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Using music to raise money is today commonplace. Think Live Aid, think Busk Aid, or even look at superstars like Bono, Bob Geldof, Annie Lennox and, er Ginger Spice, who all are well known for their charitable activities.
But this isn’t in fact something new. When considering composers from the past, one thinks of them more as beneficiaries of philanthropy – whether through a wealthy aristocrat or otherwise, but actually some were philanthropists themselves, donating to good causes and working to improve the lives of others. And one of the most notable was the OAE’s good musical friend, Handel.
This is what we’ll be exploring in a very special event in association with The Charterhouse, on Monday 11 November.
The Charterhouse is an amazing set of buildings at the heart of the city, with a history that can be traced back to the middle ages. Tomorrow, a special exhibition on philanthropy, Philanthropy: The City Story, opens there, and we’re excited to be a part of it with this special event which features the music of Handel, directed by Laurence Cummings.
Handel spent most of his life living and working in London and is undoubtedly one of the starts of the Baroque era. His pedigree as a philanthropist is less well known though. As a governor of The Foundling Hospital he gave regular benefit performances which raised significant sums for the charity, and named them as benefactors in his will.
For the event, Laurence will direct members of the OAE in a special 45 minute concert, with the opportunity for audience members to enjoy a private view of the exhibition plus drinks and canapé reception before and afterwards, with the concert taking place in the intimate and wonderfully ornate Great Chamber, which is pictured above.
Tickets are £50, which includes private view, pre and post concert receptions and the concert itself.