Saved events

Handel: The Philanthropist

The English Concert

Members from The English Concert standing in a row holding their instruments

A star-studded cast and The English Concert recreate Handel’s legendary 1749 fundraising concert, offering a chance to marvel at the abundance of his imagination – as well as his good deeds.

Handel was more than a composer of classical hits – he was also a humanitarian who raised astonishing amounts for his favourite cause, London’s Foundling Hospital for abandoned children. In 1749 he gave a benefit concert, an event repeated annually until the end of his life. Tonight stars of the singing firmament come together with historically accurate instruments of The English Concert to recreate that first concert.

The words of the Foundling Hospital Anthem set out Handel’s fundraising message: ‘Blessed are they that considereth the poor and needy’. His oratorio Solomon also pleads for wisdom and peace, and includes the majestic Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. With other favourite Handel moments on the bill such as the exuberant Music for the Royal Fireworks, the evening offers as many thrills and emotions as it does virtuous thoughts.

The end time for this concert will be added here closer to the performance date

Produced by the Barbican

Digital programme

Become a Patron

Barbican Patrons get closer to the music with exclusive behind-the-scenes events.