London International Festival of Early Music (LIFEM)


The London International Festival of Early Music (LIFEM) welcomes audiences and visitors to Blackheath venues each November.

Passionate that early music should not be seen as “museum piece”, led by producer Ann Barkway and Festival Director Chris Butler, the Festival is all about moving the genre forward. Just one of LIFEM’s initiatives to make early music contemporary and relevant is to commission major composers to write for old instruments ­– artists such as Nitin Sawhney, Errollyn Wallen, Toby Young and John Paul Jones. Performances come from the likes of The Brooke Street Band, Solomon’s Knot, Charlotte Schneider, PIVA and Taracea, interspersed with a dizzying array of masterclasses, workshops, competitions and festival evensong.

At the heart of the festival is the annual three-day Exhibition at which instrument makers from around the world share their skills, knowledge and wares. As well as exploring a mind-boggling array of crumhorns, shawms, lutes, viols, fiddles, sackbuts, trumpets, rebecs, harps, hurdy-gurdies, drums, bagpipes, harpsichords, and more, visitors can attend makers’


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