Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, London, SE1 9DA

Discover the authentic voices of the British Isles as we explore how folksong has influenced composers, both past and present.

Our ‘Origin’ series opener celebrates our Orchestra as a champion of British composers, through music for strings by Elgar and Holst – two of the most influential British composers of the early-20th century – as well as folksong-inspired chamber music from the present day. Baritone Roderick Williams OBE also joins the Orchestra to perform his own arrangement of Butterworth’s Six Songs from ‘A Shropshire Lad’, based on A.E. Housman’s collection of pastoral poems.

One of many new commissions in celebration of our 50th anniversary, Huw Watkins’ new duet for clarinet and violin is subtly influenced by Welsh folksong and written specially for our Leader (Alexandra Wood) and Principal Clarinet (Katherine Spencer). Watkins exclaims that he is “hugely excited about writing them a duo – I love the idea of combining these two players’ (and these two instruments’) distinct yet complementary characteristics”. Hear more >>

It’s unlikely that you’ll want to sit still in this concert as we encourage you to uncover some of the British Isles’ many voices around the Cathedral. We’ll invite you to go inside the evening’s music with personal perspectives from our musicians and you’ll also be able to take part in an immersive listening experience, as folksong-inspired solos and duets – by Sally Beamish, James MacMillan, Gerald Barry, Vaughan Williams and Maxwell Davies – are performed all-around.


ELGAR Introduction and Allegro
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS arr. Roderick Williams Folksong selection
BARRY Triorchic Blues
MAXWELL DAVIES Farewell to Stromness
BUTTERWORTH arr. Roderick Williams Six Songs from 'A Shropshire Lad'
HUW WATKINS Five Duos for Clarinet and Violin
HOLST St Paul’s Suite

The programme will begin with personal perspectives of British music with musicians around the Cathedral

City of London Sinfonia
Alexandra Wood Director/Violin
Katherine Spencer Clarinet
Roderick Williams Baritone

Booking information

Prices and discounts

Standard: £25, £20
CLS 5IVER (students, 16-25s): £5 - Roaming only
Child (U16s): £1

No booking fees. All tickets are subject to availability. Read our terms and conditions of sale.
For concessions and access enquiries, please contact our box office by email at boxoffice(at) or visit our Box Office support page.

Origin Series Saver: Save 10% on Standard tickets when you book for three or more concerts in the Origin series at the same time. The discount will be applied automatically at the checkout.

Choose how you experience the music

Guaranteed seating: Experience the music in guaranteed seats in the Cathedral’s Nave, in front of the main performance space, while still having the freedom to move about if you wish.

Roaming: Pull up one of our comfy cushions, sit on the ledges, and create your own musical journey by wandering and exploring the acoustics around the Cathedral.

Your safety is important

We continue to monitor and adapt to government guidelines alongside Southwark Cathedral and remain committed to doing everything we can to make our audience members feel safe while having enjoyable times at our concerts.

In these current times, with restrictions lifted, we will continue to encourage face coverings during performances for the safety of staff, musicians, and audience members. Under the current government guidelines, you will be encouraged to register with NHS Test and Trace upon arrival or by providing your contact details to a member of our team. Hand sanitiser stations will be available across the site.

More on safety measures & FAQs >>
Southwark Cathedral visitor info >>

‘Origin’ is supported by the John Ellerman Foundation.
CLS images by Tom Bowles Photography, 2020-21.