With mesmerising music from the likes of John Williams, Hans Zimmer and Vivaldi filling the halls of architectural gems dotted about London, there’s something to suit every taste on this roundup of the best classical concerts in London. You’ll hear music from some of the greatest contemporary composers and artists, whilst enjoying the serene surroundings of a venue that’s been bathed in the gentle glow of candlelight. Here’s our guide to classical concerts in London during the Summer – prepare for some real magic:
Candlelight Open Air: Hans Zimmer’s Best Works (July 14, 21, 27 & 28)
Experience all the best works of movie maestro Hans Zimmer outside the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich – the largest museum of its kind in the world – with this enchanting candlelight concert. You’ll be serenaded by a string quartet who’ll be bathed in candlelight as they give you renditions of the theme from The Crown, Gladiator’s Suite from Gladiator and Tennessee from the war epic Pearl Harbour. Best part of all, you’ll be able to enjoy watching the sun set over the landmark Royal Museums of Greenwich.
Founded by cellist Dietrich Bethge in 1988, the London Octave has a fresh and energetic approach to the baroque and classical repertoires. Through their regular London classical concert season at St Martin-in-the-Fields, the South Bank and on BBC Radio 3, they’ve completely perfected their music – so you’re in for a really special night. During this special evening, they present a programme of orchestral and operatic works from Handel, Vivaldi and Bach at the historical St Martin-in-the-Fields, set on the north-east corner of Trafalgar Square.
BBC Proms (July 15 – 31)
Kicking off with their first full programme since 2019, the BBC Proms are back with a band this year. Taking over the iconic Royal Albert Hall, you’ll be able to see legends like Grammy-award winner Cynthia Erivo, Kazuki Yamada and the Ukranian Freedom Orchestra. There are also an increasing number of more ‘relaxed Proms’ this year and even ‘CBeebies Proms’ aimed at a younger audience.
Summer Series I – Baroque Favourites (July 16)
Taking place in the beautiful Olivier Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields church, soloists from the celebrated Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra will take you on a journey to discover the stunning works of Albinoni, Bach and Pachabe – maestros of the Italian baroque.
Summer Organ Festival: Matthew Joryz (July 19)
There’s arguably nowhere more magical than Westminster Abbey to enjoy listening to some classical music – and this month, celebrated organist Matthew Joryz plays classic composers such as Bach, Liszt, Franck, Jongen and Duruflé over the course of an evening.
Chopin & Champagne by Candlelight (July 22)
Spectacular British concert pianist Warren Mailley-Smith – who recently became the first British pianist to perform the complete works of Chopin in a series of concerts completely from memory – will be performing a selection of sensational works. Enjoy an intimate candlelit backdrop in the 1901 Arts Club near Southwark, take a long sip of champagne and treat yourself to an evening of stunning classical music by candlelight. What’s more, you also have got the option to join a pre- or post-dinner show.
Candlelight: The Best of Joe Hisaishi (July 22 and 31)
Joe Hisaishi – whose real name is Mamoru Fujisawa – is a Japanese composer and musical director for over 100 different films. You may recognise him from his magical work in the Studio Ghibli series of films – including Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbour Totoro and Princess Mononoke. A string quartet will be giving their renditions of all the classical scores in the elegant interior of Butcher’s Hall in the City of London.
The historic building, home to the Worshipful Company of Butchers, is the most recent headquarters in a long line of halls that date back to the 15th century. The crystal chandeliers, golden detailing and swirling patterns on the decorative ceiling – illuminated by the soft flickering of candlelight – will make for a perfect backdrop to this enchanting concert. There’s also another concert in St. Mary’s Church in Marylebone – you can get your tickets for that here.
Of Life and Love – HGO’s Summer Opera Concert (July 23)
Hampstead Garden Opera’s ever-popular annual concert Of Life and Love returns this month to celebrate midsummer with a heartfelt celebration of opera favourites. The musicians here will be singing some fantastic arias and ensembles from composers including Handel to Puccini, by way of Mozart and Tchaikovsky. It’ll be taking place at St. Michael’s Church in Highgate.
Next up on this roundup of the best classical concerts in London is one that’s guaranteed to be a night to remember. Also situated in The Grand Temple of the Freemasons Hall, you’ll be able to kick back and relax as you listen to Beethoven’s famous Moonlight Sonata, other compositions by the legendary composer Mozart and much more as you’ve never heard them before. What’s more, you’ll also hear them all performed on a Steinway Grand Piano that once belonged to the great composer Sergei Rachmaninov.
Rhapsody in Blue by Candlelight (July 23)
Another fantastic addition to this roundup of the best classical concerts in London, this one is another one that features the celebrated and award-winning pianist Warren Mailley-Smith. He’ll be performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as well as a spectacular selection of Chopin, Beethoven, Debussy and Liszt. It’ll be taking place in the charming St. James’s Church in Piccadilly, perhaps one of the most romantic spots in town!
A Lunchtime Recital by Jan Loeffler (July 29)
Another great addition to this roundup of the best classical concerts in London, this free – yep, you read that right, free – concert by Jan Loeffler is a part of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe Regents Hall Summer Festival, and is guaranteed to be a night to remember. He’ll be playing an array of piano concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms for a fantastic night of live music at The Salvation Army’s Regent Hall on Oxford Street.
Prepare yourself for a musical feast in the majestic, glistening, gilded setting of The Grand Temple at Freemasons Hall, right in the heart of Covent Garden. There are two shows this month, performed by The Belmont Ensemble of London and the Trafalgar Sinfonia – groups incorporating some of London’s finest musicians. Each show will feature Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, but then depending which classical concert you choose, you may also listen to Albinoni or Pachelbel and Handel.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best classical concerts in London for July. So take your pick and get ready for a magical evening of some of the best classical music in town.