Elgar Anniversary Prom - Saturday 23 June, 7.30 pm
Dulwich Choral Society presents a Promenade concert to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Edward Elgar's birth. The programme is narrated and conducted by Aidan Oliver, and follows Elgar's remarkable rise from provincial obscurity to become one of Britain's best composers. It features some of his best-loved choral and instrumental works. The concert features Christopher Cromar, piano and organ, and David Brodowski, violin.
The beautiful Wren church of St James's, Piccadilly, has been chosen as the historic setting for this exceptional event. It is close to restaurants and bars, for those who wish to continue the evening in the West End. Tickets are £12 or (restricted view) £10, with £2 reduction for under 17s, from the Box Office, St. John's, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA, tel: 020 7222 1061, or can be booked via www.sjss.org.uk.
Aidan Oliver has recently become a Dulwich resident, and was appointed conductor of DCS from September 2006. Under his leadership, DCS has performed to capacity audiences in Dulwich - Haydn's Creation (St Barnabas, December 2006) and Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Faure's Requiem (St John's Goose Green, March).
Aidan is also Director of Music at St Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey (the Parliamentary Church), and Chorus Master of Philharmonia Voices, a professional chorus of young singers formed to give high-profile oratorio and opera performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra. He was educated at Eton College, and undertook postgraduate studies at King's College London and Harvard University (as Kennedy Scholar), after gaining a double first in classics at King's College Cambridge in 1998.
DCS is a friendly and go-ahead group which welcomes new members - especially sopranos and basses - who wish to be part of the musical success and growth of the leading large choir in south London. Phone Jo on 020 7737 3169 for more information.
The British have always enjoyed portraits. Portraits of themselves, their houses, their wives, their dogs and their children.
As early as the 1630's Van Dyck was producing portraits of Charles l's children as loveable innocent creatures, though he subjected them to the established style of courtly representation. Gainsborough, 100 years later, set new standards: in keenly observed renditions of childlike behaviour; the children he painted developed a carefree presence emphasised by dynamic loose brushwork - and landscape played an important part in placing the children in their own environment. Sir Joshua Reynolds and his successor Thomas Lawrence also adopted the motif of children in a landscape setting, making it popular throughout Europe. And European artists (like Angelika Kauffman) travelled to England to see the works and contributed to the wide dissemination of the 'modern' portrait type, which originated in Britain but was fast becoming popular abroad.
All over Europe, in the Age of Enlightenment - the second half of the eighteenth century - the interest in children's portraits was spreading through not only the royal and noble families, but more widely, generating also an interest in the moral concepts associated with the bourgeois family. Children began to be seen as independent characters, not just as future rulers, but also as childlike figures. It was a time when sensitivity observed portraits of royal children gave no indication that the French Revolution would soon shatter their sheltered world.
The Changing Face of Childhood, Dulwich Picture Gallery 1 August - 4 November
This group exhibition brings together the works of 10 international contemporary artists, whose practice involves assembling familiar objects that connote feelings of nostalgia. At the heart of the exhibition is a discussion around the idea that memories and objects are inexplicably linked: that our memories are stored within objects and objects arouse our memories.
Many of the works presented are inspired by various artistic movements from the latter part of the 20th century, such as Art Povera, High and Post Modernism. Concepts of appropriation, sampling and archiving, issues of authenticity and originality are raised by the work, as is that of figuring contemporary sculpture as object. The ambiguous status of Spartacus Chetwynd's cardboard props, exhibited after their use in performances; Georg Herold's wall-based 'drawings' which incorporate a curious selection of everyday objects, such as vodka bottles and bricks; or Tony Conrad's preoccupation with the physical elements of film in his Yellow Movie, that play out, or age, over decades, all challenge traditional conventions of sculpture, painting and installation.
The exhibition proposes that our understanding of art is driven by our desire for a physical encounter with it, and a need to retain something of the work beyond illusion or memory. De Rijke/De Rooij's vase of flowers, replenished daily throughout the show, has particular resonance here, as does Ann Veronica Janssens's work which demarcates wall space using colourful lamps. Even the installation itself, which encourages visitors to pass through, around or under the works, emphasises the significance of making connections between assembled elements, challenging the way we encounter the objects around us.
Stay Forever and Ever and Ever South London Gallery 65 Peckham Road SE 5 until 24 June. Gallery open Tuesday- Sunday 12- 6pm