Middle Temple Hall is special for many reasons: for the beauty of its design and architecture, for the glorious double hammer-beam roof begun in 1562, for the historic law courts that still surround it. It is special for the great oak table cut from one tree in Windsor Forest and floated down the Thames to take up residence before the hall opened, for the halls importance to Elizabethan London and because Shakespeare almost certainly performed here in Twelfth Night at Candelmas, 1602 when the play was given the first performance.
Over the last few years, since the inauguration of Temple Song in 2006, we have found that Middle Temple Hall is also special because it has one of the best acoustics for chamber music and song in London. I have performed here now with an array of the best singers in the world, most of them discovering Middle Temple Hall for the first time, and they all say the same thing: what a wonderful place to sing!
Olaf Bär, Thomas Allen, Felicity Lott, Christoph Pregardien, Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, Sergei Leiferkus, Gerald Finley, Willard White, Robert Holl, Danielle De Niese – they all say it is one of the very best acoustics for song that they know.
For the first concert in the 2016 season on January 21st I will be joined by the great British mezzo, Alice Coote. The first half of her programme is devoted to the greatest of all song composers, Franz Schubert and the second includes Elgar’s masterpiece, Sea Pictures.
On May 11th the Belarusian soprano, Nadine Koutcher, the brilliant and well deserved winner of the 2015 Cardiff Singer of the World will make her London recital debut at Middle Temple Hall. The programme includes Liszt, Berg and an all Russian second half of Rimsky Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. An unmissable concert from this new star in the world of music.
On October 26th we will celebrate the Shakespeare anniversary in style in our beautiful Elizabethan hall, in a programme curated by the director Sophie Hunter with the legendary Swedish mezzo soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and the leading British actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Tickets will be in high demand, I’m sure.
Finally on December 5th, the British baritone of the moment, Roderick Williams, joins me for a programme he has specially devised for us entitled ‘An English Winter Journey’. It is a reflection in English song on Schubert’s Winterreise, with twenty four songs by many others including Britten, Elgar, Finzi, Gurney, Howells and Vaughan Williams. They follow the mood and themes of each of the twenty four settings Schubert chose for his Winter Journey.
Altogether a bumper season, so do join us for one or all of these rather special concerts. A glass of wine is included in the ticket price and you will be given a warm welcome!
Artistic Director Temple Song 2016
We are indebted to the Temple Song Founders, a group of enlightened and generous supporters, without whose sense of adventure, advice and encouragement, the series could not have come to fruition.
Sir Richard Aikens
Michael Brindle QC
Timothy Dutton QC
Graham Eklund QC
Julian Flaux QC
James Flynn QC
Jonathan Gaisman QC
Michael Howard QC
Michel Kallipetis QC
The Hon. Michael McLaren QC
Jeffery Onions QC
David Owen QC
Lionel Persey QC
Nigel Pleming QC
Sir Jeremy Stuart Smith
Rex Tedd QC