LIFEM | 13-16 November 2024 — Subscribe for more news

Press Release | Thursday 1 October

This year, as we venture to overcome the restrictions of the global pandemic, we are delighted that the London International Festival of Early Music will be going ahead with a full programme of events. This November, we are proud to welcome renowned concert artists and a global audience to our first digital festival – LIFEM: Digital.

To bring you all the usual events, as well as newly-devised content, LIFEM: Digital will run for longer than our usual festival, with a whole seven days available, from Thursday 5th to Wednesday 11th November. Our 2020 concert artists include; renowned harpsichordist, Mahan Esfahani, winner of the Moeck International Solo Recorder Competition 2019, Tabea Debus, and celebrated viol consort Fretwork, who will give the world premiere of ‘The Tudor Pull’, a new work by John Paul Jones, prolific performer, composer and founding bassist of Led Zeppelin

We also host our biennial Early Music Young Ensemble Competition this year. Three finalists will compete before a distinguished panel of judges comprising of Margaret Faultless, Lucy Crowe and Gill Graham, LIFEM’s inaugural Artistic Director. The concerts and the Young Ensemble Competition will be recorded ‘as live’ in St Michael and All Angels church and will be broadcast during the festival week.

Today, we announce the wonderful news that LIFEM has entered a media partnership with leading arts and culture streaming platform, Marquee TV. Our ‘live filmed’ concerts will be accessible to an even wider audience and will be available to watch for free on LIFEM’s website and via Marquee’s platform, with an opportunity for concert viewers to make a ticket donation at

During the festival, LIFEM will host a Virtual Exhibitors’ Hall on our website. This will display an extensive array of instruments and accessories from leading makers from across the world. We are determined to innovate at every opportunity and offer live Q+A’s, virtual workshop tours, makers’ demonstrations and masterclasses, available to browse during the entire festival week.

Despite the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, we are dedicated to maintaining our support of emerging talent. In addition to the Young Ensemble Competition, we welcome young performers from across the world to our Performers’ Platform, as we offer young artists the opportunity to showcase their talents to the wider early music community.

We also launch our Friends’ scheme this October. As individual giving schemes become an increasingly important lifeline to the charity, we wish to connect and celebrate the growing community of people who endeavour to support LIFEM’s values and objectives. Valuing the engagement of our friends, we offer invitations to exclusive events; interviews with artists, live recordings, as well as selected festival access.  

Now more than ever, the future is unpredictable, but despite the restrictions of the pandemic, we are dedicated to continuing our charitable work and upholding commitments made to performers. The ambition is simple: support the education and appreciation of early music among a wide range of audiences and ensure the early music community continues to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

Email with any questions or if you are interested in an interview with John Paul Jones, Fretwork, Tabea Debus, Mahan Esfahani, Gill Graham or LIFEM Chairman, Chris Butler.