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)

Wed 6 September: Anna Gao (piano) Anna is currently studying a Master of Music under Glenn Riddle. She has received many awards, including first place in the National Fine Music Young Performer of the Year Award. She was also a major prize winner in the 2021 Australian Youth Classical Music Competition and won the Margaret Schofield Memorial Prize in both 2019 and 2022. She will perform CPE Bach’s Sonata in A major and Liszt’s Bénediction de Dieu dans la solitude

Wed 13 September: Brienne Gawler (oboe) and Nathan Glenn (piano/composer) Join us as we transport you to France with Grovlez’s lively and energetic Sarabande et Allegro and Bozza’s melodically beautiful and vivacious Conte Pastorale. The program also features home-grown delights by Melbourne-based composers Carolyn Morris and Nathan Glenn himself! Be swept away in the lyrical nature of singing birds in the concert premiere of Glenn’s brand-new work, Birdsong, and Morris’ Oboe Blues will be sure to make your toes tap!

Wed 20 September: In Alto Sono – Emma Warburton (contralto) and Antony Pitts (piano/composer) Experience the beauty and wonder of nature in soaring song. Hildegard von Bingen’s antiphon O orzchis Ecclesia is paired with the premiere of Pitts’s virtuosic setting of the same text, alongside jazzy selections from his oratorio, Jerusalem-Yerushalayim. Explore art songs by Samuel Barber and Australian composers Ross Edwards and Stuart Greenbaum, before the concert comes to a rousing conclusion with two songs from Elgar’s magnificent Sea Pictures

Wed 27 September: Story in Song: A Concert of Australian Music – Hamish Gould (countertenor) and Jenny Lu (piano) Countertenor Hamish Gould partners with pianist Jenny Lu in this exciting concert of Australian Music. Anthony Wilson’s songs A Bird Came Down the Walk and Tears, Idle Tears set Dickinson and Tennyson’s poetry with vibrant colour and profound depth. Meanwhile, Kate Lawson Gould’s whimsical song cycle, The Seven Heavenly Virtues, is a Jane Austin-style romance with a virtuous twist… 

Special Events 

1–1.45pm Mon 18 September: Reflections on Hildegard von Bingen  The Rev’d Philippa Wetherell and Emma Warburton read a selection of 12th-century antiphon texts by Hildegard von Bingen, with musical responses improvised by Antony Pitts on the piano.

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.