The Street Pianos ProjectPiano

Second-hand pianos serendipitously dotted around the City provide an extraordinary open air opportunity for impromptu recitals, sing-alongs or a quiet ‘tickling of the ivories’ on the way home from school or work. Artist Luke Jerram’s Street Pianos Project encourages social interactivity and connection through music in the most unexpected places. During the Festival, six primary school groups will transform the sites into musical hubs of activity over lunchtimes in piano tours of the City, having worked in school with Festival musicians both to learn and compose songs for performance. Everyone will have the keys to the City! See page 45 for event details

Sponsored by Cheapside

Festival Children's ParadeParade

London school students present an ecologicallu inventive arts quest that has seen tonnes of the City’s recyclable waste turned into works of art and paraded back into the City for the Festival’s Opening Procession. Workshops with six primary and secondary school groups have been delivered by alumni of the Royal College of Art to help prepare for the eco-friendly art parade; thousands of plastic bottles from the London Marathon, boxes of hard hats from building sites, crates of discs from offices, and all sorts of interesting paraphernalia have been turned into imaginative works of art. Students will parade their costumes, music, dance, puppetry and street art for the event and every participant will have a story to tell about the materials they have used. See page 13 for event details In collaboration with the City’s Waste Transfer Station and Environmental Services

Sponsored by Cheapside

Festival Arts AwardMedal

As an additional part of the foundry project, students have designed a City of London Festival 2009 arts award medal, double-sided and cast in bronze and presented to several students across various education projects to acknowledge and encourage their outstanding dedication, progress and quality of work.


The Worshipful Company of Founders and City of London Festival are bringing the history and practice of foundry into secondary schools for a second year. The project is led by sculptor and former Royal Mint worker Danuta Solowiej with her expertise in a variety of foundry design and manufacturing techniques. The Viking age in Britain with a study of the Cuerdale treasure, containing more than 7,000 Viking silver coins when it was unearthed in Lancashire in 1840, have provided inspiration for a series of student bronze art medals exhibited in the Guildhall Art Gallery, alongside the Festival’s jewellery project. Students visited the lion’s share of the Cuerdale hoard kept at the British Museum with history lectures provided by the Museum’s education department in preparation for their practical design and sculpting work.

Supported by The Worshipful Company of Founders

Concert Contact

The overwhelming response from teachers and students in the inaugural year of Concert Contact confirmed our own thoughts – that there truly is nothing quite so powerful as experiencing a grand symphony under the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, or as magical as chamber music played in one of the City’s ancient churches or livery halls – whatever your age or music background. This free ticket scheme for secondary school students enables wider contact between young people and the artistic programme and a chance to learn about the composers, musicians, repertoire and historical venues in which many Festival concerts are housed. For many young people, it is their first visit to the City.

Supported by Gresham College


The fourth year of this flagship Festival project has encouraged secondary school students to create contemporary pieces of jewellery inspired by ancient Scandinavian designs, with use of sophisticated recycled materials such as eco-resin and reused gemstones alongside precious metals. Students have been guided towards an exhibition of their work for the Festival at the Guildhall Art Gallery. The project included an in-service education training session (INSET) for teachers to explore several jewellery making techniques and a range of associated tools, enabling a more hands-on role within the student workshop sessions and increased capability to apply to art lessons outside of the project. 

Drop by Studio @ One New ChangeDrop by Studio @ One New Change

Art classes from local primary and secondary schools were invited to several studio workshops during the Festival. The students learned how to stretch their own canvases onto individual frames, studied sketching and painting, and added to the mural itself. Subterranean London and historic Cheapside are included in the overarching mural design.



Children’s workshops in ukulele and berimbau, demonstrations of the Russian balalaika and the Senegalese kora, and a big banjo jam session were all part of the day. Award-winning French aerial theatre company Les Colporteurs presented a breathtaking, plucky performance on a set made of poles and high wires outside the main exit of Canary Wharf tube. Music onstage in Canada Square Park featured an array of strings musicians, including fiddle, harp, oud (Arabic lute), mandolin, balalaika, bass balalaika, banjo, concluding with a big hopkele – a klezmer styled Céilidh dance.

In partnership with Canary Wharf Arts & Events Workshops supported by the Mayor of London, Rhythm of London


Rave To My Darkly Dashing StreamRave To My Darkly Dashing Stream

Robert Burns, whose 250th anniversary took place in 2009, and his poem ‘The Humble Petition of Bruar Water’ introduced a creative response to environmental concern and the proactive quest to improve local eco-systems. Burns’ poetic petition resulted in the Duke of Atholl improving the area surrounding Scotland’s Bruar Falls by planting 120,000 native trees, which in turn promoted wildlife and regeneration of the river.

Two groups of secondary students worked with music leaders to set their own waterways poetry to music, with a performance of their compositions during the Festival on the temporary foreshore of the Thames.


The LeviathanThe Leviathan

Starting at the City’s historic ‘gates’, the participants arrived en masse on London Bridge where the music was heard in its entirety for the first time. The project marked the 800th anniversary of the first stone bridge in London and formed part of the Festival’s three-day Sustain! event, curated by John Harle and produced by the Festival.


City of London Festival is run by The City Arts Trust Limited, registered charity no. 204828.

Company registered in England no. 716035.

Registered office: Fitz Eylwin House, 25 Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2BP. VAT registration no. 244181478

The City of London Corporation is the principal funder of The City Arts Trust Limited

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