© Chris Christodoulou
The London Handel Festival is an annual celebration of the life and work of composer George Frideric Handel. Our core charitable and artistic objectives are to explore the full repertoire of Handel, to nurture emerging talent, and to bring Handel’s music to broader audiences.
Founded in 1978, the London Handel Society has played a crucial role in the revival of interest in Handel’s music. Each year we present the prestigious London Handel Festival, some 40 events held in venues across London in March and April, celebrating Handel’s extraordinary creative life in the city which he made his home. Our Musical Director is Laurence Cummings, one of the world’s pre-eminent Handelian conductors, who directs the London Handel Orchestra and leading soloists in several performances across the festival, often reviving lesser-known works. Our Associate Director is Adrian Butterfield, who also leads the London Handel Orchestra.
Our base is St George’s church in London’s Mayfair where Handel worshipped. In addition, we work with a range of established venues and artistic partners, including Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square and Early Opera Company, and we give a platform to emerging talent, working with groups such as La Nuova Musica and Opera Settecento.
The Handel Singing Competition started in 2002 as an integral part of the Festival. Past finalists are invited back to sing on a regular basis at the Festival, and we are proud to have helped launch the careers of many leading opera stars including Iestyn Davies and Lucy Crowe.
The high quality of our performances is regularly recognised in reviews in the national press.