After the growth of public concerts in London during the eighteenth century, which often showcased the latest works, a group of members of the aristocracy began a new concert series called the “Concert of Antient Music”. The term ‘early music’, which refers to music written at least twenty years ago, has been the main focus of this series and a significant amount of Handel’s work has been presented.
The exhibition is held at Foundling Museum from 13 January to 8 October 2023.
King George III attended the concerts, which is why they have come to be known as ‘The King’s Concerts’. The King was an avid fan of Handel’s music and, for this reason, ordered Messiah to be performed once a year for the benefit of the Royal Society of Musicians.
This exhibition takes a look at the repertoire, performers and patrons of this prestigious concert series which took place in the 1700s and 1800s. The exhibition features some of history’s best known composers such as Handel, Geminiani and Corelli. There are also many portraits of other artists included in it.
Objects such as an index of artists’ performances and payments, but also letters, tickets and concert programs which have benefited from the patronage of the king and other members of the royal family, are examples of objects that are rarely seen.