The City of London Festival is an arts festival that takes place annually in London Town. This year, the festival will run 26 June to 12 August.Most of the festival’s events are free, making it as accessible to as many people as possible. It emphasizes classical music, but also includes jazz, world music, and opera.
Its programme also offers film screenings, lectures, guided tours, and educational projects geared toward primary and secondary school students from all over London. The educational portion of the festival is top-notch, and offers young people involvement in culturally enriching projects that are then presented to fellow festival-goers.
Performances are held all over London—in St. Paul’s Cathedral, in the city’s ornate churches and livery company halls, and even in the streets, squares, and gardens (venues such as the Guildhall Yard, Liverpool Street Station, and Finsbury Circus Gardens).
This year, there will be three grand Cathedral concerts. On Tuesday 28 June, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Symphony Orchestra will perform, with the Tenebrae Choir, Gordon Nikolitch playing violin, soprano Grace Davidson, baritone Derek Welton, and Nigel Short conducting. On Monday 4 July, at Southwark Cathedral, the cathedral choir will perform, along with William Barton on the dijeridu, Stephen Disley playing the organ, and Peter Wright conducting. The festival will return to St. Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday 12 July, for a performance of the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, with the London Symphony Chorus, Dame Gillian Weir on the organ, soprano Anna Leese, and Simone Young conducting.
Also this year, the festival is featuring the music of Australasia. In addition to the didgeridoo concert mentioned above, there will be over thirty living composed represented at different events throughout the festival, including world-renowned Australian guitarist John Williams. The festival’s theme, “Birds and Birdsongs,” will be highlighted throughout, with bird-themed music and sounds. If you are planning on visiting the city and need a hotel, check out the Jurys Inn’s range of hotels in London.