William Byrd Festival

William Byrd Festival

This summer (29th June - 2nd July), we celebrate William Byrd, one of the greatest composers of the Renaissance who died in 1623.

Byrd’s prolific output and dogged pursuit of his Roman Catholic faith during one of the most tumultuous periods in English history are a remarkable illustration of the power of the human spirit and the creativity it can engender.

To mark his 400th anniversary, an exceptional cohort of musicians gather in the Temple Church to perform consort, keyboard and choral music by this towering figure in English music. Join them in one of London’s most beautiful and historic churches, for a feast of exquisite music.

Tickets for concerts go on sale on 18th April. In the meantime, we are delighted to reveal some highlights:


England's Nightingale
Thursday 29th June, 7.30pm
Celebrated ensemble Stile Antico explore the many faces of Byrd in a sumptous programme featuring some of his most beloved works, alongside lesser-known gems and music by his pupils, Thomas Morley, Peter Philips, and Thomas Tomkins.


Friday 30th June, 1pm
A lunchtime concert basking in the rich sonority and texture of Byrd's viol consort music. The wonderful programme from this renowned group also includes works by Thomas Weelkes who, like Byrd, died in 1623 and was a master of melancholy.


Byrd and the Tudor Revival
Friday 30th June, 6.30pm
One of the world's greatest choirs, Westminster Cathedral Choir, perform Vaughan Williams' Mass in G Minor with Marian Propers from Byrd's monumental Gradualia, one of the most unusual and elaborate musical works of the English Renaissance (written for clandestine use by English Catholics).


Mahan Esfahani
Saturday 1st July, 12pm
The virtuoso harpsichordist gives a lunchtime recital based on Byrd's glorious keyboard music incuding pieces from My Ladye Nevells Booke and the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.


The safety of our audience, musicians and staff comes first.