London ,

Spitalfields Music Winter Festival

Film screenings, walks, talks and live music from 4 to 15 December

THE Spitalfields Winter Music Festival is something of a misnomer. The event encompasses 12 days of film screenings, historic walks, workshops and dining events alongside its programme of live music. 

Neither is the action confined to Spitalfields. This year, the festival is taking over some of East London’s most magical spaces, many of them in Hackney.

Hotly anticipated highlights include an opening night concert at St Leonard's Church, in Shoreditch, at 7.30pm, by the viol consort Fretwork and vocal ensemble Red Byrd. Through a series of ‘sound portraits’, it promises to bring 16th-century London to life with bawdy songs and street sounds.

The popular blogger of Spitalfields life, The Gentle Author, will discuss the context and history behind his new book 'The Cries of London' beforehand, at 6.30pm.

Spitalfields Music’s flagship series for babies and toddlers is returning to Rich Mix on 5 December, at 12.30pm (pictured). Musical Rumpus is an interactive, multisensory performance, featuring live music for the under-threes. Their latest show, Lyrebird, features original music by the company’s musical director, Sam Glazier, and librettist Zoe Palmer. 

Back at Shoreditch Church, you can catch The Marian Consort on 14 December, at 7pm. This young, dynamic and internationally renowned vocal ensemble specialise in early music.

The small instrumental ensemble Solomon’s Knot Baroque Collective, meanwhile, will make their festival debut fresh from their sold-out operatic show at Wilton’s Music Hall. On 15 December, at 7.30pm, they are closing the programme at Shoreditch Church with a performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

Click here to explore the Spitalfields Music Winter Festival programme.