Follow us on a journey through nine concerts taking in a range of musical genres, from the traditional to the unexpected. Over the course of the series, you will hear three groups of instruments - strings, percussion and electronics - presented and combined in different ways. Every week we ask our performers to respond to a theme suggested by the collections in our world famous Library and curate their programme around it.
Our summer lunchtime concerts are being supported by The City of London Corporation.
What to expect
Our Great Hall will look a little different as our audience and musicians will be socially distanced, and you'll need to book your free place in advance. We will send digital programme notes via email prior to the concert. This is a free event, so please make sure to cancel your ticket if you’re not going to make it so that others can join.
If you'd rather join us from home, you can watch the concerts via Facebook Live.
How we’re keeping you safe
We are following the latest guidance to ensure our staff, performers, and audience members are safe. To comply with government guidance and to support Test and Trace, we need to collect a name and phone number during the booking process.
- We have limited the number of seats in the Great Hall, and all tickets must be booked in advance to access our building. This means that we will not be accepting walk-ups.
- Seats will be at a safe distance. Please make separate bookings if you are booking for someone outside your household or bubble. For those who are in your household or bubble and part of the same booking, we will be able to seat you together.
- Attendees must cover their nose and mouth through the whole performance (unless exempt for medical reasons).
- Clear signage will appear throughout the building to guide you and remind you of social distancing measures.
- Hand sanitiser and bathroom facilities are available, with a one-in one-out system.
- We will be using a Test and Trace system to register all visitors to the building. You will be asked for your number when you book, and this is the number you will be contacted on if needed.
- We clean our building regularly.
- Please do not arrive before 12:45 - upon arrival you'll be signed in, and admitted in to the space through a one way system.
- If government guidance changes, we may need to cancel the concerts or only make them available by live stream. Please check your email before your visit.
Support our free concerts
Our lunchtime concerts have been a tradition since 1948, providing inspiration and respite from the world outside for an hour a week in a relaxed performance environment. We always pay our musicians for these performances, but the concerts are free to audiences. Help support these concerts by donating here.
Meet the Performer
A passionate performer, arranger and curator, Clare O'Connell has over 20 years experience as a freelance cellist specialising in contemporary chamber music. She is a member of the Le Page Trio, Lontano, The Storytellers Ensemble, The Harborough Collective, Loki & Propellor Ensemble and is a regular collaborator with many other chamber music & chamber opera projects.
She founded and curates Behind The Mirror: her own series of intimate chamber music concerts in Berkhamsted, commissioning new music from composers such as Alex Mills, Leonardo Margutti, Luke Bedford, David Bruce, Freya Waley Cohen and Rubens Askenar, experimenting with varying instrumental line-ups, making her own arrangements of a vast array of music for unusual groups of instruments, and interweaving music poetry and storytelling to add another dimension to the concert experience. Her arrangements have been performed in Westminster Abbey, the Wigmore Hall and on BBC radio 3.
Her debut solo album The Isolated Cellist was released in April 2021. Her response to the Corona-virus pandemic, it is a mix of ancient & modern music for solo and layered cello exploring themes relating to the crisis, which she gathered and arranged to perform to her street during the lockdown period.
She is a graduate of Wadham College, Oxford where she studied Ancient & Modern History followed by postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music and the Hochshule für Künste in Bremen, Germany with internationally acclaimed cellist and teacher Alexander Baillie. She plays on a cello by Stefan Krattenmacher.
Need to Know
- 13:00 – 13:55 (Doors open 12:45)
- Bishopsgate Institute