Living on the 'Culture Line', we really are spoilt for choice. Not only do we have excellent Museums to visit, but we have a wonderful selection of local festivals to choose from. The Sydenham International Music Festival is in full swing at the moment and runs until 27 June, while the Sydenham Arts Festival kicks off this Sunday and runs until September 11. Slightly further afield, Brockley Max draws to a close this weekend having been running since 27 May.
The Sydenham Arts festival has over 90 events scheduled, featuring dance, drama, poetry, film and comedy as well as workshops and childrens events.
The backbone of the International Music Festival meanwhile is the amazing, virtuoso St Bartholomew Festival Orchestra that gathers together the most prestigious players from London‘s internationally recognised orchestras. Together with Festival Director Robert Trory, their reputation is now well established. This year is the seventh anniversary and presents a real feast of live music to match anything on offer in London with a stunning lineup including international opera star Susan Bullock. All concerts are held at St Bartholomew's Church unless otherwise specified.
The festival was opened on 23 May by the ever-popular virtuoso Russian violinist Sergey Dogadin who gave a performance of Brahms' Violin Concerto. He also teamed up with Martin Roscoe on piano for a further recital last Sunday and there have been two other concerts; EMMA SELWAY - mezo-soprano performed at St Christopher's Hospice and the FIDELIO PIANO QUARTET made its fourth appearance in the Sydenham Festival.
However, worry not! There are still plenty of gems still to come.
On Tuesday 8th June at 7.30pm the LONDON CONCHORD ENSEMBLE will be performing at the Dolphin (£10). This fun evening with an American flavour (and some Mozart and Beethoven thrown in for good measure) is given by London’s leading mixed instrument group that has toured the UK, Europe and North America.
This is followed on Sunday 13th June - 7.30pm - by the SUSAN BULLOCK CELEBRITY CONCERT (£18, £12 concs.). Recognised as one of the world's leading Wagnerian sopranos, Susan Bullock will come together with Maestro ROBERT TRORY and the stunning ST.BARTHOLOMEW FESTIVAL ORCHESTA in Wagner's 'Wesendock Leider' and Cantaloube's 'Songs of the Auvergne'.
The ever popular CHILDREN’S CONCERT (£6) returns on Saturday 19th June - 11.00am and features 'The Carnival Of Animals' narrated by Jamie Ripman. This is a lively working of Scottish Dances with bagpipes for good measure and is a fun-packed concert for children of all ages. Children are encouraged to come dressed as one of the Animals in the Carnival (a fish - a lion - a donkey - an elephant - a kangaroo .....) for a Fancy Dress competition.
Also making a welcome return is the young Serbian cellist MAJA BOGDANOVIC who stunned the audience in 2009 with her performance of Shostakovich Cello Concerto. Maja will take part in the FRIEND’S EVENING on Friday 25th June - 7.30pm, an evening of talk with music, hosted by Noel Craven with MAJA BOGDANOVIC & ROBERT TRORY (£10 - free to Friends of Sydenham Music) before finally closing the Festival with Elgar's Cello Concert on Sunday 27th June - 7.30pm at the CLOSING CONCERT (£18, £12 concs.)