Lunchtime Concert Series

A series of lunchtime concerts was launched in April 2013 to encourage city workers and others to come into and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Cathedral during the day. 

These half hour recitals on Wednesdays at 1pm provide fine music and space for contemplation in the midst of a busy week. Admission is by donation.

Upcoming Lunchtime Concerts

Our lunchtime concert series takes place at 1pm Wednesdays (unless indicated otherwise)

1 March • Hans U. Hielscher (organ) – Germany 
Hans U. Hielscher has been organist at the Marktkirche in Wiesbaden (Lutheran Cathedral of Nassau), Germany, since 1979. He will perform Christopher Tambling’s Intrada, Frank Bridge’s Adagio in E major, Théodore Salomé’s Intermezzo, and his own Scottish Rhapsody

8 March • Yitong (Serena) Zhang (piano) 
Yitong (Serena) Zhang studies piano with Glenn Riddle at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. Her many notable achievements include the National Bach Competition and the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition. This will be her debut recital, and she will be playing Bach’s Toccata in C minor, Haydn’s Sonata in E-flat major, and Liszt’s Un Sospiro

15 March • Callum Tolhurst-Close (organ) 
Sydney-based organist Callum Tolhurst-Close will perform works by Hylton Stewart, J.S. Bach, and César Franck. Stewart’s Five Short Pieces are inspired by well-known hymn tunes, Bach’s Pièce d’Orgue showcases the colours of the St Paul’s organ, and Franck’s mighty Chorale in A minor concludes the program with one of the finest organ works ever written. 

22 March • Josh Hooke (piano) 
A program exploring the infinite tonal possibilities of the piano, featuring Schumann’s Arabesque in C major, Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Boyd’s Market Gardens and Musicians, and Ginastera’s Danzas Argentinas

29 March • The Westgarth Ensemble with Fiona Piggot (cello) – A Journey Through Night  
Join the Westgarth Ensemble on a journey from dusk to dawn, told through vocal music spanning three centuries. Be soothed by the lullabies of Byrd and Brahms, marvel at the moon and stars with Grieg and Holst, and greet the dawn joyously with Tudor composers Michael East and Thomas Morley. 

Supporting our artists

Whilst St Paul’s Cathedral is able to provide a venue, concert management, administrative support and advertising for our series of lunchtime concerts, we are not in a position to provide fees for artists – your donations provide these small gifts.  If we cannot provide artists with at least a token of our appreciation, we will not be able to attract artists to perform for us.  Rather than charge set prices for admission, we have decided to admit people by donation, so that those who could not otherwise afford to come are able to do so.  We suggest a minimum donation of $10 per person and thank you for your generosity in helping to keep our lunchtime recitals running

Interested in performing?

If you are a skilled musician, either Melbourne-based or visiting, you are welcome to apply to perform a lunchtime concert, by contacting the Leading Musician Emma Warburton. As much notice as possible is beneficial, as the program is often filled six months in advance. We do not have an audience ‘on-tap’, and we are reliant upon performers to help build an audience, so audiences can range greatly in size depending on many factors, including the weather.

Please note that the 2023 Lunchtime Concert Series is fully booked, but general expressions of interest are welcome

Previous ‘Virtual’ Lunchtime Concerts

During the COVID-19 Lockdown in 2020, the Cathedral broadcasted regular Virtual Lunchtime Concerts in support of local and international artists and musicians. You can watch a selection of the previous Virtual Lunchtime Concerts here on Youtube.