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A Baroquian Christmas @ St. John's Smith Square

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Music At It's Finest
In the 17th century art became a thing of hyperbole. Artists wanted to engender strong and emotive responses in their audience. Exaggeration was the key. This artistic style is known as Baroque, and today is associated mostly with music.

There is no better place to hear Baroque music than at St John's Smith Square. Located in the heart of Westminster, it is considered one of London's finest venues for the performance of English Baroque music.

St. John's Smith Square always has a full schedule of events, and this December is no different. To start the month off, on the 1st of December, the Fulham Symphony Orchestra will be playing at 7.30pm. Also in December will be:

Concerto No. 3

2nd December, 7:00pm

Rachmaninov's Concerto No. 3 will be performed by the UK's oldest orchestra, The Royal Orchestral Society, alongside pianist, Piers Lane. This will be followed by London Chorus and Violetta Gawara's rendition of the Prokofiev Cantata, based on the music in Alexander Nevsky, a historical Russian film directed by Sergei Eisenstein. Tickets are between 10-20.

There will also be a number of Christmas themed events such as a performance by the Thames Chamber Orchestra & Choir of Christ's College Cambridge in aid of the Oracle Cancer Trust on the 2nd December. With festive music and poetry from 7.30pm, tickets cost between 10-45. On the 4th, you can then listen to traditional Christmas carols and readings by the Parliament Choir of Westminster. Starts at 7.30pm with tickets from 10-25.

Chapelle Du Roi

7th December 7.30pm

St. John Smiths Square

The Chapelle Du Roi choir is made up of a group of eight singers and was founded in 1994. Their interest lies in the Renaissance period, and their aim is to bring previously unheard music to the public. In this performance, they will be exploring the works of Tallis, Palestrina, and Victoria, and looking at the links between Renaissance masterpieces, and the contemporary composers of England, Scotland and America. Tickets are between 10-25.

Solomon's Knot

8th December, 6pm & 7pm

Eight singers will perform Handel's A Chamber's Messiah with the fourteen players of Solomon's Knot at 7 o'clock. Before that, at 6 o'clock, there will be a panel discussing Handel's masterpiece. Speakers will include Dr. Ruth Smith, Jonathan Sells, Julian Forbes, and James Halliday. Tickets are between 12-25.

Carols By Candlelight

9th December 6.30pm

The City of London Choir will be singing their annual Christmas carols by candlelight. Tickets are between 12-25.

st. John Smiths Square

There will also be a number of Christmas Festival performances taking place on the 13th-15th, 17th, 19th-23rd December. If you want to take the kids, Jack Frost's Christmas Adventure between the 27th-31st December is the perfect treat. Tickets are between 14-22.

You can find more events at St. John's Smith Square here.
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Why? Baroque music at its finest
When: Performances all year long, but these ones are in December
Phone: 44 (0) 20 7222 1061
Where: St. John's Smith Square
Cost: 10-45
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