Arts Society: Lecture

Thursday 21 March 2024

Henry Purcell And The Music of Westminster Abbey

Henry Purcell has been described as England’s Orpheus and ranks alongside the greatest of this country’s composers. His rise to the position of Organist of Westminster Abbey at the age of 20 saw him lauded above the talents of his predecessor, John Blow and his teacher, Pelham Humfrey, both of whose music we will hear in order to place Purcell in context. His family home was just round the corner from the Abbey and for a while he turned his back on the theatre music he had been pursuing to focus on this job. Patrick will guide you round this fascinating church and delight in telling you about some of the music written for special royal events in this unique building.

The Arts Society Accredited Lecturer

Mr Patrick Craig

Patrick Craig is a Vicar Choral at St Paul’s Cathedral. For twenty years he combined this with an international career singing over a thousand concerts with the world-renowned early music consort The Tallis Scholars. He also sings with the award-winning group The Cardinall’s Musick. He founded and conducts this country’s leading all-female professional choir, Aurora Nova. He has conducted concerts for the BBC Proms, the Brighton, Lichfield and Aldeburgh Festivals, and with the City of London Sinfonia.

As a Cambridge history graduate with a lifelong interest in the arts, he has gone on to lead choral workshops for amateur singers across the world, where he places music in its historical and cultural context. He regularly lectures for the St Paul’s Adult Education programme and for John Hall’s Venice Courses, which have allowed him to incorporate his interests in theology, art and poetry.

In 2020, when his singing and conducting work disappeared overnight as a result of the Covid pandemic, Patrick poured all his experience into online presentations which have raised vital funds for the Help Musicians Charity.

Location : The Arts Society Knole: Bat & Ball Centre, 2pm