Easter has inspired some of the greatest works in classical music. From Cornwall to Glasgow, here’s a selection of unmissable concerts of Easter music.
Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus, these concerts have had to be cancelled.
Messiah on Good Friday – The Royal Choral Society
The Royal Choral Society has performed Handel’s Messiah on Good Friday every year at The Royal Albert Hall since 1876! The choir will be joined by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Richard Cooke.
Date: Friday 10 April, at 2.30 pm.
Venue: The Royal Albert Hall, London
Tickets: Available from £20 – £53. To book click here.
Holy Week Festival at St John’s Smith Square
Returning for the fourth year, Holy Week Festival is to provide ‘A moment of stillness in the heart of the city’. Curated by Tenebrae and their artistic director Nigel Short, other performers will include: the King’s Singers, Polyphony, The Tallis Scholars, the Choir of Merton College, Oxford with Florilegium and Siglo de Oro. New to Holy Week Festival are Musica Secreta, with the recently discovered complete Brumel Lamentations, and the Armonico Consort with soprano Elin Manahan Thomas in Bach’s B Minor Mass. The Festival will also include opportunities to participate in workshops.
Date: Palm Sunday, 5 April – Easter Sunday, 12 April
Venue: St John’s Smith Square, London
Tickets: From £15. To book click here.
St John Passion – Oxford Bach Soloists
One of Bach’s best loved works, the St John Passion was first performed on Good Friday, 1724 at St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig. ‘More daring, forceful and poetic’ than the St Matthew Passion, according to Schumann, this work is presented by an ensemble of soloists, four-part choir, strings and basso continuo together with pairs of flauti traversi and oboes doubling on oboe da caccia.
Date: Friday, 10 April, at 1.30 pm
Venue: New College Chapel, Oxford
Tickets: Free – £25. To book click here.
St Endellion Easter Festival, North Cornwall
The St Endellion Music Festival at Easter brings together a wide range of musicians from all over the world to perform opera, choral, orchestral, chamber and recital concerts in the inspiring and intimate atmosphere of the Collegiate Church of St Endellion, North Cornwall and surrounds. Among the highlights will be Sir James MacMillan, conducting two evening performances of his Stabat Mater. The Festival kicks off with a “Come and Sing” on Saturday 4 April, led by Oliver Tarney – what better way to start than with a rousing chorus of “I was Glad”?
Date: 4 April – 12 April
Venue: St Endellion Church,
Tickets: To book click here.
Easter Weekend at Snape Maltings, Suffolk
Concerts at this beautiful venue feature music from the Baroque and Renaissance periods with harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, The Sixteen, and Britten Sinfonia joined by a stellar cast of soloists performing Bach’s St Matthew Passion on Easter Sunday.
Date: Friday, 10 April – Sunday, 12 April
Venue: Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Orford Church, Britten Studio
Tickets: To book click here.
Good Friday St John Passion at Birmingham Symphony Hall
Bach’s St John Passion is a profound human drama; a heartbreaking musical exploration of eternal hopes and sorrows, and Ex Cathedra’s Good Friday performances have become a Birmingham Easter tradition. Jeffrey Skidmore directs Birmingham’s world-class chamber choir, with soloists drawn from within the musical community of Ex Cathedra to achieve a special intimacy, immediacy and power.
Date: Friday, 10 April at 2pm
Venue: Birmingham Symphony Hall
Tickets: From £12.50 – £43. To book click here.
St Matthew Passion at The Barbican, London
Bach’s St Matthew Passion conveys moments of deep introspection combined with jubilant choruses and exquisite arias to create a work that is both uplifting and profoundly moving.
This Good Friday performance features a cast led by Nicholas Mulroy, alongside Roderick Williams as Christus. Jacqueline Shave directs Britten Sinfonia and the orchestra’s acclaimed professional vocal ensemble, Britten Sinfonia Voices, from the violin.
Date: Friday, 10 April at 6pm
Venue: The Barbican
Tickets: From £15 – £65. To book click here.