LIFEM: Digital | 5-11 November 2020

London International Festival of Early Music

Chris Butler, LIFEM Chair

Thank you to everyone who has enabled this year’s festival to be such a success! The highlights have been many and varied, from the Fretwork world premiere of John Paul Jones’s The Tudor Pull, the virtuosity of Mahan Esfahani and the musical time travel of Tabea Debus, to the joint winners of our young ensemble competitionEnsemble Hesperi and Ensemble Pro Victoria, and the participants in our Performers’ Platforms, culminating in today’s contribution from The Juilliard School. In addition our virtual exhibition hosted dozens of leading makers from around the world showcasing outstanding craftsmanship across a dazzling array of instruments.

Gill Graham, LIFEM Artistic Director

Attending concerts, meeting artists and promoting their work occupies the majority of my working life. Being in Blackheath, filming and hearing live music performed by six brilliant ensembles and soloists for the first time in as many months, held more meaning for me this year than any other.  Bravo to them all and thanks to our audiences who continue to watch LIFEM: Digital and to the team who put it all together. See you all next year!

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This year we are delighted to welcome Tabea DebusMahan Esfahani and Fretwork to LIFEM: Digital. We are proud to present the world premiere of The Tudor Pull by John Paul Jones.

All of our concert films were shown on the individual concert pages at the scheduled times and they remain available to watch.

View Concerts

Virtual Exhibition

This year's virtual exhibition is accompanied by makers' demonstrations, recitals & virtual workshop tours.

Visit Exhibition

Performers' Platforms

The Performers’ Platforms series provides groups of young players the opportunity to showcase their talents to the early music community.

All of our Performers' Platforms recitals were released on the Performers' Platforms page at the scheduled times and they remain available.

Perfomers' Platforms

Young Ensemble Competition

The final of this year’s Early Music Young Ensemble Competition was streamed from the Competition page on Sunday 8 November at 1pm GMT, featuring MokkaBarock, Ensemble Pro Victoria and Ensemble Hesperi.

The competition final remains available to watch.


October 2020

LIFEM: Digital on BBC Radio 4

On Thursday 29 October, BBC Radio 4's Today programme featured prolific composer, producer and Led Zeppelin's legendary multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones. Arts Correspondent Rebecca Jones spoke to John about The Tudor Pull, written for viol consort Fretwork to premiere on Thursday 5 November at the opening concert of LIFEM: Digital.

Click here to listen

October 2020

John Paul Jones meets consort of viols

In one of the more eye and ear catching new music stories of 2020 the London International Festival of Early Music, LIFEM is proud to announce the world premiere performance of The Tudor Pull written for viol consort Fretwork by prolific composer, producer and Led Zeppelin’s legendary multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones.


October 2020

LIFEM and Marquee TV come together for LIFEM: Digital

LIFEM announces a media partnership with leading arts and culture platform, Marquee TV.


July 2020

The show must go on... online

With global pandemic, 90% of UK festivals will not take place this year, according to the Association of Independent Festivals. LIFEM decides to embrace the digital festival.


January 2020

LIFEM confirms lineup for 2020 festival

LIFEM commissions a new work for viols by John Paul Jones. Fretwork are confirmed to premiere the new piece at LIFEM 2020. Concerts are also confirmed for Mahan Esfahani and Tabea Debus.


November 2019

Huge success at LIFEM's 2019 festival in Blackheath

Alongside the traditional, global exhibition of instrument makers, LIFEM '19 hosts stand-out concerts from; Solomon's Knot, Red Priest, Palisander and Elizabeth Kenny.

Listen to highlights from LIFEM 2019 on BBC Radio 3's Early Music Show.

Click here to listen