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ABOUT THE LHF

 

 

LONDON HANDEL SOCIETY LTD
LONDON HANDEL FESTIVAL
LONDON HANDEL ORCHESTRA
LONDON HANDEL SINGERS
LONDON HANDEL PLAYERS

FOUNDER CONDUCTOR
Denys Darlow
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Laurence Cummings
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR/LEADER Adrian Butterfield
FESTIVAL DIRECTOR Samir Savant
ORCHESTRA MANAGER Anne-Marie Norman
HANDEL SINGING COMPETITION/
FRONT OF HOUSE MANAGER
Ann Allen
BOX OFFICE MANAGER Latasha Lamb
FESTIVAL ASSISTANTS Sue Palmer, Yvonne Eddy
PUBLIC RELATIONS Albion Media

PATRONS
Dame Emma Kirkby
Ian Partridge CBE


BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mr Richard Hopkin Chairman
Mr Michael Normington Treasurer
Ms Mary Deissler
Mr Michael Holley
Ms Judith Ingham
Mr Simon Jennings
Mr Stephen Pettitt
Ms Melissa Scott
Ms Rebecca Young

 


Founded by Denys Darlow in 1978 the London Handel Festival has contributed to a Handel revival in the UK, specialising in the performance of lesser-known works of the period. In 1981 the London Handel Orchestra and London Handel Singers made their debut at the Festival. Laurence Cummings took over as Musical Director from Denys Darlow in 2002. 

The London Handel Orchestra, which is made up of some of London's finest professional baroque players, and led by Adrian Butterfield, now has an excellent reputation for historically informed performance. The Orchestra performs throughout the Festival at venues including Handel's church, St George's, Hanover Square, the Foundling Museum, Handel House, St John's Smith Square and Wigmore Hall. The Orchestra also gives concerts at venues both in the UK and Europe outside the Festival period and has performed in Gloucester Cathedral during the Three Choirs Festival, the Chelsea Festival, the Windsor Festival, the Oslo International Church Music Festival, with the Royal Choral Society and for the opening of the Queen's Jubilee in St George's Chapel, Windsor. 

In 1999 the principals of the Orchestra formed the London Handel Players to explore the great wealth of chamber music repertoire composed by Handel and his contemporaries. They performed at the Celebration Concert for the opening of Handel House Museum and at Southside House for the Jubilee String of Pearls celebratory events. 

The annual Handel Singing Competition was inaugurated in 2002 to give young singers the opportunity to concentrate on the wealth of Handel repertoire. They are accompanied in the Final by the London Handel Orchestra. 

The London Handel Society was established to promote the music of Handel and his contemporaries and in particular their little-heard works, many of which have been brought to a wider public in the last 40 years. The Society also encourages young singers and musicians of outstanding promise by giving them performance opportunities early in their careers.     

LAURENCE CUMMINGS Musical Director
Laurence Cummings is one of Britain’s most exciting and versatile exponents of historical performance both as conductor and harpsichord player. He has been Musical Director of the London Handel Festival since 1999 and Artistic Director of the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen since 2012. He is also Music Director of the Orquestra Barroca Casa da Música in Porto.

He has conducted productions for English National Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Buxton Festival Opera, Royal Academy of Music, Garsington Opera, English Touring Opera, Opera Theatre Company, Linbury Theatre Covent Garden, Göteborg Opera, Opernhaus Zurich, Opéra de Lyon, and Handel and Haydn Society.

He regularly conducts The English Concert and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and has worked with the Hallé, Bournemouth Symphony, Britten Sinfonia, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Academy of Music Baroque Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Wiener Akademie, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington), Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, Basel Chamber Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur, and Moscow Chamber Orchestra.

His numerous recordings include the first recording of Handel’s newly discovered Gloria with Emma Kirkby, and Handel Arias with Angelika Kirchschlager and the Basel Chamber Orchestra for Song BMG.

Highlights this season include Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at Wilton’s Music Hall, Handel’s Saul at Theater an der Wien and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and collaborations with Huddersfield Choral Society and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, together with his commitments at Casa da Música in Porto and the London and Göttingen Handel Festivals.

ADRIAN BUTTERFIELD Associate Director

Adrian is a violinist, director and conductor who specialises in performing music from 1600–1900 on period instruments. He is Musical Director of the Tilford Bach Society and Associate Director of the London Handel Festival and regularly directs the London Handel Orchestra and Players, as well as working as a guest soloist and director in Europe and North America with modern and period ensembles. He has conducted the major choral works of Bach as well as those of Handel, including La Resurrezione at Wigmore Hall, and has directed ensembles including the London Mozart Players, the Croatian Baroque Ensemble in Zagreb and the Theatre of Early Music in Canada.

He is a founder-member of the London Handel Players who perform regularly at Wigmore Hall and throughout Europe and North America. They have recorded several discs of Handel’s chamber music which have been highly acclaimed. He is also a member of the Revolutionary Drawing Room, which specialises in classical and romantic music on period instruments. Recent appearances include two broadcasts by BBC Radio 3 from Wigmore Hall and Brighton Early Music Festival.

Plans for this season include conducting the London Handel Orchestra in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Mass in B minor, Handel’s Esther at Wigmore Hall and Chandos Anthems in the Halle Handel Festival in Germany, as well as the release of a new recording of Chandos works. RDR continues its complete Beethoven string quartet cycle at St John’s Smith Square and tours of LHP’s baroque dance programmes will take them across Europe and North America.

SAMIR SAVANT Festival Director

Samir has over 15 years’ experience as a senior manager in the arts and took up the post of Festival Director at the London Handel Festival in April 2016. Previously he was Director of Development at the Royal College of Music and Shakespeare’s Globe and he held fundraising and marketing positions prior to this at English National Opera, the Royal Academy of Arts and Handel House.

Samir is a recognised writer and public speaker on topics from the lack of diversity in the arts to the role of trustees and senior management in fundraising. He is Chair of the Professional Development sub-committee of the Institute of Fundraising’s Cultural Sector Network, and chaired their national conference in 2014, 2016 and 2017, attracting arts and heritage fundraisers from across the country. He was a tenor choral scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge and sings with Pegasus, the award-winning chamber choir he cofounded, as well as solo repertoire. He is a trustee of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company.

London Handel Festival

London Handel Society
PO Box 79,
Ilminster,
TA19 9WP

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