Thames Concerts (founded in the 1960s by distinguished conductor Louis Halsey) is a charitable foundation which exists to promote and present an annual series of high-quality concerts in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. Through its connections, Thames Concerts is able to bring world-class musicians to the Borough, and also provide an opportunity for local youth orchestras and choirs to perform. The organisation also aims to support musical education via our programme of music and other events.
Thames Concerts remains the only organisation in the Borough ensuring that professional, top-level performances (we believe on a par with the Wigmore Hall) may be heard in the Borough at a reasonable price, without the ever-increasing cost of a journey into central London, and the high concert ticket prices often incurred. The foundation also offers a number of attractive ticketing options including a 10% advance booking discount, free admission for full-time students, under-16s, and accompanying carers of the disabled, and also operates a generous Friends and Patrons scheme.
In 2013 Thames Concerts moved to a new home, St Andrew’s Church, Surbiton, a beautiful Blomfield church with excellent acoustics and facilities, and an outstanding organ. In 2015 the organisation introduced morning coffee concerts, promoting young up-and-coming local talent from the Borough’s schools, college and university, and in 2016 embarked on a partnership with the CornerHouse (Surbiton), in presenting an annual series of workshops and masterclasses delivered by Thames Concerts performers.
Thames Concerts is run by a committee of volunteer directors/trustees who bring together support from Friends and Patrons, sponsorship from local businesses, and support from The Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, and Kingston Arts.
Thames Concerts’ Committee:
President – Howard Shelley OBE
Vice-Presidents – Tom Higgins, Jamie Walton
Chairman – Steve Thompson
Company Secretary – Annie Brine
Artistic Director – Benjamin Costello
Treasurer – Mike Klaka
Aine Lark (ex-officio, consultant)
Simon Toyne (ex-officio, consultant)
Thames Concerts’ Artistic Director
Benjamin Costello succeeded Simon Toyne as Artistic Director of Thames Concerts Ltd in 2012. Ben is a freelance musical director, vocal coach, accompanist and adjudicator, working internationally. He knows well the arts scene in South-West London having lived in the area for over twenty years, and was Director of the Kingston Festival of the Voice from 2007 to 2011, and Chairman of Kingston Arts from 2006 to 2010.
In addition to his freelance activities, and responsibilities as Artistic Director of Thames Concerts, Ben is presently Founding Director of Kingston Chamber Singers, Chorus Master for the Leith Hill Musical Festival combined choirs’ concerts, Assistant Artistic Director of Thames Philharmonic Choir, Guest Conductor of the Voices of Hangzhou Youth Choir, China, and on the faculty at Laine Theatre Arts.
His website is at www.bencostello.com