A couple of years ago, I thought I’d do my bit to support the local arts by popping along to the Ealing Music and Film Valentine Festival, where I enjoyed a glorious classical concert performed by the Ealing Symphony Orchestra. Now back for its fourth year and clearly burgeoning in popularity, this lovely, unassuming event is back with gusto. Designed to nurture young talent, the festival celebrates young, classical musicians and avant-garde filmmakers, while basking in Ealing’s rich and eclectic arts heritage.
Starting today and running until Valentine’s Day, the events will take place at various Ealing hotspots, including the University of West London, the Church of St Barnabas, St Mary’s Church, and The Red Room (formerly The Ealing Club), where the Rolling Stones launched their career.
Acts include The English Chamber Orchestra (the world’s most recorded chamber orchestra), the Ealing Youth Orchestra and leading pianists Emilie Capulet and Ramzi Yassa, as well as support from a hundred singers from the London Oriana Choir and the London College of Music Chorus. For those more inclined towards a touch of jazz, late-night entertainment will come from boogie pianist Ben Walters and blues guitarist Ramon Goose. And then there’s the Love2Sing choir, whose repertoire ranges from big band, pop, musical and traditional choral – don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming along to Taylor Swift.
Film screenings include classic Ealing Studios comedies, Bollywood epics, shorts by up-and-coming directors, and Desire, a feature film directed by Acton local Gareth Jones.
Many events are free while others require advance tickets – be sure to check out the itinerary to avoid disappointment.
The deep pride for Ealing as one of London’s most culturally rich boroughs is evident. So pop along this week with friends or lovers for an alternative Valentine’s celebration.
Ealing Music and Film Valentine Festival 2016 runs from 10-14th February.