London English Song Festival

Welcome to the London English Song Festival, a charity dedicated to nurturing the legacy and widening the knowledge of English song and oratorio in London and throughout the U.K.


A revival of a neglected masterpiece

Charles Hubert Hastings Parry’s first oratorio Judith was premiered in Birmingham in August 1888 and was an instant success that consolidated his reputation as a composer of large-scale orchestral and choral writing. It contains the melody that later, under the name Repton, became the famous hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, but has been largely neglected for the best part of a century and never recorded.

Interest in this captivating tale of the deeds of one of the most famed of biblical characters has been building since a 2015 performance in Canada. The London Mozart Players, Crouch End Festival Chorus, a host of top-ranking soloists including mezzo-soprano Christine Rice and tenor Toby Spence will revive the work and give it its first full performance in London since 1889 at Royal Festival Hall on 3rd April 2019. Up-and-coming conductor William Vann, Director of Music, is spearheading the project to create a new score, perform Judith and record it for release on a major record label by the end of next year.

This will be a large undertaking and a hugely important event in the modern revival of Parry’s music, and neglected English masterpieces in general. The London English Song Festival, a registered charity in the UK that seeks to increase the knowledge of neglected music, is overseeing the project. It will be critical to raise funds to support the recording in particular, in order to fill an important missing piece in the musical jigsaw of Parry, a giant of English choral and orchestral writing. We are now seeking support for this project.

For more information, please contact us via the contact form on this website.

Parry – Judith – Royal Festival Hall – Wednesday 3rd April 2019 – recording 24-27 April.

London English Song Festival is a registered charity, no. 1159818

Watch a taster from our 2016 show, Songs of the Somme here!