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London's Classical Pride Festival Returns for Second Edition

Celebrating LGBTQ+ composers, the expanded five-day festival culminates in a London Symphony Orchestra concert hosted by Nick Grimshaw and conducted by Oliver Zefferman


London's Classical Pride Festival, which in 2023 marked the first time that any major orchestra or concert hall in Europe had celebrated Pride, will return to the Barbican in 2024 for its second edition. The expanded five-day festival is curated by conductor Oliver Zefferman, and will take place from July 3-7, 2024.

The festival opens with Classical Pride: Classical Drag! Framed as a competition, this event features stars of the London drag scene, backed by an orchestra of LGBTQ+ musicians and allies. The drag artists will perform big numbers from operas like Carmen, La bohème and Tosca, and there will be a drag queen Philip Glass tribute, as well as a 'Violin For Your Life' section.

On Friday 5 July, My Beloved Man is a choral concert presented by Fourth Choir, London's LGBTQ+ classical choir. The theme celebrates the relationship between composer Benjamin Britten and tenor Peter Pears, and the choir is conducted by Nicholas Chalmers.

On Saturday 6 July, Classical Pride: A Proud Future features the star performers and composers from the LGBTQ+ student bodies of London’s conservatoires. LGBTQ+ students from the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance will give a series of concerts of LGBTQ+ music that has personal meaning for them.

On Sunday 7 July there is a free performance of Julius Eastman's Gay Guerilla, a work which re-casts Martin Luther’s 16th-century hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God as a manifesto about being a gay, black man. The ensemble is led by violist Stephen Upshaw.

The festival culminates in a concert by the London Symphony Orchestra on Sunday 7 July. Works by Copland, Saint-Saëns, Szymanowski, and Tchaikovsky rub shoulders with newer works by Cassandra Miller and Jake Heggie.

You can find out more about the festival here.

upcoming events

may 2024

06may01junQueen Elisabeth Violin Competition12:00 am - (june 1) 11:59 pm Flagey ASBL-VZW, Pl. Sainte-Croix, 1050 Bruxelles, BelgiumEvent Type :competitions Event Tagscompetition,Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition,violinFOLLOW

27mayAll Day31New York Classic Violin Competition(All Day) Manhattan School of Music, 130 Claremont Ave, New York, NY 10027Event Type :competitions Event TagsClassic Violin Olympus International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

june 2024

06junAll Day13Khachaturian International Violin Competition(All Day) Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, 46 Mesrop Mashtots Ave, Yerevan, ArmeniaEvent Type :competitions Event TagsKhachaturian International Competition,violin competitionFOLLOW

08junAll Day16Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition(All Day) Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre, Piazza Martiri del 7 Luglio, 1, 42121 Reggio Emilia RE, Italy Event Type :competitions Event TagsPremio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition,string quartet competitionFOLLOW

17junAll Day22Primrose International Viola Competition(All Day) Colburn School, 200 S Grand AveEvent Type :competitions Event TagsPrimrose International Viola Competition,Primrose Viola CompetitionFOLLOW


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