Shakespeare’s plays and poetry have inspired composers since the 17th century, and continue to do so today. Barts Choir presents a small but varied selection of pieces from this long heritage. The main works in the first half are by Vaughan Williams, that most quintessentially British of composers – the magical Serenade to Music, conjuring up the effect of “distant music” on a starlit night, and the more down-to-earth In Windsor Forest, choruses from the composer’s Falstaff opera, Sir John in Love. Between these are two short interludes from Walton’s music for Laurence Olivier’s film of Henry V. After the interval the music becomes more edgy and jazzy with the Songs and Sonnets by Sir George Shearing (born in Battersea but whose career was mainly in the US), and a choral suite from Bernstein and Sondheim’s West Side Story, a re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet relocated to New York, containing surely some of the most memorable numbers in music theatre. Between these we hear our pianist Chris Lee’s suite for jazz quartet, taking his cue from Shearing, After Shakespeare.

Bring a picnic for before the concert – tables inside the venue (free of charge, first come first served) from 6.30pm, or on the lawns in Holland Park.