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City of London Festival returns to St Paul's with a pair of ninth symphonies

The annual City of London Festival will once again come to St Paul’s this summer, with the ninth symphonies of both Bruckner and Beethoven to be performed under the Cathedral’s great dome.

The large concerts on 3 July and 15 July will see the London symphony Orchestra play these much-loved works under two of the world’s most noted conductors, Daniel Harding and Myung-Whun Chung.

Part of this year’s festival will see many of the concerts and events take on a Korean flavour under the title Seoul in the City, following President Park Geun-hye’s visit late last year. As well as the conductor, all soloists for the Beethoven 9th Symphony are from Korea.

As in previous years, the City of London Festival will begin with a Festival Service at the Cathedral. At the 11.30am Sung Eucharist on Sunday 22 June, the Cathedral Choir will sing at this celebratory service.

On Friday 27 June the Festival Children’s Parade will once again end at the steps of the Cathedral, having moved through the City streets from Guildhall. And for the duration of the Festival a giant bowler hat in Paternoster Square will host a range of children’s theatre, stand-up comedy, cabaret, live poetry and much more.

City of London Festival listings for St Paul's

Sunday 22 June
Sung Eucharist
Mass in G minor  Vaughan Williams
Come my soul  Howells
Free - no tickets required

Friday 27 June
Festival Children’s Parade
Escape into the world of children’s literature as 1,500 children present the theme of Off the page. Dozens of schools have chosen classic children’s stories to bring to life through costume, puppetry, music and dance, using tons of the City’s recyclable waste. Come cheer them on and spot your favourite book in the troupe. There will also be a special performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical to round-off the event.
Free – no ticket required

Thursday 3 July
Symphony No 9  Bruckner
Theronody for the Victims of Hiroshima  Penderecki
London Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Harding Conductor

Bruckner's stirring symphonies have been described as 'cathedrals in sound'. The combination of St Paul's Cathedral, Bruckner's magnificent 9th Symphony and the charismatic leadership of young conductor Daniel Harding make for a very special occasion.
The brilliant LSO were recently commended for their live performance of Bruckner's masterpiece, playing with "a transparency and poise that cuts through even the most climactic, brass-laden fortissimos" - The Guardian
This concert is being recorded for future broadcast by BBC Radio 3

Full information and tickets
£48, £42, £32, £25, £15, £10, £5

Tuesday 15 July
Symphony No 9  Beethoven
London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Chorus
Myung-Whun Chung Conductor
Kathleen Kim Soprano
Songmi Yang Mezzo soprano
Yosep Kang Tenor
Jongmin Park Bass

The Music Director of the Seoul Philharmonic, Myung-Whun Chung and four virtuosic Korean soloists join forces with the London Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Chorus for an Anglo-Korean performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 in St Paul’s Cathedral, the most iconic City venue.
Beethoven’s bold and resonant Symphony No 9 was a ground-breaking choral composition, the first to celebrate the human voice at the same level as the instruments. Today it stands as one of the most played symphonies in the world. The piece is famed as an anthem to peace and reconciliation; it was performed in Berlin to celebrate the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and chosen as the EU’s official anthem in 1985. This performance carries a particular resonance given the ongoing situation on the Korean Peninsula.
This concert promises a memorable performance of Beethoven’s bombastic Symphony No 9 inside one of the world’s great icons. The London Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Chorus’ performance of this piece in 2006 was described as having "enough orchestral punch to knock a listener senseless ...” The Times.

Full information and tickets
£50, £42, £32, £25, £15, £10, £5

22 June – 17 July
Paternoster Square
The Bowler Hat
An all-new pop-up theatre in Paternoster Square for the duration of the Festival, featuring an eclectic mix of children’s theatre, stand-up comedy, circus, cabaret, live poetry and much more.

Full programme and tickets