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Simon Callaghan and friends on Sunday

30 May, 2019 — By Michael White

Simon Callaghan. Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

IF someone asked you what’s the longest-running chamber-music concert series in the world, you’d probably imagine it was something in Vienna. Maybe Leipzig. But it’s actually the Sunday concerts that take place in Conway Hall under the auspices of the humanist-leaning Ethical Society there.

They’ve been going since 1887. They were set up to make music affordable to ordinary people, with modest ticket prices. And along with the lectures, literary evenings and educational programmes at the Hall, they survive through events like the end-of-season fundraiser concert running this weekend.

It features Conway’s director of music Simon Callaghan who is a pianist of no small distinction, best known as a champion of minor English composers like Roger Sacheverell Coke whose forgotten works are no longer so forgotten thanks to Callaghan’s recordings.

Just back from a tour to Italy and Switzerland where he was performing on a piano once owned by the legendary Michelangeli, his Conway concert features the rather better-known Mozart, Mendelssohn and Brahms – sharing the platform with what the music business always calls “friends”, though in this case they really are.

If nothing else, the building is fascinating. So go explore.

• Sunday June 2, 6.30pm, £12 on door, £10 advance, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL, 020 7405 1818, conwayhall.org.uk

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