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The 2014 Lufthansa Festival

Lindsay Kemp

We know when it's time to celebrate at the Lufthansa Festival, and a clutch of anniversaries in 2014 leaves us in no doubt that now is one of those times. Not only is it our own 30th birthday, it is also the 300th anniversary of the founding of the church that today is our home, St John's Smith Square.

But it is another momentous event 300 years ago that is the main inspiration for our programming this year: 1714 was the year in which Georg, Prince-Elector of Hanover, acceded to the throne of Great Britain as George I, thereby ushering in the era of political stabilisation and economic growth that was the Georgian Age.

In Hanover, George was astute enough to have one of Europe's greatest musicians, George Frideric Handel, as one of his court composers, and Handel's working relationship with the Hanovers continued when he, like them, made London his home. Naturally, then, Handel forms the core of this year's programming - from the anthems he wrote for the coronation of George II, to a  Te Deum written to celebrate victory in a battle in which that King himself took part, to a unique collaboration with Europe's oldest Baroque music festival for his stirring oratorio Joshua.

Elsewhere we throw light on other Anglo-German connections, including music for chamber and theatre by some of the many German composers who, like Handel, lived and worked in London, and a double-bill of noble and beautiful funeral music by two towering geniuses from 17th-century Germany and England - Heinrich Schütz and Henry Purcell.

Even after all this, we have found room to mark one last '300th' - that of J. S. Bach's son, Carl Philipp Emanuel, a major figure in 18th-century music who is celebrated in two concerts alongside his father.

As ever, we have invited some of the world's finest musicians to join us in our elegant Baroque venue. Do come and help us celebrate!

Lindsay Kemp
Artistic Director