Concerts in April and May 2024

Plans are well under way for a mini-series of concerts after Easter. Further details will be published soon! But here are the main details for your diary.

Saturday 27th April, 7pm - Opera Classics

Matchbox Opera present a fundraising concert of favourite arias and ensemble items in memory of Dr Mark Pasolo, with proceeds going to Mental Health Resource. This is a FREE concert with no ticket sales, but with a retiring collection. Popular Tunbridge Wells pianists Jong Gyung Park and Anthony Zerpa Falcon are the guest star accompanists. 

Friday 10th May, 7pm - Phantasie: English works for piano trio with Ensemble Kopernikus

This is a wonderful English programme featuring music by Holst, Delius, Ireland and the little-known Kentish composer Percy Hilder Miles (1878-1922), whose works could be as beautiful and evocative as those of his more famous contemporaries. Get a taste of it here

Sunday 19th May, 7pm - Cambridge Renaissance Voices

Music by Palestrina and Tallis to celebrate the season of Whitsun, under the direction of Rupert Preston Bell.


King Charles Festival Epiphany Concert

Saturday 27th January, 7pm 

Experience music from the period when the chapel at the Wells dedicated to King Charles had recently been built, and Tunbridge Wells was beginning to flourish as a hyper-fashionable retreat for those in Society. 

This concert forms part of the King Charles Festival, in which the church marks the anniversary of the execution of King Charles I (30th January 1649). Nowadays, this festival includes an annual lecture and special services, celebrating the life of the parish, rather than the sombre services of repentence that originally took place on this date! 

We are excited to welcome the Baroque ensemble 'Dei Gratia'. They describe themselves as "a collective of professional musicians who specialise in Baroque (17th- and 18th-century) music on period instruments. Much well-known Baroque music, (e.g Handel's Messiah or Bach's John passion) was originally composed for performance in a Christian context and Dei Gratia seeks to return to this spirit of worship, breathing life into their performance of these works as an act of praise.  The members of Dei Gratia are all active Christians with a heart for using their musical gifts to serve churches and communities, and to encourage performers and audiences alike to think again about the glorious inspiration of these masterpieces."

Their programme celebrates the epiphany season through arias, duos and instrumental items with readings. Music by Bach, Handel, Buxtehude, Telemann, Locke and Green.


Past performers 2006-2023

Wishing all our supporters a very Happy Christmas and fulfilling New Year, with our annual updated list of all the wonderful performers we have been priviliged to host in recent years.

Adrian Bradbury | Adriano Graziani | Aiso Quartet | Alessandra Testai | Alex Metcalfe | Amanda Pitt | Ann Beilby | Anna Tilbrook | Anthony Zerpa-Falcon | Archaeus String Quartet | Archduke Trio | Barbirolli Quartet | Bennett Memorial School Chamber Choir | Bérengère Mauduit | Bethany Horak-Hallett | Bojan Čičić | Callum Smart | Cambridge Taverner Choir | Cantabile: The London Quartet | Caroline Balding | Cellists of the RPO | Charles Wiffen | Charlotte Bowden | Chelys Viol Consort | Chris Hatt | Chris Parsons | Christopher Sayles | Clio Gould | Daniel Auchinloss | David Chatterton | David Campbell | Daniel Edgar | Daniel Grimwood | Daniel Tong | David Owen-Norris | David Maw | David Owen Norris | Decimus Consort | Diana Moore | Dominic Bowe | Dulcinea Quartet | Eboracum Baroque | Edward Jowle | Eleanor Alberga | Ellen Smith | Emma Halnan | English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble | Felicity Lott | Felix Buser | Fiona Brown | Florian Stortz | Follia | Frances Yonge | Gail Hennessey | Gary Branch | Gerald Finley | Giles Davies | Gilfillan family | Greg Tassell | Guy Johnstone | Hannah Roberts | Hugh Webb | Ibrahim Aziz | James Gilchrist | James Eastaway | Jamie McVinnie | Jane Gomm | Jennifer Snapes | Jenny Vizinet | Jonathan Ayling | Jong-Gyung Park | Joseph Wolfe | Julian Black | Julian Broughton | Julius Drake | Karen Jones | Karina Lucas | Kate Andrews | Kate Semmens | Katharine Johns | Katie Stillman | Kokoschka Trio | Konevets Quartet | Ken Aiso | King Charles Singers | Lianna Jeffrey | Linarol Consort | Liz Partridge | London Bridge Ensemble | London Concertante | Marcus Andrews | Mark Chambers | Margaret Faultless | Marie-France Ouellet | Marie-Noelle Kendall | Mark Padmore | Martin Bloor | Martin Fogel | Martin Perkins | Masahiro Yamaguchi | Matchbox Opera | Matt Glendening | Merry Opera | Michael Bacon | Michael Collins | Michael Grant | Michael McHale | Miriam Cox | Mirriam Teppich | Musical & Amicable Society |Nigel Clayton | Oliver Davies | Owen Rees | Paul Clark | Paul Jeffrey | Paul Guinery | Pentagon Ensemble | Peter Arnold | Peter Barker | Rachel Godsill | Rachel Stroud | Rachel Threlfall | Raphael Wallfisch | Rebecca Leggett | Richard Egarr | Richard Uttley | Robert Gibbs | Robin Jeffrey | Rory Carver | Roselyne Martel-Bonnal | Rose Trio | Royal Tunbridge Wells Male Voice Choir | Ruairi Bowen | Ruth Beedham | St Andrews University Madrigal Group | Sam Haywood | Sara Lois Cunningham | Sarah Stuart-Pennink | Sasha Grynyuk | Schubert Ensemble | Simon Lane | Sophia Lisovskaya | Sophie Rahman | Steve Pierce | Steven Devine | Temenos Chamber Choir | Teresa Caudle | Tim Gill | Tim Lines | Tom Bowes | Tom Foster | Tom Kemp | Tom Lilburn | Trajecti Voices | Trevor Eliot Bowes | Trio Lavolta | Tristan Gurney | Twilight Ensemble | Unexpected Opera | William Bass | William Summers | Yeo Yat Soon | Yukiko Shinohara


Another wonderful year

An audience of nearly 200 were thrilled by Steven Devine's inventive and classy Vivaldi programme, rounding off another successful year of concerts at King Charles. The Devine Musicke and Decimus Consort pictured here in rehearsal.

Our seven concerts this year have featured two of the country's most celebrated tenor soloists, James Gilchrist and Mark Padmore; Bennett Memorial school chamber choir; local rising star Hannah Roberts; the Musical & Amicable Society; and a fabulous opera gala. 

Our next concert falls on Saturday 27th January 2024 - the weekend of the King Charles Festival, on which the church marks the anniversary of the execution of King Charles I (30th January 1649). Nowadays, this festival includes an annual lecture and special services, celebrating the life of the parish, rather than the sombre services of repentence that originally took place on this date! 

King Charles Festival Epiphany Concert Saturday 27th January, 7pm 
With Baroque ensemble 'Dei Gratia'. A programme celebrating the epiphany season through arias, duos and instrumental items with readings. Music by Bach, Handel, Buxtehude, Telemann, Locke and Green.


Devine and Vivaldi: A Winter Vespers

A Winter Vespers Sequence
Saturday 25 November, 7pm

Booking information here

Performed by the Decimus Ensemble and the orchestra of Devine Music – principal players of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Academy of Ancient Music and others, directed by Steven Devine. 

Since 2018, Steven Devine has been staging an annual concert at King Charles the Martyr in the run-up to Christmas, including unforgettable performances of Handel's Messiah and Bach's Christmas Oratorio. 

This year's programme features Vivaldi's 'Magnificat', RV 610; Psalm settings for choir and orchestra; Concerto for violin, oboe, organ and strings, RV 554; Concerto for two oboes, RV 535; and 'Winter' from The Four Seasons.


THE DEVINE MUSICK, director Steven Devine
Oboes: James Eastaway, Gail Hennessey
Violin 1: Caroline Balding, Christiane Eidsten Dahl
Violin 2: Rebecca Harris, Sophie Simpson
Viola: Lisa Cochrane
Cello: Andrew Skidmore
Bass: Peter Mcarthy
Harpsichord & Organ: Steven Devine 

Soprano: Kate Baker, Caroline Preston Bell, Ellen Smith, Polly Walton.
Alto: Christina Astin, Nicholas Perkins, Ben Toombs.
Tenor: Alex Churchill, Stephen Pritchard, Philip Mills.
Bass: Keith Bryant, Nick Handel, Rupert Preston Bell.


14 October: On Wenlock Edge

Mark Padmore and Chamber Domaine
Saturday 14 October, 7pm

Vaughan Williams 'On Wenlock Edge'
Elgar Piano Quintet
Songs by Rebecca Clarke

Book tickets here 

Mark Padmore was born in London and studied at King’s College, Cambridge. He has established an international career in opera, concert and recital. His appearances in Bach Passions have gained particular notice, especially his renowned performances as Evangelist in the St Matthew and St John Passions with the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle, staged by Peter Sellars. The current season focuses on recitals, including performances in Barcelona and Madrid with Julius Drake; Alicante with the Elias String Quartet; the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam with Till Fellner; the Théâtre de l’Athénée Paris with Julius Drake and Schubert Winterreise with Mitsuko Uchida at Carnegie Hall New York, the Kimmel Center Philadelphia and the University of California at Berkeley. 

Following a residency at Wigmore Hall in the 2021/22 season where he celebrated his relationship with pianists Till Fellner, Imogen Cooper, Mitsuko Uchida and Paul Lewis he returned to Wigmore Hall last season singing Vaughan Williams and Fauré with the Elias Quartet and James Baillieu. The 2022/23 season also saw him appear on stage in the title role of a new production of Monteverdi Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria conducted by Fabio Biondi, sing the world première of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s song cycle A constant obsession with the Nash Ensemble and give concerts with Sinfonieorchester Basel and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. 

Mark’s most recent appearance at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden was a new production of Britten’s Death in Venice, where his performance was described as a “tour de force” and “exquisite of voice, [presenting] Aschenbach’s physical and spiritual breakdown with extraordinary detail and insight”. Other opera roles have included Captain Vere in Britten Billy Budd and Evangelist in a staging of St Matthew Passion for the Glyndebourne Festival and leading roles in Harrison Birtwistle The Corridor and The Cure at the Aldeburgh Festival. 

In concert Mark performs with the world’s leading orchestras. He was Artist in Residence for the 2017/18 season with the Berlin Philharmonic and held a similar position with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2016/17. His work with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment has involved projects exploring both the Bach St John and St Matthew Passion without conductor which attracted worldwide acclaim. His extensive and award-winning discography includes Schumann Dichterliebe with Kristian Bezuidenhout and Schubert song cycles with Paul Lewis, both for Harmonia Mundi. Described by the New York Times as “Schubert Masters” Mark Padmore and Mitsuko Uchida recently embarked on a series of highly acclaimed, worldwide recitals and this partnership has culminated in a recording on Decca Classics of Schubert Schwanengesang and Beethoven An die ferne Geliebte. Mark was Artistic Director of the St. Endellion Summer Music Festival in Cornwall from 2012-2022, voted 2016 Vocalist of the Year by Musical America and appointed CBE in the 2019 Queens’ Birthday Honours List.

Chamber Domaine is a trailblazing ensemble acclaimed for its virtuosity, distinctive programming and passionate advocacy of the music from the 20th and 21st Centuries. Chamber Domaine features some of the UK’s most outstanding musicians and aims to bring new work to new audiences placing the music of our time into its context. Its innovative programming, collaborations, recording and outreach place the ensemble at the forefront of music-making today.

Under its music director, Thomas Kemp, the ensemble regularly appears at leading festivals and concert series in the UK and abroad. Forthcoming appearances include Deal International Festival, Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Three Choirs Festival and Wigmore Hall where it will be performing Six Brandenburgs: Six Commissions in June 2025. In a recent five star review The Observer described its interpretations as “superbly performed” : The Artsdesk praised the ensemble for its “metaphysical brilliance… a colossal achievement made up of seemingly effortless and joyous playing meeting with an equally joyous audience response.” The New York Times praised its residency at Bargemusic for its “intriguing programming and unabashed lushness”.

The ensemble has an award winning discography on Resonus and Signum. The Gramophone commented on a recent recording “…a wealth of timbral subtlety…utterly magical…a tremendous sense of vitality and commitment.”

The ensemble has worked with many of the world’s leading composers and has given many territorial and world premieres in concerts and recordings. Recent collaborations have included Earth, Water, Air and Fire - featuring music by Deborah Pritchard and George Frideric Handel with art by Maggi Hambling CBE and Marc Chagall and collaborations with composer Brian Elias and Sir Anish Kapoor at the Brighton Festival.

Chamber Domaine are the resident ensemble for Music@Malling giving concerts and outreach: a year around programme that engages hundreds of young people and adults from across Kent in creative activities. This groundbreaking programme aims to create an artistic resource for the local area that is of outstanding quality; bringing excellence to people’s doorsteps. Music@Malling was in The Guardian’s Top Ten Operas and Concerts of 2022.


Piano recital cancelled

Thursday 12th October, 7pm
Clare Hammond, piano recital

We regret this concert has had to be cancelled / postponed due to illness. 


Magical evening at the opera

King Charles church was crowded for a magical evening, with stars Charlotte Bowden, Rebecca Leggett and Edward Jowle, accompanied by Julian Black. 

What a night! We enjoyed a terrific programme by these talented and versatile young performers, and hope they will come again.


OPERA GALA 7th October

‘Deception & Delirium’ - arias and ensembles delving into dramatic intrigues, and heightened emotions of operatic plots, with Charlotte Bowden - soprano, Rebecca Leggett - Mezzo Soprano, and Edward Jowle - Baritone. 

Ticket price includes interval refreshments. Limited tickets available. BOOK NOW!

These young opera stars, and pianist extraordinaire Julian Black, are set to entertain and dazzle you with their virtuosity and sense of fun. Expect the usual mixture of tears and laughter, bizarre plot twists, intense passion, and comic relief. And all accompanied by a relaxed interval with drinks and other refreshments, making this a fully sociable and rewarding evening out.

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Charlotte Bowden is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music Opera Studio. She is also an alumna of the Verbier Festival Atelier Lyrique, Glyndebourne/Jerwood, Opera Holland Park, Britten-Pears, and Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artist programmes. As a 2022 Jerwood Young Artist Charlotte made her debut as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro for Glyndebourne Festival, which she reprised and covered Susanna for the Glyndebourne Tour. She has sung in concert at the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Snape Maltings, the Aldeburgh Festival and the London Song Festival. A finalist in the 2022 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, she gained second prize and the Audience Prize in the 2018 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards. This year Charlotte played the Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel at Opera Holland Park and will return to Glyndebourne as Zerlina in Don Giovanni in the autumn.

Edward Jowle is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music Opera Studio. A Samling Artist and an alumnus of the Verbier Festival Atelier Lyrique, he also won the 2022 Somerset Song Prize as well as being a prize-winner of the 2021 Cesti Competition and a finalist of the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. This year he appeared with English Touring Opera as Emireno/Ottone, Lesbo/Agrippina, Gubetta/Lucrezia Borgia, Antonio/Il viaggio a Reims and Curio/Giulio Cesare as well as playing Starveling in Polly Graham’s new production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen at Loughborough. In concert he has performed Messiah in Lincoln Cathedral and with The Really Big Chorus at the Albert Hall, as well as Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with Sloane Square Choral Society. This summer he returned to the London Song Festival for the world premiere of Granville Bantock’s song cycle The Sphynx.

Rebecca Leggett is a 2020 masters graduate of the Royal College of Music, having graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire with the TCM Trust Silver Medal for Voice. This year Rebecca became an OAE ‘Rising Star’ 2023/25 and will perform Bach’s Easter Oratorio with the group next spring. This summer she began the 11th edition of the Jardin des Voix of Les Arts Florissants with William Christie and will tour with the ensemble in a new production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. Rebecca enjoys performing song repertoire and took first place at the LSF British Art Song Competition 2022 with pianist George Ireland. They were then finalists in the Kathleen Ferrier Award 2023 at the Wigmore Hall.

Julian Black studied conducting with Paul Brough and worked as a freelance repetiteur in London. Highlights included working with Sir Antonio Pappano on Keith Warner’s Ring Cycle at the Royal Opera House, as the Assistant Conductor to Ollie Gooch for the world premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s opera Heart of Darkness at the Linbury Theatre and accompanying performances for the ENO’s Young Artists scheme. He then took up a full-time repetiteur’s position at the Hamburg State Opera, playing on productions including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Falstaff and Don Carlo.