Handel in London: The Making of a Genius - A Talk by Professor Jane Glover

Talk Special Event Heritage

Join us for a conversation about George Frederic Handel's life in London with acclaimed conductor Professor Jane Glover and composer Dr Andrew Gant

The Very Reverend Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark is delighted to welcome Professor Jane Glover to Southwark Cathedral to mark the publication of her new book 'Handel In London - The Making of a Genius'.

In 1712, a young German composer followed his princely master to London and would remain there for the rest of his life. That master would become King George II and the composer was Georg Friederich Handel.

Handel, then still only twenty-seven and largely self-taught, would be at the heart of musical activity in London for the next four decades, composing masterpiece after masterpiece, whether the glorious coronation anthem, Zadok the Priest, operas such as Giulio CesareRinaldo and Alcina or the great oratorios, culminating, of course, in Messiah.

Here, Jane Glover, who has conducted Handel’s work in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, draws on her profound understanding of music and musicians to tell Handel’s story. It is a story of music-making and musicianship, of practices and practicalities, but also of courts and cabals, of theatrical rivalries and of eighteenth-century society. It is also, of course, the story of some of the most remarkable music ever written, music that has been played and sung, and loved, in this country – and throughout the world – for three hundred years.

The evening will include a short organ recital by Stephen Disley, Sub-Organist and Director of Southwark Cathedral Girls' Choir.

The Cathedral's Refectory cafe will be open until 7.00pm and is the perfect venue for pre-event drinks and light refreshments.

Jane Glover

Professor Jane Glover is one of the world's most eminent conductors, and remains one of the few females in her profession. She was Music Director of the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1981-85, Artistic Director of the London Mozart Players from 1984-91, and has held Principal Conductorships of the Huddersfield and London Choral Societies. Jane Glover has conducted all the major symphony and chamber orchestras in Britain and is constantly in demand throughout the world. Highlights of her career to date include the South Bank series Mozart Explored and her 1995 performances of Brittens War Requiem at the BBC Proms and in Normandy.  In opera, Jane Glover has conducted productions at Glyndebourne, the English National Opera, New York City Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Opera Australia, Teatro La Fenice, Venice and Chicago Opera Theater, to name only a few. Her many recordings feature a series of Mozart and Haydn symphonies for ASV with the London Mozart Players and recordings of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, Britten and Walton with the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic and the BBC Singers. Her extensive broadcasting career includes the TV series Orchestra and Mozart, and the radio series Opera House and Musical Dynasties, all for the BBC. Jane Glover studied at St Hughs College, Oxford, and did a PhD in 17th Century Venetian opera. She was created a CBE in the 2003 New Year's Honours.

Dr Andrew Gant

Dr Andrew Gant is a composer, choirmaster, church musician, university teacher and writer. He has directed many leading choirs including The Guards' Chapel, Worcester College Oxford, and Her Majesty's Chapel Royal. He lectures in Music at St Peter's College in Oxford, where he lives with his wife and their three children. 

Andrew has recently published two books with Profile books, Christmas Carols, from Village Green to Church Choir, and O Sing Unto the Lord: a History of English Church Music, and has spoken widely on these topics at festivals and in the media.

Stephen Disley

Stephen Disley won a joint Foundation Scholarship to the Royal College of Music and London's Temple Church.

As a recitalist and accompanist, Stephen appears frequently at the Royal Albert Hall, and has performed and broadcast with ensembles such as the Budapest Radio Choir and the BBC Singers including a recording of “Choir Book for The Queen”, conducted by Stephen Cleobury. Other performances include Janacek's Glagolitic Mass in the Montepulciano Festival, Italy, and Regular Organ Galas with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alessandro d’Agostini, also performing as a soloist in Warsaw, Cologne, and at the Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Charles Dutoit.

He has also performed and recorded premieres of music by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Judith Bingham, Bob Chilcott, Gabriel Jackson, Tarick O’Regan and others. Stephen is also involved with the JAM (John Armitage Memorial) Trust and is organist to the City of London School.

Stephen is Assistant Organist at Southwark Cathedral and founding Director of its Girls’ Choir.