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Sunday Concerts

Badke Quartet

Sun 9 Nov 2014, 18.30

Photo by Ollie Ford

Charlotte Scott violin
Emma Parker violin
Jon Thorne viola
Jonathan Byers cello
with Simon Callaghan piano

Pre-concert talk at 17.30:
Rachel Moore.  Harmony on the Home-Fronts: Wartime Chamber Music in Paris and London

Haydn Quartet in F Op.77/2
Ravel String Quartet
Elgar Piano Quintet in A minor Op.84

The Badke Quartet, celebrating its 11th anniversary this year, is widely recognised as one of Britain’s finest string quartets. Winners of the 1st prize and audience prize at the 5th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2007, the Badke Quartet has received widespread acclaim for its energetic and vibrant performances.

The Quartet has worked with some of the world’s greatest members of the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne. From 2005 to 2009 the Quartet held the Senior Leverhulme Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music.

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

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

Image of Thinking on Sunday:

Talks & Lectures

Thinking on Sunday: "For Our Children's Earth: Rebuilding the Soil, Sustaining the Future."

Sun 9 Nov 2014, 11:00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Thinking on Sunday: "For Our Children's Earth: Rebuilding the Soil, Sustaining the Future."

Professor Chris Rhodes

"Soil is the fragile living skin of the Earth.  It is living because it contains an amazing number of different organisms, and a billion microbes are present in a single teaspoonful of soil.  It is fragile because it is prone to degradation, principally by erosion. According the the United Nations, 30% of the world's crop-land has been abandoned over the past 40 years due to degradation and desertification. However, we must produce 60% more food by 2050, to match a population that is predicted to increase from 7 billion now, to 9.5 billion, then. Thus, we are destroying the productivity of that same land from which we demand a relentless increase in production. Is disaster inevitable?"

Professor Chris Rhodes  became involved with environmental issues while working in Russia during the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. He rose to become the youngest professor of physical chemistry in the U.K. at the age of 34.

He has published widely including 9 books. He is also a published novelist, journalist and poet. His novel, “University Shambles” was given a nomination for the Brit Writers’ Awards 2011: Published Writer of the Year, and has also won The U.S.-based, Authors Show 2013: "50 Great Writers You Should be Reading" award.

Chris has given numerous radio and TV interviews on environmental issues, both in Europe and in the USA - including on BBC Radio 4's Material World. Latest invitations as a speaker include a series of international lectures regarding the impending depletion of world oil and the need to develop oil-independent, sustainable societies, and to preserve the world's soils.

Chair: Stewart Ware

After graduating from the University of Essex Stewart was in the IT industry in the UK, USA and the Netherlands. He has been a member of the Ethical Society for nine years, as holding trustee for 18 months, a trustee for eight and has been involved in several Conway Hall events. He now works for the National Secular Society at its office at Conway Hall.

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

Tea, Coffee & biscuits will be available.

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Courses & Workshops

MusicUpClose - Music Under Fire in Paris and London

Tue 11 Nov 2014, 19:00

MusicUpClose V: Music under Fire – Music in London and Paris during World War One

Curated by Professor Barbara L. Kelly, with sound collective and musicians from Trinity Laban Conservatoire/Royal College of Music

Session Six: Music Under Fire in Paris and London
Tuesday 11 November, 19.00
Presenter: Barbara Kelly
Featuring: Badke Quartet, Sadie Fields violin, Daniel Broncano clarinet, Olivia Ray mezzo soprano, Tom Hammond conductor
Works to be performed: Ravel Mallarmé Songs, Elgar Piano Quintet, Stravinsky A Soldier’s Tale (trio version), Ethel Smyth Songs.

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Music Under Fire in Paris and London is the grand finale of this First World War season.  We are delighted to welcome the Badke Quartet and musicians from sound collective, including Simon Callaghan, violinist Sadie Smith and clarinettist, James Mainwaring.  This exciting programme includes works performed during the Great War, others written as a creative response to it and one work about war, exile and loss.   The programme includes Ravel’s Mallarmé’s songs for voice and ensemble, which was first performed by the singer Jane Bathori and premiered in London in 1915.  We will also hear Elgar’s passionate Piano Quintet, composed just before the famous Cello Concerto in 1918. The programme includes César Franck’s Violin Sonata, not because it was written during the war, but because Franck featured regularly on allied WWI programmes because he was Belgian; he was one of the most popular composers played at the Ethical Society concerts during this period.  Another treat is Stravinsky’s energetic Soldier’s Tale, in the arrangement for violin, clarinet and piano.  Stravinsky composed the work in 1917 for ensemble and narrator and it tells the story of a soldier returning from war to find that no one recognises him.  Influenced by popular styles and dances from the period, including the ragtime and tango, this flexible work reflects the composer’s own permanent exile from his native Russia as a result of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Tickets for each session are priced at £10 adv. online (£12 on the door). There's a special discount for teachers and their students (14+ years old) at £35 per group for one single session.

Advance for all six sessions is £50 in advance. (which can be bought here)

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Talks & Lectures

Stop the First World War

Tue 11 Nov 2014, 19:00

Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from September 30th to November 11th 2014.

Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.

From Slaughter to Mutiny

Ian Birchall

As the war continued more and more workers in uniform began to revolt against the authorities sending them to needless deaths. In 1917 half a million French soldiers were involved in mutinies. In 1918 mutinies by German soldiers and sailors helped to bring the war to an end. And in 1919 a French naval mutiny in the Black Sea obstructed intervention against the Russian Revolution.

Ian Birchall is a British Marxist historian and translator, former senior lecturer in French at Middlesex University.. His research interests include the Cominterm, the International Working Class, communism and Trotskyism, France an Syndicalism. He is on the editorial board of Revolutionary History, a member of the London Socialist Historians Group and has just completed a biography of Tony Cliff.

Entry £5/£3 (Ethical Society and Social History Society members)

Image of 5x15: David Mitchell introduces The Bone Clocks

Talks & Lectures

5x15: David Mitchell introduces The Bone Clocks

Wed 12 Nov 2014, 19:00

5x15 presents

David Mitchell introduces The Bone Clocks

The best-selling author of Cloud Atlas is back

Novelist David Mitchell takes to the stage for a spell-binding talk about literature, invention and the creative process. David Mitchell is the award-winning and bestselling author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas, Number9Dream, and Ghostwritten. Twice shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, his newest novel The Bone Clocks has been published to rave reviews and has just been selected for the 2014 Booker longlist. Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2007. With KA Yoshida, Mitchell translated from the Japanese the internationally bestselling memoir The Reason I Jump. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

Tickets: £15/ £12

Start and End Times: 7pm-8.30pm

Image of London Thinks: Nate Phelps - Leaving Hate Behind


London Thinks: Nate Phelps - Leaving Hate Behind

Thu 13 Nov 2014, 19:30

Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

London Thinks - Nate Phelps: Leaving Hate Behind

Join us for a very special evening in which we hear from Nate Phelps, in an incredibly moving talk on the Westboro Baptist Church, the childhood he spent growing up in, and how he came to leave his family behind at the stroke of midnight on his 18th birthday.

Nate Phelps is son of the late Fred Phelps, founder and patriarch of the Westboro Baptist Church – “the most hated family in America”.

Nate is Executive Director of the Centre for Inquiry Calgary. A vocal LGBT advocate, he speaks out against the dangers of religion and child abuse, and serves on the board of directors for Recovering from Religion.

The lecture will be chaired by Samira Ahmed.

Samira is an award-winning journalist with 20 years' experience in print and broadcast.
She began her career as a BBC News Trainee in the 90s and has worked as a News Correspondent and a reporter on the Today programme and Newsnight, where she was one of the first broadcast journalists to investigate the rise of Islamic radicalism on British university campuses in the early 1990s. 

Samira won the Stonewall Broadcast of the Year Award in 2009 for her film on so-called "corrective" rape in South Africa, and made the acclaimed Channel 4 documentary series Islam Unveiled. Samira has also worked as a news anchor for BBC World and for Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin, and writes regularly for newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Independent and The Big Issue. She is a Visiting Professor of Journalism at Kingston University.

Tickets: £15 Standard Advance. £5 Conway Hall Ethical Society Members. Please book your tickets using the Eventbrite booking link below.

Doors & Reception: 18:30. Start: 19:30. Ends: 21:30

London Thinks is Conway Hall Ethical Society's monthly discourse on the big issues and problems of society in our age.

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Courses & Workshops

Neo4j GraphDay

Thu 13 Nov 2014, 9:00

Neo Technology presents   

Neo4j GraphDay

Join us for a one-day event and get complimentary graph database training and one2one advice from our graph experts!

During this free one-day event, Neo4j experts will introduce you to graph databases and demonstrate how to create graph-based applications. Neo4j GraphDay starts with a discussion of graph databases and demonstration of how Neo4j powers business applications. Two customers will share their experience in setting up a graph database for their business.

The afternoon sessions offer complimentary training as well as the chance to talk one2one to our experts, so that you will leave with the skills required to become effective with graphs and productive with Neo4j.

Tickets: Free event, please register online


Image of Small Publishers Fair 2014


Small Publishers Fair 2014

14-15 Nov, 11am - 7pm

The Small Publishers' Fair presents

The Small Publishers’ Fair 2014

The annual celebration of books by contemporary artists, poets, writers and book designers. 

  • Over 60 publishers from across the UK and around the world
  • established and iconic alongside new and emerging presses
  • thousands of original works to buy – for your collection, for presents or on a whim
  • stands run by the creators and publishers – talk with them as you browse

FREE entry to this friendly fair and all activities

Image of Corpus

Film & Theatre


14 - 15 November 2014

The Conway Collective presents


Writings on the Human Body

A performance installation exploring writings about the human body written as you watch on human bodies.

To coincide with the Small Publishers Fair, The Conway Collective, Conway Hall's resident ensemble of artists and performers, will singing the body electric in Conway Hall's treasure of a library.

Friday 14th November 7.30

Saturday 15th November 4.00

This is a free event.

There will be nudity.

Image of Peter Tatchell: Organised Religion is the greatest threat to human rights


Peter Tatchell: Organised Religion is the greatest threat to human rights

Fri 14 Nov 2014, 19:30

London LGBT Humanists (GALHA) present

Peter Tatchell: Organised Religion is the greatest threat to human rights

Legendary human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will be speaking about the assault by faith leaders on the rights of women, LGBTIs, Humanists, and religious minorities.  

The event is scheduled to start at 7.30. The bar will be open from 7. This event is likely to prove very popular, so we recommend arriving in good time to be sure of a seat!

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