'This festival provides a unique function in British musical life.' The Independent
The 2014 Festival was a celebration of Anglo-German collaboration marking a number of significant anniversaries - 300 years since the Hanoverian succession, the 300th birthday of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the 300th anniversary of our wonderful venue, St John's Smith Square and not forgetting our own anniversary - 30 years of the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music.
Lindsay Kemp, Artistic Director, reflects on the 2014 Festival and looks ahead to the future:
I hope you'll agree that our 30th-anniversary celebrations of the Festival and Lufthansa's long-running support for it really did make for an extraordinary occasion. My thanks go out to our sponsors Lufthansa German Airlines and Roll-Royce plc, and of course to our wonderful artists - there were some truly special performances this year. More than ever before, however, I'd like to send out a big thank you to all our audience members and followers for their inspirational support over three decades. 30 years may seem like a blink of an eye compared to the 300 since the Hanoverian accession of 1714, but it has involved the participation of some remarkable people in that time, both on the stage, behind the scenes and in the audience.
It's an extraordinary legacy, and one which we on the Festival team are determined not to let go of, now that one of the longest-running and enlightened of cultural sponsor partnerships has come to a close with Lufthansa's withdrawal at the end of the 2014 Festival. As someone who was first an audience member in the 1980s, then a producer of the radio broadcasts during the '90s, and finally Artistic Director, I've been immensely touched this year to discover how much this Festival also means to so many of you, and how much you also want it to continue.
We fully intend to be back next May with more outstanding performances by the world's leading Baroque musicians, but we need to raise a lot of money yet. If you want to help us, you can find out more by clicking on the panel to the right of these words. We're very proud of what this Festival has already achieved, so let's make another 30 years our goal!
'The Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music has done much ... over the past 30 years, creating a metropolitan audience for idioms and eras that have little to do with the "classical music" peddled by mainstream ensembles.' Financial Times
Highlights from the 2014 Festival
A sneak peek behind the scenes...
In rehearsal l to r: Dorothee Oberlinger & Peter Kofler, Harry Christophers, Vox Luminis
The Festival opened with The Sixteen performing Handel's coronation anthems to a packed St John's Smith Square.
Photo: Jonathan Rose
That same weekend award-winning Belgian vocal group Vox Luminis gave us an atmospheric performance of royal funeral music accompanied by QuintEssential Sackbut and Cornett Ensemble.
Photo: Andrea Liu
Mid-week we were delighted to welcome Pierre Hantaï, Aapo Häkkinen and the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra giving us the rare opportunity to hear all three of J. S. Bach's concertos for two Harpsichords.
'It was a pleasure to hear the harpsichords burbling away in the virtuosic hands of Pierre Hantaï & Aapo Häkkinen.' The Telegraph
We also had our annual visit to Westminster Abbey to enjoy the angelic voices of the Choir of Westminster Abbey accompanied by St James's Baroque with soloists Ruby Hughes, Iestyn Davies, and Matthew Brook.
'O'Donnell gave full expression to the dramatic possibilities of the score without exaggerating or caricaturing them.' Classical Source
The Festival ended with a unique collaboration with Europe's oldest festival of Baroque music, Göttingen International Handel Festival. Laurence Cummings directed NDR Choir (Hamburg) and FestspielOrchester Göttingen with soloists Anna Dennis, Renata Pokupić, Kenneth Tarver and Tobias Berndt (pictured below, l to r) in Handel's Joshua.
Photos: Jonathan Rose
'Joshua is stirring stuff, with plenty of bellicose choruses, sung here with superb fervour and not a trace of an umlaut by the choir of North German Radio.' The Telegraph
'A stimulating end to another intelligently devised Lufthansa Festival.' Classical Source
What people are saying...
Throughout the Festival our audience members were busy telling us what they thought via Facebook and Twitter:
"Good to see enthusiastic, packed house at this concert. Beautiful music, singing. Stirring!" (about The Sixteen)
"It was a brilliant recital!" (about Dorothee Oberlinger)
"Gorgeous playing by Dorothee Oberlinger and Peter Kofler this afternoon, part of the brilliant @lufthansafest."
"Fab music from Vox Luminis and QuintEssential Sackbut & Cornetts"
"Very enjoyable evening of Baroque Music last night." (about L'Avventura London)
"Gorgeous concert last night - stereophonic harpsichord experience with @HelsinkiBaroque."
"It was spine-tingling and was deservedly well-received." (about Kati Debretzeni and The Hilliard Ensemble)
"Hilliard Ensemble - late night JS Bach - amazing!"
"A revelatory performance. Truly magnificent choir and soloists. Mr Cummings almost levitated!"
"A gorgeous 'Joshua' at @lufthansafest tonight - Anna Dennis is just stunning."
"Fabulous festival!! I enjoyed a breath taking concert on Sunday evening. This festival is a precious gem!"
"It started magnificently and just got better and better as the week went on."
And not to be outdone many Festival artists also took to social media to sing the praises of the Festival:
"Thank you for the invitation in your wonderful festival with an amazing audience!" (Dorothee Oberlinger)
"Thanks lots wonderful @lufthansafest ... Your audience was with us all the way and laughed in all the right bits!" (Rachel Podger)
"It was a real pleasure and an honour to perform at Lufthansa Festival" (Tomasz Pokrzywynski of Arte dei Suonatori)
"I was really touched by the spirit your festival has, a really special audience you?ve got." (Lionel Meunier, Vox Luminis)
"It was a privilege to be asked to perform in the festival." (Richard Thomas, QuintEssential Sackbut and Cornett Ensemble)
"Really enjoyed myself at the @lufthansafest." (Daniel Auchincloss)
"It was such an enormous pleasure for all of us to be a part of the Lufthansa Festival this year, and to perform for your wonderful audience." (Zak Osmo, L'Avventura London)
"It was a lovely evening. Glad to have been involved." (Anthony Gregory)
"It was our great pleasure and honour to perform at the Lufthansa Festival." (Aapo Häkkinen)
"Very much enjoyed tonight's @lufthansafest concert at Westminster Abbey. A beautiful venue and great line-up. One very happy viola player." (Member of St James's Baroque)
"We thoroughly enjoyed the performance and atmosphere, which combined to make it a magical evening." (David James, Hilliard Ensemble)
"Great audience in London. Thank you for inviting us Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music." (NDR Choir (Hamburg))