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LSO St Luke's 10th Birthday Festival

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
Published February 28th 2013
Happy 10th birthday to you LSO St Luke's
You may not have heard of LSO St Luke's, so pay attention while I bring you up to scratch. LSO stands for the London Symphony Orchestra and St Luke's is the restored 18th century Hawksmoor Church on Old Street which houses the LSO's music education programme and rehearsal rooms. The venue opened ten years ago (in March 2003) and is hosting a twelve-day festival to celebrate its first double figures birthday. I hope you're keeping up with me now, because the tenth birthday, celebrated over twelve days, will be marked by 17 musical events.

LSO St Luke's
LSO St Luke's 10th Birthday Festival

There will be a series of lunchtime and evening concerts featuring, among others, the Nash Ensemble, LSO String Orchestra and the Vienna Piano Trio playing pieces by Mozart, Schubert, Haydn and Dvořk. In addition there will be a Gamelan concert and a performance by Dhafer Youssef, bringing a Balinese and a Tunisian flavour to the festival. If you are more than just a participant and would prefer to get involved with the proceedings you could take part in a Brahms Discovery Day, a chamber music workshop and a family open day.

LSO St Luke's has always been a focal point of the local community, encapsulating all ages from tots to teens, as well as people with learning difficulties. If your teenage children think that classical music is boring and just for stuffy old fuddy-duddies, I'll bet they don't know that the venue is also home to the Digital Technology Group and boasts high-tech digital recording equipment that encourages young people to create music under the guidance of experts. And it's not even necessary to play a musical instrument, if you can sing, there are choirs waiting for your participation, especially if you can sing 'Happy Birthday St Luke's, Happy Birthday to You.' If you still don't believe that it's a place worth visiting, bear in mind that musicians such as Norah Jones, Duffy, Annie Lennox, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and The Boss (Bruce Springsteen) have all performed there; if you don't believe me, just check out the videos on YouTube.

If you're looking for something to do with the family over Easter that doesn't necessarily include eggs, but which just might have something to do with a church, even a decommissioned one, why not pencil LSO St Luke's into your diary this year? It is conveniently located close to Old Street station, various bus routes, and there are other stations within an easy distance.

LSO St Luke's
LSO St Luke's 10th Birthday Festival
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Why? To get yourself involved in the tenth birthday celebrations of an important community based music venue
When: Between 21 March and 1 April. Detailed information is on the website.
Where: LSO St Luke's
Cost: Between Free and 30, with concessions available
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