11 months ago

TIL Dec 2017


10 CHRISTMAS CONCERT WITH HELEN JANE LONG Top 10 Billboard and award winning artist Helen Jane Long has established herself as the most popular female composer and pianist of all time. She has written extensively for film and television and without knowing, you would have most definitely heard her music hundreds of times and in unexpected places. ‘Earlier in the year, I was walking through Philadelphia airport and I could hear familiar music playing from a shop. As I stepped closer I realised it was a piece from one of my albums. The shop assistant asked if she could help me and I smiled and said I recognised the music. She then asked if I would like to buy a copy of the album. I thanked her and said, It’s ok, I think I’ve already got a copy!’ It was a funny moment. Born and raised in South East England, Helen was playing piano by ear aged four. Her ability to recreate the sound she heard quickly became one of the cornerstones of her composing career, as she taught herself to play many instruments in quick succession. In 2006 Helen was discovered and signed a contract with Warner music, who released her first album Porcelain. ‘When I was offered the record deal I remember trying to convince the label to let me just write and get someone else to perform because I felt more comfortable in a studio than on stage, obviously they didn’t agree!’ Porcelain went on to critical acclaim on major radio stations worldwide and countless requests for live shows was the catalyst for bringing Helen out of hiding and kick starting her international touring career... ‘now I wonder why I avoided it for so long, it’s the one thing that connects me to my audience and I love it!’ In 2008, Helen set up her own record deal, publishing company and destiny. With a worldwide following of millions, in 2018 she is set to embark on her fifth USA tour performing music from her six piano albums. All her piano albums have climbed the charts in rapid succession including her latest single ‘Outside’ with its catchy melody, which cannot fail to put a smile on your face. The latest album, Perspective (due for release in January 2018), is an exciting new direction in Helen Jane Long’s compositions and yet still stays true to her original and much loved style. On Saturday 23 December (19.30), set in the beautiful location of St James’s Church Piccadilly, Helen Jane Long will be performing music from her piano albums including ‘The Aviators’ from the British Airways advert, her newest album Perspective (and some Christmas tunes). Tickets are available to purchase online at or on the door £15. AFASIC CHRISTMAS CONCERT AT WREN’S CHURCH OF ST ANDREW The biennial Afasic Christmas Concert will take place on Thursday 7 December at the Sir Christopher Wren designed Church of St Andrew. Sir Derek Jacobi will give a reading, Robert Meadmore, Elaine Delmar and Jamie Safir have agreed to perform, and the Concordia Chamber Choir will be providing music throughout the evening. The concert will be extra special this year as it will kick off the Afasic 50th Anniversary celebrations. AUSTENTATIOUS HITS WEST END Austentatious is an entirely improvised comedy play, starring a cast of the country’s sharpest comic performers, who conjure up a ‘lost’ Jane Austen novel based on nothing more than a title suggested by the audience. Whether you’ve read all of Austen’s works or none of them, this hilarious show will be a totally new experience. Performed in full Regency costume with live musical accompaniment, no two shows are ever the same. Previous ’lost‘ masterpieces include The Sixth Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Shark and Double 0 Darcy. Expect witty heroines, dashing gents and preposterous plots. Swooning guaranteed. Performances take place at the Piccadilly Theatre on 5 December, 23 January and 13 February. Telephone Bookings on 0844 871 7630. Austentatious. Photo: Robert Viglasky. t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

THE HOUSEHOLD DIVISION BEATING RETREAT IN SCARLET & GOLD The sound and spectacle of the world-renowned Bands of The Household Division will burst onto the concert platform in their glittering winter concert ‘Scarlet and Gold’ at Cadogan Hall on 6 & 7 December. Featuring musicians from the five regiments of Foot Guards alongside musicians of the Household Cavalry Band and the Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra, the concert showcases an exciting eclectic mix of music and visually stunning performances. This inspiring repertoire of traditional and modern music from around the world includes the ‘Harry James trumpet Concerto,’ Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ and a solo performance from this year’s winner of the Musician of the Year Competition. The evening promises to feature many of the finest soloists and ensembles from across State Ceremonial music – led by the Senior Director of Music Household Division, Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Roberts - and culminates with the spectacular ‘Windows of The World’, and includes visits to Amazonia and the Rainforests! The title ‘Scarlet & Gold’ evokes the ceremonial splendour and sparkle of the Guards’ uniforms and instruments which, combined with the beautiful setting of Cadogan Hall, promises an outstanding evening of musical pomp and grandeur. Box Office telephone 020 7730 4500. TENEBRAE JOINS ENGLISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA IN MESSIAH On 3 December, the English Chamber Orchestra sets off the festive-season with a performance of Handel’s oratorio Messiah by one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles, Tenebrae at Cadogan Hall. Performing with Tenebrae’s acclaimed director, Nigel Short, soloists for this Christmas delight include soprano Grace Davidson, mezzosoprano Kitty Whately, tenor James Gilchrist, and bass Christopher Purves. For tickets telephone 020 8840 6565. ROYAL ALBERT HALL BLASTS OFF FOR NEW SCIENCE FESTIVAL The Royal Albert Hall will blast off into space for the first of its new science festivals, accompanied by a galaxy of stars including Chris Hadfield, Robin Ince and the Moomins. The Festival of Science: Space, which takes place throughout May and June 2018 in collaboration with the UK Space Agency, will include a stellar mix of talks, screenings, comedy shows, concerts and family events. Headlining the series is Space Shambles – Chris Hadfield and Robin Ince’s all-star science show – alongside ‘Films in Concert’ screenings of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek and Star Trek Beyond, the chance to delve into the celestial with Imperial College professors, and a comedy book club featuring acclaimed stand-up Josie Long. Twenty events across four spaces have already been confirmed for the festival. For further information visit Westminster Cathedral Choir is regarded as one of the finest choirs in the world. Their Christmas concert, A Christmas Celebration, brings together music and liturgy in the candle-lit, beautifully atmospheric Byzantine Cathedral. Sing carols accompanied by an orchestra, hear the world-renowned Cathedral Choir performing beautiful Christmas motets, and feel the Christmas spirit descend upon you. The Christmas Celebration concerts will take place on 19 & 20 December at 19.30 at Westminster Cathedral, SW1. For tickets, telephone 0844 844 0444. 11 t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

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