The best classical concerts in London this month

Looking for a great classical music concert in the capital this month? Look no further…

London is one of the world centres of classical music, and there’s a staggering number of concerts, recitals and lunchtime services taking place in the capital. Our advice? Head to any of the shows recommended below and you’ll be in for a treat.


Ensemble Amorpha + Juice

Critics' choice

A chance to catch two engaging outfits dedicated to contemporary music in this intimate Camden venue. Ensemble Amorpha plays instrumental works by Luke Styles, Arnold Schoenberg and Charlotte Bray; and vocal trio Juice presents a set by Styles, David Lang and Sally Whitwell. 

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The Forge Arts Venue Wednesday April 1 2015

Project Instrumental: Transfiguring Night

Critics' choice

Hackney is fast becoming the place for alternative classical events. Now the Picturehouse cinema has been co-opted for Project Instrumental’s evening of music for strings, featuring Erich Korngold’s Sextet in D; Arnold Schoenberg’s ‘Verklärte Nacht’ and the world premiere of Stephen Montague’s ‘Night Tracks’. All with projections from Yiyun Kang.

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Hackney Picturehouse Thursday April 2 2015

Polyphony: St John Passion

Critics' choice

It’s Good Friday, so there is plenty of Easter music to choose from. This afternoon Stephen Layton conducts directs his choir Polyphony and the Orchestra of Polyphony in JS Bach’s second most popular oratorio. Soloists include tenor Stuart Jackson as the Evangelist and soprano Elin Manahan Thomas. 

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St John's Smith Square Friday April 3 2015

James MacMillan: St Luke Passion

Critics' choice

A new oratorio for Easter Sunday. James MacMillan conducts Britten Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia Voices, trebles of London’s Trinity School and Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, in the London premiere of his ‘St Luke Passion’ (2014), followed by a Q&A with the composer.

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Barbican Hall Sunday April 5 2015

Red Priest: Handel in the Wind

Critics' choice

As part of the London Handel Festival, the wacky Baroque ensemble Red Priest celebrates the composer with a set of fun arrangements for recorder, violin, cello and harpsichord. Including a rip-roaring suite based on ‘Messiah’ and a souped-up ‘Zadok the Red Priest’.

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St George's Hanover Square Wednesday April 8 2015

National Youth Orchestra: Chin, Grainger, Bartók

Critics' choice

Brace yourself: tonight the 163 members of the NYO under Ilan Volkov unleash their youthful talent and energy on the world premiere of Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s ‘Mannequin’, alongside Percy Grainger’s ballet score ‘The Warriors’ and Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra.

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Royal Festival Hall Saturday April 11 2015

London Contemporary Orchestra: Vivier, Couperin, Finnis

Critics' choice

London’s Coolest Orchestra? ‘LCO’ actually stands for London Contemporary Orchestra, which continues its Claude Vivier series with his Cinq Chansons Pour Percussion, interspersed with movements from François Couperin’s Première Suite and ending with Edmund Finnis’s ‘Colour Field Painting’, plus a chance to discuss the pieces with the band. (Part of The Hub Sessions II.)

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Roundhouse Sunday April 12 2015

BBC Symphony Orchestra: Wunderhorn

Critics' choice

Accompanied by a new Clara Pons film (with an ‘18’ certificate on account of nudity and sexual violence) and orchestrations by Detlev Glanert, baritone Dietrich Henschel joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Vedernikov to perform Gustav Mahler’s song-cycle ‘Des Knaben Wunderhorn’ as you have never seen or heard it.

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Barbican Hall Wednesday April 15 2015
© Sebastian Hoppe

Philharmonia Orchestra: Olga Neuwirth

Critics' choice

Philharmonia Orchestra’s composer portrait recital features the imaginative dramatic sound-world of Olga Neuwirth. Featuring the Austrian composer’s Herman Melville-inspired ‘Un posto nell'acqua’ and her iconoclastic piano concerto ‘Locus… Doublure… Solus’.

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Royal Festival Hall Thursday April 16 2015 Free

Minimalism Unwrapped: The Labèque Sisters

Critics' choice

The celebrated piano duo, sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque, play Philip Glass’s ‘Four Movements for Two Pianos’ and arrangements of works by maverick American composer Moondog. David Chalmin also performs with his band Ubunoir. Read more about Minimalism Unwrapped

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Kings Place Friday April 17 2015