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Free Lunchtime concerts

St Martin’s has a proud history of hosting some of London’s finest live classical music and we are looking forward to celebrating the 70th anniversary of our free Lunchtime Concerts in 2020.

The Lunchtime Concerts Series was begun by British pianist Myra Hess at the National Gallery
during the Blitz. With concert halls in London blacked out at night to avoid being bombed during air strikes, Hess decided to offer short concerts during the daytime. In the six and a half years that
they ran, she organised almost 2,000 performances, presented every weekday, in order to maintain the morale of the public.

The effect they had on those who attended was enormous, and Hess was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1941 to recognise her efforts. The concerts at the gallery ended in 1946, and moved across the road to St Martin’s a few years later.

The past 70 years have seen an enormous growth in the musical life of St Martin’s, not least in our Lunchtime Concerts Series. With three performances per week (on Mondays, Tuesdays and
Fridays, all at 1.00pm), we welcome almost 38,000 people each year to around 170 performances.

Since 2014, our Embassy and Cultural Institute Series has allowed performers from across the globe to play here, and our Pianists of the World Series has included musicians from the Americas,
Australasia, Europe and Asia.  We are proud to be working renowned music schools and conservatoires such as Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music
and Drama and Trinity Laban Conservatoire, who allow us to welcome some of the country’s most outstanding young musicians at the beginning of their careers.

We are delighted by what the lunchtime concerts have achieved in bringing audiences together and making music accessible for everyone. We hope this tradition will continue for many years to

6 January @ 1:00 pm - 21 December @ 2:00 pm



6 January @ 1:00 pm
21 December @ 2:00 pm

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