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Blood Donation

21 July - 17 November 2014

The Next National Blood Donation dates at Conway Hall are:

Mon 21st Jul, 2014 09:00-11:30 / 12:45-15:15

Wed 10th Sep, 2014 09:00-11:30 / 12:45-15:15

Mon 17th Nov, 2014 09:00-11:30 / 12:45-15:15

Available to walk in

Appointments can be made


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Courses & Workshops

Machiavelli to Mill

Thursday Evenings

The Virtual Philosopher presents

Machiavelli to Mill

A six-session introductory course led by Nigel Warburton

This course runs for 6 consecutive Thursday evenings beginning 4th September 2014 (4th, 11th, 18th, 25th Sept, 2nd and 9th Oct)

The course will run from 8.10pm - 9.40pm  in the Bertrand Russell room for the first 4 sessions, and in the Library for the last 2. 

A mixture of short lectures and group discussion focussed on classic works of political philosophy exploring questions of continuing relevance that emerge from them. No prior knowledge of philosophy assumed. 

Topic covered include: Must political leaders have 'dirty hands'? What is the justification for having a state? What is property? Must a legitimate state have the consent of the people? Can you remain free while being part of a democray? What is alienation? What are the limits of individual  freedom of expression in a civilised society?

Week 1. Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince

Week 2. Thomas Hobbes Leviathan

Week 3. John Locke Second Treatise on Civil Government

Week 4. Jean-Jacques Rousseau The Social Contract

Week 5. Marx - The German Ideology Part One

Week 6. J.S. Mill On Liberty and The Subjection of Women

Full price for the course (6 sessions) is £100 payable in advance via the website. Concessions (students, unemployed, OAPs, those who have already signed up for or completed the Philosophy: the Basics  course) £80 using the drop down menu on the button.

maximum class size 35

teaching style: a mixture of lectures and discussion

No prior knowledge of philosophy assumed

Image of Philosophy the Basics evening course

Courses & Workshops

Philosophy the Basics evening course

Thursday Evenings

The Virtual Philosopher presents

Philosophy: the Basics

A six-session introductory course led by Nigel Warburton

maximum class size 35

teaching style: a mixture of lectures and discussion

No prior knowledge of philosophy assumed

This course runs for 6 consecutive Thursday evenings beginning 4th September 2014 (4th, 11th, 18th, 25th Sept, 2nd and 9th Oct)

The course will run from 6.30p.m. -  8 p.m. (doors open from 6.15pm) in the Bertrand Russell room for the first 4 sessions, and in the Library for the last 2.

The price for the 6-session course is £100 payable in advance

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Film & Theatre

Ocean Film Festival – UK Tour

16 September - 7 October 2014

16-17, 30 Sep & 7 Oct 2014

Snowline Media presents

Ocean Film Festival – UK Tour

The festival brings you the world’s most amazing ocean films, both above and below the surface.

Immerse yourself in the wonders of the ocean without getting your feet wet! The festival brings you 11 of the world’s most amazing ocean films, both above and below the surface.

From its Australian origins, this extraordinary collection of films document the beauty and power of the ocean, and celebrate the divers, surfers, swimmers and oceanographers who live for the sea’s salt spray; who chase the crests of waves; and who marvel at the mysteries of the big blue. A truly inspiring and thought-provoking evening, with great prize giveaways!

Tickets: £13/£11.50 concession

7:45pm – 10:30pm

Image of Your Humanism is a Thoughtcrime

Talks & Lectures

Your Humanism is a Thoughtcrime

Wed 17 Sep 2014, 19:00

Central London Humanist Group presents

Your humanism is a thoughtcrime - Bob Churchill 

Around the world the non-religious are discriminated against by government-backed religious privilege, laws prohibiting advocacy or criticism, even the outright demonizing of atheism, humanism and secularism by authorities. In 13 countries you can even be put to death for "leaving" your presumed religion. Bob Churchill is the editor of the IHEU Freedom of Thought Report, an annual analysis of the violations of freedom against non-religious people globally. Bob will outline the basis for "freedom of thought and expression", the theme of this year's World Humanist Congress, and show how humanists are working globally for these freedoms, and other human rights.

Bob Churchill works in policy and communications at the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU, having previously worked at both the British Humanist Association and the Uganda Humanist Association. He studied philosophy at the University of Warwick and Queen's University, Canada, and has long-standing interests in secularism, Humanism, ethics and epistemology. He has appeared as a spokesperson on BBC News, Channel 4 News and Al Jazeera, and as a speaker at Skepticon, the Institute of Fundraising Technology, the Conway Hall Ethical Society, and the European Humanist Youth Days.

He tweets as @bobchurchill

Doors at 6.30 pm for talk at 7.00 pm

Entry: Free/Donation

Please arrive early to have a glass of wine from our charity wine bar find your seat and chat with other members.

Donations to the wine bar will go to Bob's chosen charity which is: Humanist Empowerment for Livelihoods Uganda

All our talks are open to the general public and free to attend but we do rely on those who can, to make a donation of what they can afford, to cover the costs of room, equipment hire and help keep our talks free to all.

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Sunday Concerts

Carducci Quartet

Sun 21 Sep 2014, 18.30

Matthew Denton violin
Michelle Fleming violin
Eoin Schmidt-Martin viola
Emma Denton cello 

Pre-concert recital at 17.30:
Hiro Takenouchi piano
Nancarrow Two Canons for Ursula (1988)
Prokofiev Sonata No.7 in B flat Op.83 (1942)

Main recital:
Haydn Quartet in E flat Op.33/2 'Joke'
Shostakovich Quartet No.8 in C minor Op.110
Dvorak Quartet in F Op.96 'American' 

"…playing of constant variety, a masterclass in unanimity of musical purpose."

The Strad 

"'...the Carducci players displayed a deep and almost familial sense of unity in everything they played… full of life and vitality...extravagantly beautiful...'

The Washington Post

"...high-octane playing balanced control with devil-may-care spontaneity..."

The Guardian 

"...the Carducci String Quartet were stunning...they are clearly musicians of high intelligence..."

The Times

Hiro Takenouchi was born in Japan but is now based in London, where he came in 1997. As a soloist, he has appeared on many concert platforms including the Wigmore Hall, Tokyo Opera City, the South Bank Centre, Hamburg Laeiszhalle and Steinway Halls in London, Hamburg and Tokyo. He has also given recitals in the UK, Japan, Austria, Germany, Portugal and Italy.

Takenouchi was featured on the BBC Four documentary on Sir Hubert Parry, The Prince and the Composer in May 2011. Takenouchi’s discography includes the world première recordings of works by James Dillon, Edwin Roxburgh and Jeremy Dale Roberts as well as a debut solo CD Cosmos Haptic: Contemporary Piano Music from Japan, and most recently Husum Festival Highlights 2011. In 2011 he recorded two further CDs including piano concertos with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

£9 tickets, £4 for full-time students (free entry for under-16s)

Doors open at 17.00. Pre-concert recital at 17.30. Main Concert 18.30.

Image of Thinking on Sunday - 'Nothing to be frightened of'

Talks & Lectures

Thinking on Sunday - 'Nothing to be frightened of'

Sun 21 Sept 2014, 11.00

Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

'Nothing to be frightened of' 

Chris Bratcher

My talk is a sampling of novelist Julian Barnes' touching and very personal memoir of his experiences of death in the family, and the demise of the famous and obscure in literature and life, plus his own fears and ruminations on his own, entitled 'Nothing to be Frightened of', published in 2008 (available in paperback).    

I will give a brief introduction to the book and some snippets from it, with comments to set the ball rolling.  For example, the book begins with what he claims to be his standard response to questions about what he believes: “I don’t believe in God, but I miss Him”; a statement (actually about the cultural and artistic legacy of others’ belief) which Barnes’ philosopher brother considers “soppy”.  Do you agree?

It would nice if attendees were familiar with the book, so that they could give their own take on it and recount bits they liked or otherwise.

Chris Bratcher is a former Chair and Treasurer of Conway Hall Ethical Society, and practised Sunday session talks giver and lecturer on a wide range of topics born of his academic philosophical discipline of Ethics and the Philosophy of Mind, and from his studies in Literature and Fine Arts. 

Manu Bazzano

I will discuss this subject from a Zen perspective. Living-and-dying is one word in Zen (shoji), a river running towards the sea, a river that cannot go back to the source. Our suffering is often caused by wanting to stand by the riverbank. The task of the psychotherapist is often thankless: urging the client back to the river of life thus renewing the promise of death. Even more thankless is the task of the philosopher: remembering the initial commitment to remain attentive of the delicate labour of death. Memento mori – “remember that you will die” --not the shrill overtones of religion but as a tonic of remembrance urging us towards a fuller and more meaningful life. 

Manu Bazzano is an existential psychotherapist and an ordained Zen monk. He lectures in philosophy and psychology and facilitates seminars and workshops worldwide. He is the author and editor of several books including Zen Poems (2002); Haiku for Lovers (2004);  Buddha is Dead (2006); The Speed of Angels (2009); Spectre of the Stranger (2012);  After Mindfulness: New Perspectives on Psychology and Meditation (2014).

Chair – Prof. Evan Parker

Evan is a new trustee of Conway Hall Ethical Society.  He has worked in industry and in academe. He currently works on nano-technology and also on climate change. He has held leadership roles in several European programmes and has published widely. 

Doors 10.30, £3 Standard, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members.

Tea, Coffee & biscuits will be available.

Image of Sunday Assembly - Identify


Sunday Assembly - Identify

Sun 21 Sept 2014, 11.00

Sunday Assembly London presents

Identify with Jenna Al Ansari

Our headline speaker for this assembly is Jenna Al Ansari. Jenna was born in Britain, then moved to Bahrain, then moved back here. When she was over there, she thought herself very British, moving back, she realised that she was more Arab than she thought. She’s funny, smart and she’ll talk about what identity means to her, and how it affects all of us. Jenna did a  TEDx St Andrews – ‘Arab Questiontime’ which is a great way to find out more about her if you are interested.

YOUNG KIDS – There is an area at the back of the hall labelled Kids Club with some basic children’s equipment where parents can base themselves with their kids of all ages and still be part of the show. We are used to and relaxed about marauding toddlers and screaming babies, but we expect you to be still looking after them. Please ask one of our volunteer helpers if you need assistance in any way.

The London assembly is open to all and is free of charge, it is financed by a collection towards the end of the programme.
Come along and enjoy the show!

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Special Events

Piano Auction

Thu 25 Sep 2014, 12.00

Grand Pianos & Uprights

Piano Auctions Ltd continue to have one of the largest selections of second-hand Steinways and our next sale on 25 September 2014 is no exception; with old un-reconditioned grands, old rebuilt grands, recent grands, and Art Cased grands and uprights.

With all sizes from 5ft 6ins to full 9ft concert grands there is something to suit everyone's pocket!

Viewing takes place for two days before and on the morning of the sale.

Image of Maggini Quartet

Sunday Concerts

Maggini Quartet

Sun 28 Sep 2014, 18.30

Photos by Melanie Strover

Julian Leaper violin
David Angel violin
Martin Outram viola
Michal Kaznowski cello

Pre-concert talk at 17.30:
The Maggini Quartet introduces William Mathias's Second String Quartet

Mozart Quartet in B flat K458 'The Hunt'
Mathias Quartet No.2 Op.84
Mendelssohn Quartet in E flat Op.44/3

Formed in 1988, the Maggini Quartet is one of the finest British string quartets.  Its acclaimed recordings have won international awards including Gramophone Chamber Music Award of the Year, Diapason d’Or of the Year and a Cannes Classical Award, and have twice been nominated for Grammy Awards.  The Quartet is currently recording the complete Mendelssohn quartet cycle for Meridian Records.

The Maggini Quartet appears frequently in prestigious concert series at home and abroad and makes regular media broadcasts. Recent international visits have included Dubai, Switzerland, the Netherlands and a major tour of Germany last autumn. The Quartet tours in Norway every summer, and will be returning to France in autumn 2014.

£9 tickets, £4 for full-time students (free entry for under-16s)

Doors open at 17.00. Pre-concert recital at 17.30. Main Concert 18.30.

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