top of page
London City Philharmonic performing Holst’s The Planets

Saturday 22 July I 13:00


St John the Baptist Church, Holland Road, London W14 8AH

*** This event is sold out. Please register for the waiting list using the link below. Sadly due to venue capacity, there will not be additional tickets available on the day at the Church. Please see other concerts in this series at St John the Baptist Church ***

Come and enjoy London City Philharmonic conducted by Olsi Qinami performing Holst’s The Planets underneath Luke Jerram's Mars: War & Peace at St John the Baptist Church W14 8AH as part of Kensington and Chelsea Festival. Suitable for all ages. A unique one-off event with limited tickets. The maximum number of tickets available per booking is two. Tickets are free as part of Kensington and Chelsea Festival's open access programme. All sites for Mars: War & Peace are fully accessible.

The Planets, Op. 32, is a seven-movement orchestral suite by English composer Gustav Holst, written between 1914 and 1917. Each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the Solar System and its supposed astrological character.

The London City Philharmonic performs Symphonic & Operatic repertoire and is dedicated to providing young musicians and soloists with performance opportunities through concert performances.
Alongside the standard classical repertoire, the London City Philharmonic has performed the UK premiere of Fredrik Gran Picture of fields without fences and Branka Popovic Stardust for Viola and String Orchestra, both prize winners of the London Music Society composers competition and also the UK premiere of Fatos Lumani Piano Concerto and the world premiere of Alex McGery Tereza on Petrin Hill for solo violin & string orchestra.

In doing so, the London City Philharmonic supports the musical community by providing performance opportunities to young musicians, promoting contemporary works, and making such works more approachable by complementing them with the standard classical music repertoire that is more familiar to the broader public.

Mars: War & Peace
Measuring seven metres in diameter, the artwork features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery* of the Martian surface. At an approximate scale of 1:1 million, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 10 kilometres of the surface of Mars.

The artwork allows us to view Mars from the air, as though we are a satellite mapping and studying the surface in perfect detail. Every valley, crater, volcano and mountain are laid bare for us to inspect. We are transported to this desert wasteland, to imagine what it’s like to step foot on this incredible planet and in comparison, really value our life on Earth.

Mars was named by the ancient Romans for their god of war because its reddish colour was reminiscent of blood. Accompanying the Mars: War & Peace sculpture is a specially created sound composition by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones. Featuring the sounds of seas, deserts and clips from NASA missions to Mars, it also incorporates the sounds of distant bombing and people marching, as if to war. This new soundtrack allows viewers the opportunity to reflect on the current conflict in Ukraine and the history and notion of war.

“Mars: War & Peace follows on from my other touring astronomical artworks Museum of the Moon and Gaia, allowing a close encounter with the Martian planet. Presented with a new soundtrack for the first time at Kensington and Chelsea Festival, I hope that visitors will feel transported to its inhospitable desert wasteland, whilst also being faced to contemplate the bleak realities of war on our planet.” Luke Jerram

The installation is a fusion of Mars imagery, light and surround sound composition. Each venue also programmes their own series of events to contemplate not just the beauty of the red planet and wonder of space science, but also to highlight injustice and the effects of war.

*Mars: War & Peace is made from NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data.

On the day of each visit, stay updated by checking our website and social media for any changes to the schedule. Please use public transport if possible rather than driving, take picnic plastic home to recycle, and bring refillable drinking flasks.

Extra Information
There are three sites for Mars: War & Peace as part of Kensington and Chelsea Festival. Do also book for a visit to see the installation when there is not a concert on (see Eventbrite and the festival website).

Sites for Mars: War & Peace are:
- St John the Baptist Church, Holland Road, London W14 8AH. Running from the Saturday 22 July until Sunday 30 July, at set times of day only. Immerse yourself in the magic of live music every evening in this venue from Monday 22 July to Saturday 29 July at 8.30 pm (specific timed ticket required)

- All Saints’ Church Notting Hill, Clydesdale Road, London W11 1JS. Running from Monday 31 July to Tuesday 8 August, at set times of day only.

- Jubilee Square, Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall, W8 7NX. Running from 8am to 11pm Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 August, with the sound track being played at 7pm each night. A QR is available to link to the sound track at other times. Please note, for indoor venues, tickets need to be pre-booked to allow entry.

Please note if booking tickets for this event, your email address will be added to enable you to receive the weekly Kensington and Chelsea Festival Newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time. All information is held securely in compliance with GDPR.

Photo credit: Luke Jerram

London City Philharmonic performing Holst’s The Planets
bottom of page