About Grayshott Concerts

Classical music in Hampshire and Surrey

Grayshott Concerts presents regular, live classical music events featuring leading performers from around the world in an intimate setting 45 miles outside London.

Headline performers include top national and international musicians and singers

Concerts offer a platform for rising stars

4-5 events per year

Supported by choir and orchestra in residence

All concerts in our 16-year history have sold out in advance

Intimate, historical setting in the beautiful Surrey countryside

'Friends of Grayshott Concerts' enjoy priority booking

Fully supported by donations, business sponsorship and occasional grants

 

Grayshott Concerts is all about bringing top-quality, live, classical music to a convenient and intimate village setting on the Hampshire Surrey borders, 45 miles outside London.

For decades, Grayshott made its own excellent home-grown music and even had its own choral and orchestral society. But since 2004, Grayshott Concerts has developed a unique formula for bringing the best soloists, choirs, orchestras, conductors and composers from across the world to St Lukes Church in Grayshott for sell-out performances of popular symphonies, concertos, oratorios and even opera.

The aim is simple: To stage top-quality classical music events, with exceptional performers in an attractive, easy-to-reach, acoustically-perfect venue, so concert-goers can avoid the hassle and cost of having to travel to far-away city venues. Think of us as bringing the Albert Hall and Glyndebourne to the end of your road.

We unashamedly enjoy the works of our Patron, Sir Karl Jenkins karljenkins.com, and have staged all his major works including our own commission and world premiere of The Healer - A Cantata for St Luke (2014), plus the world-premiere of his latest work Miserere - Songs of Mercy and Redemption (2019), uniquely featuring all the stars on the acclaimed CD.

Unlike many other local venues, we have invested in modular staging to enable us to present works with 50 or more performers, including our orchestra-in-residence, the London Mozart Players londonmozartplayers.com, our choir-in-residence, Excelsis excelsis-choir.co.uk (co-founded by Grayshott Concerts in 2007), to present a range of popular classical works. Its like Classic FM live!

We also champion young rising stars at the start of their careers to help them on their way. We look for the pick of young competition winners including BBC Musician of the Year (Laura van der Heijden) and the Arts Club, Sir Karl Jenkins, Classic FM Young Musicians Competition (Joo Yeon Sir and Jamal Aliyev)

Surprisingly perhaps, we are a not-for-profit, Registered Charity, entirely run by volunteers. Our events, on average, cost us twice as much to put on as we generate from ticket sales so we make ends meet from donations (especially from our members, the Friends of Grayshott Concerts), from business sponsorships and from occasional (very occasional!) grants.

Our Story

Our constant goal is to achieve "World-class performances on your doorstep!" Starting in 2004 with a 'one-off' concert to raise money for St Luke's Church, there are now 4-5 major events each year ranging from chamber music to huge performances with a 50-strong choir and 40-piece orchestra.

Indoor performances at St Luke's Church can seat up to 375 (normally 337), while outdoor events including open-air Operas in the grounds of Grayshott Primary School and at Applegarth Farm, have each accommodated over 600.

Every event so far has sold out, some several months in advance. Early performances included: Bruch's Violin Concerto; Vivaldi's Four Seasons with 21-year-old international violin virtuoso and Classical Brits award-winner, Chloe Hanslip; Haydn's Cello Concerto with BBC Young Musician of the Year, Guy Johnston; and Mozarts Requiem with international prize-winning Soprano, Sarah-Jane Davies.

In 2009, the Excelsis Choir excelsis-choir.co.uk, co-founded by Grayshott Concerts, accompanied by the Grayshott Festival Orchestra performed Karl Jenkins' Stabat Mater, the first non-professional choir to do so, in the presence of the composer.

Performances

Event highlights include an orchestral 'Spectacular' featuring Beethoven's Eroica Symphony (No.3); Beethoven's Triple Concerto, starring international performers Howard Shelley, Tasmin Little and Sebastian Comberti; an a cappella performance by the famous Tallis Scholars; Karl Jenkins' Stella Natalis, Requiem and The Peacemakers; a concert of trumpet works starring the internationally acclaimed trumpet virtuoso, Alison Balsom with the London Mozart Players londonmozartplayers.com ; The Lark Ascending with Tasmin Little and also Finzi's Clarinet Concerto with Michael Collins.

Supporting young muscians

In 2013, Grayshott Concerts welcomed the 16-year-old BBC Young Musician of the Year, cellist Laura van der Heijden, to perform Elgars Cello Concerto with the London Mozart Players under Hilary Davan Wetton. The event sold out over ten months in advance and generated a waiting list over 80 names long.

Patron Sir Karl Jenkins

Grayshott Concerts' Patron is the world's most performed living composer, Sir Karl Jenkins karljenkins.com. We commissioned him to write a 40-minute choral work to celebrate our 10th Anniversary on 16th October 2014. The World Premiere of The Healer - A Cantata for St Luke, with the Excelsis Choir, the Marylebone Camerata and top-flight soloists conducted by the composer, was performed exactly ten years to the day following the first fund-raising concert in 2004. This was followed by a second performance the following day to accommodate some of the thousands of Jenkins fans around the world.

Sir Karl Jenkins CBE received his knighthood from the Queen in October 2015.

World Premieres

The World Premieres in Grayshott were followed in 2015 by the US Premiere in the Carnegie Hall, New York, and in 2016, a UK tour to showcase the work featured concerts in the Royal Festival Hall, London; the Symphony Hall, Birmingham; and the Bridgwater Hall Manchester.

 

February 2017 saw the first of our all-day events for local young performers. Assisted by the Hampshire Music Service (HMS), "Let our young musicians shine!" brought 40 young string players (aged 8-18, grades 2-8) to Grayshott from throughout Hampshire, for a morning workshop, afternoon rehearsal and evening public free performance under the expert guidance of principle players from LMP. In November the same year, we packed St Lukes to the rafters to hear the sublime voices of The Sixteen under their founder and conductor, Harry Christophers.

We first invited violin-superstar Nicola Benedetti to Grayshott in 2008 - without success. After numerous attempts, in January 2018 we finally persuaded Nicola with her long-time associate, cellist Leonard Elschenbroich, to join us with a performance of Brahms Violin Concerto with LMP conducted by Leonard. It was a truly brilliant occasion.

Later in 2018 came our second young musicians' event, "Bold as Brass" with HMS and LMP, which enabled 40 young brass players to rehearse and perform the world-premiere of The Hampshire Suite written specially for the occasion by Mr Brass Band himself, Paul Lovatt-Cooper who also conducted in dazzling style. "So exciting!" said one youngster.

The world-famous clarinettist, Michael Collins, returned to Grayshott to delight our audience in January 2019 with an inspired performance of Mozart's most popular concerto for Clarinet in A major.

For our September concert, we invited Classic FMs presenter, John Suchet to introduce the works including Tchaikovskys popular Variations on a Rococo Theme, featuring award-winning young cellist, Jamal Aliyev, Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream and Prokofiev's Classical Symphony.

Our most challenging event ever was in November 2019, for the world-premiere of Sir Karl Jenkins' latest work Miserere - Songs of Mercy and Redemption. We are bought together all the stars on the recently released and acclaimed CD including: Polyphony Choir, Britten Sinfonia, international counter-tenor, Iestyn Davies, under choir director-supreme, Stephen Layton with soloists, Abel Selaocoe (cello), Catrin Finch (Harp) and Zands Duggan (Percussion). We raised in the region of 40,000 as this was the funds needed to ensure its success.

If you would like to support and attend future events, please contact us