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Our grand summer Gala at Wigmore Hall is drawing closer on 5th July with the soloists and string orchestra preparing to converge for an evening of Stravinsky, Mendelssohn, Bach and Handel. To mark 10 years of City Music Foundation, and in memory of Sir Roger Gifford, we are bringing together our Alumni, Patrons and other world-class performers to celebrate the work of the charity over the past decade and to fundraise for the next chapter in its growth.  

Jennifer Pike, Christopher Purves, David Blackadder, Iain Burnside and Pavel Kolesnikov all feature, as do CMF Alumni Helen Charlston, Michael Foyle, Emily Sun and Samson Tsoy.  

With champagne, a fantastic auction and a chance to meet our Artists, tickets are selling fast for this one-off event! If you would like to reserve a VIP ticket, from only a few now left, please email Fleur on If you would like general booking, please head to the Wigmore Hall website here:


2021 CMF Artist Joy Lisney performs this Friday 27th May at 1pm with her unaccompanied recital pairing Bach and Britten. This concert has been rescheduled from February this year, before Storm Eunice decided that it wasn’t possible to perform that day! The concert takes place in the gorgeous acoustic of one of central London’s most prestigious venues St Martin-in-the-Fields, as part of our latest partnership.

Book your tickets here!

Joy Lisney is a multi-faceted musician, combining her cello playing with a career in composition and conducting.

As a cellist, Joy has performed in the major European concert halls including the Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Leipzig Gewandhaus as well as three consecutive sold-out recitals at London’s Southbank Centre. Her programmes range from her own arrangement of the Bach Chaconne, through the core repertoire to contemporary concertos and world premieres by composers including Mark Anthony Turnage, Cecilia Macdowall, Jan Vriend and Judith Weir, as well as her own compositions.  A passionate advocate of new music, Joy has commissioned two new works from the Dutch composer Jan Vriend, the first of which she recorded on her debut CD in 2012. Most recently, she has been selected as a 2021 City Music Foundation Artist.

Alongside her solo engagements Joy performs regularly in a chamber music setting and has worked with artists including the Allegri, Dante and Endellion Quartets, Michael Whight, James Gilchrist and Dame Emma Kirkby. As a soloist she has worked with conductors including Howard Williams and Sir Stephen Cleobury as well as directing concerti from the cello.

This led Joy into conducting and she founded the Seraphin Project orchestra while studying composition at Cambridge University. After conducting much of the string orchestra repertoire Joy expanded the orchestra for performances of large-scale works including Mahler’s Ninth Symphony and the first London performance of the Busoni Concerto for Piano, Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in twenty years. In addition, she has regularly conducted her own compositions, which also include works written for artists such as the Arditti Quartet and Ensemble Recherche.

Joy plays on a Seraphin violoncello generously lent by Beare Violins.

Helen Charlston (2018 CMF Artist), who won First Prize in the 2018 Handel Singing Competition, has joined the York Festival of Early Music as Artistic Adviser. 

“Helen has a long association with York and we are looking forward to working with her. We are sure she will bring some brilliant and fresh ideas as we move towards York Early Music Festival 2023” said Dr Delma Tomlin MBE, Director of the National Centre for Early Music. 

Helen, who was a 2018 City Music Foundation Artist, joined Le Jardin des Voix academy with Les Arts Florissants in 2021, and the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, and also became winner of the Ferrier Loveday Song Prize in the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. Find out more about Helen here. 

Tickets for this year’s York Early Music Festival 8-16 July are available here.

Live music producers Serious to announced last week the participants for the seventeenth edition of their prestigious talent development scheme Take Five – an annual programme that offers mentorship and opportunities to eight of the finest emerging jazz and improvising musicians from across the United Kingdom, funded by the PRS Foundation, Arts Council England and Serious Trust. 2020 CMF Artist Nishla Smith & CMF Ambassador Misha Mullov-Abbado have been announced in this line-up – congratulations!

In early May the participants will take part in an online residency week with talks, discussions and breakout sessions with leading industry experts. Covering topics from how to gig more internationally, to the best ways of working with agents and labels, to funding and legal advice for artists as well as keynote talks from past Take Five Participants and other artists. This part of the scheme will allow them a chance to learn about the complexities of the business in a focussed setting and offer them the chance to take some time out from their usual busy schedules and step back and think about how to advance their music and careers. 

To find out more about Take Five, please visit their website here. 

Harriet Burns


Victor Lim


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Folk Group

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