nhmayfestThe Notting Hill Mayfest is a month long series of mixed cultural events, including orchestral, chamber and contemporary music, opera, talks, choral performances, art, cinema and community children’s days.

Based across a number of venues throughout Notting Hill, the festival encourages both up and coming local talent and experienced performers from further afar to come together to celebrate the cultural life and history of Notting Hill.

Based primarily in the beautiful building of St John’s Church, Notting Hill, the festival has a number of events which celebrate the work and life of St John’s and the communities that make use of the building. This will include a Launch Event on 1st May, given by the choral scholars and musicians-in- residence of the church, the village-style May Fair, an event given by the Filipino community of the church and an art exhibition which will display the work of upcoming young artists in the intimate setting of the church’s Sacred Space Gallery.

This year’s festival will also see partnerships with the Pop Up Opera for a performance of Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle and the ever-popular Pop Up Screens for a screening of the classical film Notting Hill, preceded by a specially filmed video introduction from writer Richard Curtis. Mayfest will also be teaming up with the Gate Theatre for the first time, ensuring that the festival extends beyond the boundaries of the area’s churches and reaches an ever wider audience.

As part of thier commitment to the Notting Hill community we will be running two children’s days in association with the groundbreaking Multi-Story Orchestra for local children to learn about and perform with a full orchestra and the newly restored organ at St John’s Notting Hill. Mayfest will also be running a ‘Come and Sing’ day for enthusiastic amateur singers to learn and perform excerpts from Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem.

The return of the Mayfest Lecture will see well-known author, broadcaster, columnist, lecturer and campaigner for prison reform Jonathan Aitken discuss his journey in a talk entitled ‘From Power To Prison To Peace’.

A key focus for the Mayfest in previous years has been the championing of young and upcoming talent and this remains the case in 2014. A selection of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s top wind players will join in for a concert on May 8th, with a number of young, talented ensembles. These include dynamic young vocal ensemble Schole, experimental contemporary quartet The Hermes Ensemble, the idiosyncratic and entertaining Sudden Junction and flamenco duo Poniente. St John’s Musicians in residence, The Outcry Ensemble will present an intimate concert of established chamber music alongside a new commission from exciting young composer and Multi-Story artistic director Kate Whitley.

A recital given by Thomas Trotter, one of British most widely admired musicians, will launch the St John’s Organ Recital Series 2014. The performance will be preceded by a community film from the Video College which charts the restoration of St John’s historic organ. The Video College offers free production-based video training to local residents. American organist and impresario Harvey Burgett will give the second recital in the series on May 23rd.

The festival is generously supported by both Strutt & Parker and the Heritage Lottery Fund. All proceeds from the festival are donated to charities and charitable causes.

For more information about this month of cultural celebrations, and ticket information, visit: