Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the second of the series, is on the concert venue the ensemble will play in London.
The first concert of the DHSBE 2020 tour will be in St James, Piccadilly, which has an acoustic well suited to the performance of baroque music.
The church, designed by Sir Christopher Wren (architect of St Paul’s Cathedral), was completed 1684. It is built of red brick (a style quite new in the late 17th century) with Portland stone dressings (a pale color stone much used for government buildings). Its interior has galleries on three sides supported by square pillars and the nave has a barrel vault supported by Corinthian columns. The carved marble font, and limewood reredos are both notable examples of the work of the Anglo-Dutch stone mason and woodcarver Grinling Gibbons (his work can also be seen in St Paul’s Cathedral, and in Trinity College, Cambridge, the venue for the second concert by Davis High school Baroque Ensemble).