N A T I O N A L G A L L E R Y C O N C E R T S
During my Master's degree, I began researching the late pianist Dame Myra Hess and her ‘National Gallery Concerts, which took place during the Second World War.
At a time of great upheaval, this daily lunchtime concert series answered a spiritual need of the British people, seeking to lighten the ‘cultural blackout’ imposed by the advent of war by providing much-needed musical tonic. Concerts took place each week day for the duration of the war, initially in the central octagonal room of the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, and the music performed focused on the classical chamber music canon.
Inspired by my findings, I organised and performed in a series of concerts:
Chiswick Cathedral - with Andrew Farnden, clarinet
St Stephen Walbrook, Canon Street, London - with Emily Gray, mezzo soprano
The Lighthouse, Poole - with Emily Gray, mezzo soprano
Milton Court, Silk Street, London - with Olivia Fraser, oboe, and Alex Jones, baritone
Research into this topic is ongoing, and I would love to hear from you if you have any personal memories of these events, or might be interested in collaborating on further recitals/mixed media performances.