In May 2019 Ensemble Hesperi were honoured to be invited to perform at the Celebration service of the Founding of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The then Westminster Hospital was founded in 1719 on a site near Westminster Abbey.
For the service we performed two of Handel’s Concerti Grossi (nos. 3 and 4 from Op. 3) with an expanded group of eight players, to mark the connection of Handel’s and the hospital’s founding. In order to raise funds for the hospital in its early days, the hospital capitalised on the popularity of Handel’s music at the time, arranging concerts in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, with some of the proceeds going to the hospital.
Today the hospital trust’s charity, CW+, runs a rich and varied programme of live music into the hospital, including dance, theatre performances, and workshops which help improve social inclusion, auditory and verbal memory, mood, and visual awareness. Ensemble Hesperi has performed in the hospital (with harpsichord!) in the recital series in the atrium, and are looking forward to returning in the summer for another performance with four players.
To find out more about the service, head to: