Artistic Director: Richard Hickox (1977–1993)
The Friends of Christ Church forms after a concert in 1976 to help save Christ Church Spitalfields from demolition. Richard Hickox, Jonathan Balkind and Hugh Keyte persuade Reverend Eddy Stride to hold the first “Summer Festival of Music” in June 1977.
With a focus on early and contemporary programming, and second performances of significant works, the reputation of the Festival grows rapidly. It is supported by successive administrators Victoria Bacon and Paul Gray.
Artists include*: Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Academy of Ancient Music; Christopher Hogwood; René Jacobs; The English Concert; Felicity Palmer; Nash Ensemble; Trevor Pinnock; Mstislav Rostropvitch; City of London Sinfonia; Imogen Cooper; Endymion Ensemble; London Sinfonietta; Dame Janet Baker; Gustav Leonhardt; London Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble; John Whitfield; Sir Richard Rodney Bennett; Andrew Marriner; London Symphony Chorus; Hilliard Ensemble; Sir John Tomlinson; Stephen Varcoe; James Bowman.
*listed in order of appearance