LIFEM | 10-13 November 2021 | Book now


All concerts take place at St. Michael & All Angels, Pond Road, Blackheath SE3 9JL

A message from our Artistic Director, Gill Graham

The French and English Baroque periods saw a kaleidoscope of music written under royal patronage alongside a rise in popularity of opera and music for theatre. We will explore the popular music and also the less well known music of the period, played in the courts and bedchambers of these two most distinguished royal patrons - Charles II in London and Louis XIV in Versailles.

I am delighted to invite you to join us at LIFEM 2021 for a feast of music from those hugely rich periods of musical invention.

We start with a recital by internationally acclaimed Viol player Liam Byrne and Lutenist Jonas Nordberg who will open the festival with their own charming blend of music for viol and theorbo. For an evening entitled Le Badinage - An Exchange of Pleasantries Liam and Jonas will present their own unique take on the historical relationship between viol player Marin Marais and lutenist Robert de Visée, both central musical figures at the court of Louis XIV.

For part of their programme Liam and Jonas will be joined by soprano Lucy Crowe, star of the Royal Opera House, The Metropolitan Opera and recital stages the world over. Lucy returns to us on the 11th November along with Laurence Cummings, one of Britain's most exciting and versatile exponents of historical performance both as a conductor and a harpsichord player, in a programme centred around the music of Handel and Purcell.

Ensembles Hesperi and Pro Victoria were joint winners of LIFEM Young Artist Platform in 2020 and return to the Festival to give evening concerts. On the 12th Pro Victoria serenades us with vocal music from the English Baroque.

On the 13th join us for Festival Evensong directed Andrew Watts and stay around for our closing concert - Battle of the Kings: Chamber Music from the Courts of Louis XIV and Charles II. Every king and queen in Europe envied the artistic resources and dazzling entertainments at the courts of these creative kings. In this concert Ensemble Hesperi performs music from both sides of the channel by royal chamber composers, to let you decide which king had the best musical taste!


Wednesday 10th November 2021, 7.00pm
"Le Badinage – An Exchange of Pleasantries"
We are delighted to welcome leading exponents of their instruments, Liam Byrne and Jonas Nordberg, to open our festival, with special guest Lucy Crowe.
Thursday 11th November 2021, 12.00pm

Lessons for the Lyra Viol

Liam Byrne, viola de gamba


Thursday 11th November 2021, 7.30pm

Highly-acclaimed concert and opera soprano, Lucy Crowe, performs a varied programme.


Friday 12th November 2021, 7.30pm

Joint winners of the 2020 Young Ensemble Competition, Ensemble Pro Victoria, return for their winners’ recital.


Saturday 13th November 2021, 6.00pm

“Battle of the Kings: Chamber Music from the Courts of Louis XIV and Charles II”

Joint winners of the 2020 Young Ensemble Competition, Ensemble Hesperi, return for their winners’ recital.