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra can be found on their website at, whilst their full series of concerts at Cadogan Hall can be viewed at

Have you been to The Troubadour recently?

We’re sure that many of you – locals and visitors alike – have been to the wonderful Troubadour on Old Brompton Road, SW5. Having opened almost sixty years ago and going strong ever since then, it’s definitely one of the area’s most iconic and famous spots to visit and is often also mentioned as one of the best coffee houses to visit in London.

I revisited the venue recently as, although it’s been listed on this site since the beginning (of the site, not of venue, of course!) it has undergone some expansion in recent years. This has served to both provide extra capacity as well as add some additional elements (some of which you may be pleasantly surprised to learn about – I certainly was!) that although relatively new, have really kept true to the spirit of The Troubadour.

For those of you that perhaps don’t know it, what is The Troubadour? Well, it’s something of a historic venue in Kensington and Chelsea; having opened in as far back as 1954. In that and the subsequent decade, it wasn’t just known as a cafe – its basement club attracted a number of very famous names from the rock ‘n’ roll world, including Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Watts (pre-Rolling Stones), and Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from Led Zepplin.

Today, the Troubadour still very much plays host to live bands in its basement room which has been expanded to more than double the previous capacity and can now fit 120 people. The basement room curves right round on itself, so you can sit (or stand!) yourself right in the thick of the action, or tuck yourself away somewhere a little quieter – including in the two private little alcoves towards the back. When you head down to the basement, do also take a look at the artwork hand-drawn right onto the walls that depicts some artists that have previously played here.

The Troubadour

Image by @studio 1 Park Royal,

What else goes on at The Trouabour these days? There is of course still the coffee house and restaurant on the main ground floor (also with an expanded capacity) that has retained so much of its original vibe with its unique decor – take a look at the assorted wonderful items hanging from the walls and ceiling, and definitely check out the beautiful wood-carved, brightly coloured front door.

There is a separate wine shop, Troubadour Wines, that sells a very fine selection of wines from across the world and which holds frequent wine tasting events. It also has its own wine bar – separate to the main part of the Troubadour cafe, perfect for a relaxed glass or two.

Wine Tasting at The Troubadour

Image by @studio 1 Park Royal,

The Gallery on the first floor is a spacious room that’s available for private hire (exhibitions, parties, dinner events, seminars) and which also hosts a range of classes and events, such as yoga every Monday.

One thing I was surprise to learn about was the serviced apartment for rent – The Garret – that’s on the second floor of the building, and what surely must be a great little accommodation find for London.

Another great surprise is The Troubadour’s hidden garden at the back, which very much feels like the garden of a private residence – there are no garish gas heaters and overly bright spotlights here! Instead, there are cosy little nooks and crannies and assorted seating amongst the luscious flowers and plants. On my visit, it was a dreadfully dreary day (thanks to the crazy April showers we’ve been having recently) but I can imagine the garden would be an absolutely fantastic place to come for a drink and a bite to eat in the height of summer.

The Troubadour Garden

Image by @studio 1 Park Royal,

If you haven’t ever been to The Troubadour or it’s been a while since your last visit, I would highly recommend that you swing by soon to re-acquaint (or acquaint!) yourself with one of the area’s – and London’s – most famous venues and find out what it has to offer these days.