Bach By Candlelight By Hannah Norman

The archway to the entrance of the Priory Chuch of St. Bartholomew The Great

The archway to the entrance of the Priory Chuch of St. Bartholomew The Great

On 5th March, The Luxury Channel attended a memorable evening celebrating the music of Johann Sebastian Bach by candlelight, in the unique and ancient Priory Church of Saint Bartholomew the Great in Smithfield, London. Invited by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, we were there to soak up the peace and music, whilst supporting a great cause – The Lord Mayor’s Appeal. The Appeal in turn supports selected chosen charities – City Music Foundation, Futures For Kids, Gifford Wood Appeal and The Harold Samuel Collection Fund – as well as helping to fund the university education of struggling young Londoners.

These are without doubt worthy causes. City Music Foundation, for example, was set up to support talented youngsters with musical inclinations, offering both financial help and performance opportunities, allowing them to realistically pursue careers in the music profession. The Foundation also provides the professional tools musicians need in order to promote themselves and to support themselves financially through music.

The Lord Mayor of London, Roger Gifford, welcomes guests

The Lord Mayor of London, Roger Gifford, welcomes guests

Bach has arguably written some of the best music in the world, and the captive audience was treated to the soaring melodies of his Suites within the intimacy of this beautiful church setting. Since their re-discovery in the 1890s, the Suites have been celebrated for years as being perfect for the cello, and in-demand cellist Orlando Jopling certainly did not disappoint. As you would expect from a consummate professional at the very top of his game, Jopling gave a beautiful, fluid and emotive performance.

As well as his work as Musical Director of the 140 year old Royal Orchestral Society in London, Jopling is currently also on a Cello Pilgrimage, performing across the country in order to raise money to repair parish churches. The Pilgrimage has so far raised over £50, 000 for its cause. If his beautiful performance was anything to go by, Jopling is set to raise rather more.

Guests arrived via the spectacular Grand Staircase at the Great Hall, St Batholomew's Hospital.

Guests arrived via the spectacular Grand Staircase at the Great Hall

The City Music Foundation has a series of six concerts running right throughout the year, the next one being on 10th June at Mansion House in London, with a champagne reception preceding an evening of recitals performed by organists of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal and Royal Peculiars. As part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, Mansion House will be the temporary home for a newly-commissioned chamber organ, until it is presented to the Queen in November, and it is this very organ that will be played during the concerts – providing a unique opportunity for audiences to enjoy its wonderful sound.

For fans of Beethoven, St. Paul’s Cathedral will provide the backdrop to Symphony No9 on 23rd May, followed by a Gala Dinner at The Guildhall with guest speaker Mario Draghi, President of The European Central Bank.

For more information about the work and upcoming events of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, go to www.thelordmayorsappeal.org.