What’s on at the Ealing Autumn Festival

The Ealing Autumn Festival is a celebration of arts, culture and heritage in venues across Ealing.

This year, in celebration of Benjamin Britten’s centenary, the Festival is giving Ealing its first ever opera to be staged as the composer intended – Noye’s Fludde. Visitors can look forward to over 30 events in 12 venues – including 2 first performances and a world premiere – at Ealing’s biggest autumn arts festival.

11th October
The Russian chamber choir Voskresenije arrives from St Petersburg. They meet The Addison Singers 7.30pm at St Peter’s Church, Ealing for an open rehearsal of their joint programme of folksongs and sacred music for 12 October.

12th October
Voskresenije and The Addison Singers are joined by Matthew Barley “the world’s most adventurous cellist”. Together, they tell The Story of a Suite: how Britten composed his Suite for Cello No3 for his Russian friend Rostropovich. Voskresenije sing Russian folksongs and sacred music that are the musical basis of the piece. Matthew Barley shows how Britten intertwined these themes and then plays the whole work. It is an absolute masterpiece. Listen up GCSE Music students and cellists! This is very much for you with variation and ground bass explained. Group bookings and study packs available on request: info@ealingautumnfestival.co.uk

12th October
A rare screening of Elegy of Life bio-documentary about Rostropovich by the internationally acclaimed Russian director, Alexander Sokurov.

12th October
Morning walk, meet 10am at Ealing Broadway Station or 10.50am at Greenford Bridge for the Guided Walk Fludde! A history of local flooding featuring the River Brent. The walk finishes at St Mellitus Church in time for the film and the concert.

12th October
Children can go to Ealing Central Library to make animal masks to wear for the opera Noye’s Fludde due to be performed on 26-27 October.

12th October
The Ealing Youth Orchestra invites you to its family concert to Meet the Orchestra. You hear the full range of the instruments of the orchestra in Britten’s brilliant Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Then you have a chance to get closer up and find out how they really work.

13th October
A wonderful, madcap community day at Hanwell Community Centre for the launch of Hanwell Big Local with Hanwell Heritage & Local History Society and the Ealing Autumn Festival. This is local friendship writ large! The Cuckoo Estate, part of Hanwell Bog Local, was built in the !930s so roll up for exhibitions, art and craft activities, guided tours, talks and music of the ‘30s together with short films by Britten and Auden and, of course, Charlie Chaplin!

13th October
University of West London brings us back to the present with new music by UWL composer, David Osbon. The two pianists of Duo Ludus Tonalis fly in fresh from Italy specially to play his Prometheus Dance and other works.

14th October
The Cruel Sea. Why this film? It depicts the Battle of the Atlantic of WW2. Britten returned to the UK in 1942, making the crossing when the Battle was at its height. Nothing describes the terrifying backdrop to his voyage better than this Ealing Studios classic.

16th October
Two British pianists playing music by Britten and British friends and colleagues. World premieres by pianist David Wordsworth feature alongside light-hearted dance styles in Palm Court and Jamaican Rumba. Perfect for lunch-time digestion!

17th October
Dr Irving Finkel, the British Museum’s expert on cuneiform clay tablets, talks about the famous Flood Tablet. Dating from the 7th Century BC, it is an Assyrian account of the Great Flood, even older than the biblical story of Noah and the Ark. Boring? Not a bit – Dr Finkel will have you on the edge of your seat!

18th October
Owen Wingrave. Commissioned from Britten by the BBC as a television opera, it tells the tragic tale of a young pacifist in conflict with his family. Curiously, Britten never bought his own television set. The evening is hosted in a private residence for a truly authentic viewing.

19th October
David Blackwell’s heritage talk and exhibition with fascinating images of Ealing under water. The West London Sinfonia gives an orchestral concert 7.30pm at St Barnabas Church with music by Britten and his friend Shostakovich. They both admired the music of Mahler: his beautiful Blumine reminds us of this.

19th October
The Bridge Quartet and their String-plicity project for players of any age new to playing chamber music: three workshops and an informal concert culminating in their own String Quartet Concert. This is a highly imaginative way to introduce ensemble playing which engages with visual art as well as music. Look out for the art workshop and the exhibition Landscapes and Seascapes.

20th October
A highly distinguished musical line-up of David Osbon’s friends and family gather at the Vestry Hall, UWL to celebrate his 50th birthday with world premiere of his Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano. All welcome to join the birthday party!

21th October
Pitshanger Pictures at their home in St Barnabas Church host a screening of Nocturne, created by Tony Palmer for Britten’s centenary. Tony introduces the film himself – a rare opportunity for insights direct from the director. Pitshanger Pictures is also hosting Whisky Galore! on 25 October. This Ealing Studios comedy tells the tale of a coastal community taking possession of a precious, ship-wrecked cargo!

22th October
Margaret Morrell of Da Rocha Pastorale once again stages our favourite Coffee-time Concert, light-hearted and informal, 11.30am at Ealing Abbey’s Parish Centre.

26th – 27th October
The grand finale of the Festival is on 26 October (7pm) and 27 October (3pm) at St John’s Church, Southall with two performances of Noye’s Fludde. Fully staged with Ark and animals in costume, bugles and bells and rainbow, sun, moon and stars, it is a magical and inspirational experience for everyone to remember long after the festival itself has come to an end.

For more about the festival visit their website

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