The Lark Ascending Centenary

Online live broadcast

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A special online concert to celebrate 100 years since the first performance of one of the best-loved classical works of all time – Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.

In the 100 years since its premiere, The Lark Ascending has been performed in every single one of the globe’s greatest concert halls, by the world’s finest orchestras and violinists. Now, The Lark returns home: on the centenary of its first performance, Bristol Beacon and Bristol Ensemble present a live broadcast from the very place it was first performed, Shirehampton Public Hall in Bristol.

In a recreation of the original occasion it will be performed just as it was on 15 December 1920, arranged for solo violin and piano, and realised by renowned violinist Jennifer PikeBristol Ensemble and Exultate Singers complete the evening with excerpts from the original programme.

Composed on the brink of World War I and premiered in its aftermath, The Lark Ascending was born into a world that would never be the same again. Based on the poem of the same name by George Meredith, it tells of a bird, soaring high above the English countryside, singing an impossibly beautiful song, unaffected by the turbulent earth below. Despite the context of its writing, this moving work speaks to a return to calm and hope for a better future – a sentiment as vital now as it was at the time it was written.

This will be an intimate performance beamed from this unique setting into the comfort of your own home. You are invited to join us to mark this moment in music history, but more than that, we implore you to just stop, listen, and be transported by the timeless song of The Lark Ascending.

Watch the live broadcast

The live broadcast will be shown here on this page at 19:30 on Tue 15 Dec 2020.

This live stream is free to watch for all. To support the costs of staging the event, please consider donating £10.00 or the price you would usually pay for a concert ticket via the button below. Thank you.



Jennifer Pike violin soloist
The Bristol Ensemble
Exultate Singers

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending (arr. for violin and piano)
J S Bach Concerto for Two Violins in D minor BWV 1043
C Hubert H Parry Choral Song “Jerusalem”

Find out more

On Sunday 6 December journalist Andrew Green will host an online In Conversation event with a number of guests including soloist Jennifer Pike.

On Sunday 13 December music educator Dr Jonathan James will present an in-depth guide to the Lark Ascending in an online talk.

On Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December, an exhibition of drawings, music and creative writing made by schoolchildren in Shirehampton about The Lark Ascending will be staged at Kings Weston House.

More details about all of these events will be announced soon.

Follow #Lark100 on social media for the latest announcements.

Be part of it!

Tweet your photos and reviews of this show and they'll show up on this page and our Digital Archive. Just use the hashtags:: #bristolbeacon and #show276686

Supported by

  • Supported using National Lottery funding by Arts Council England

  • The Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust

  • Paragon Music Trust

  • Bristol Ensemble

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Welcome to
Bristol Beacon

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon.

Our new name is just the first step, it is about more than the sign above our door. Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

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