Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

Emma Kirkby

Emma Kirkby - Credit: Archant

A performance by renowned soprano Dame Emma Kirkby, a talk by US economist Larry Summers, and a special tour of Kenwood House are just some of the things featured in our top five this week.

1. Thursday - Dame Emma Kirkby

Renowned soprano Dame Emma Kirkby gives a very special performance in Hampstead.

As one of the world’s most celebrated early music specialists, Dame Emma has appeared on well over a hundred recordings.

Studying classics at Somerville College at Oxford, she never intended a professional career and sang only for pleasure in choirs.

Long partnerships followed in Britain and abroad with ensembles, individual players, and record companies. Her voice and style are now recognised worldwide.

The Grove Book of Opera Singers described the 65-year-old as having an “uncommonly pure, crystalline voice, deployed with minimal vibrato”.

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Her skill at interpreting early, Renaissance and Baroque music styles have served as a model for many specialists in this area.

Performing songs from England’s Golden Age by renaissance composer John Dowland, today’s performance sees her joined by a new generation of singers and lute players.

The event is presented by Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, and held at St John’s in Downshire Hill.

Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets £20.

Visit or call 020 7431 0144 to book.

2. Tuesday - Larry Summers

Prominent US economist Lawrence H. Summers gives a talk on the economy and what his predictions are for 2015. Mr Summers became a professor of economics at Harvard University in 1983, leaving in 1991 to become the chief economist at the World Bank until 1993.

He was also appointed secretary of the US treasury under the Clinton administration in 1999, steering the US through Mexican, Russian and Asian financial crises. After making a substantial amount of money working as a hedge fund manager and by giving speeches to financial institutions, he returned to public service in 2009 where he became a key economic decision maker for President Obama following the 2007/8 global financial crisis. He will be speaking at the JW3 centre in Finchley Road. Starts 7.30pm. Visit to book.

3. Tuesday - Pulitzer Poet

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon presents his new collection, One Thousand Things Worth Knowing, at Keats House in Keats Grove, Hampstead. Described as “heedful, hard won, head-turning and heartfelt”, these poems attempt to “bring scrutiny to bear on everything, including scrutiny itself”. Mr Muldoon was described in the New York Review of Books as “the most formally ambitious and technically innovative of modern poets, who writes poems like no one else”.

Runs from 7pm to 8.30pm. Tickets £10. Visit to book.

4. Thursday - Radclyffe Hall

Award-winning author Diana Souhami gives a talk at Highgate Cemetery on the love life of poet Radclyffe Hall. Ms Hall, a lesbian, spent much of her youth pursuing women she eventually lost to marriage. This talk will explore why her partner of 25 years, Una Troubridge, is not buried in the cemetery with her. Ms Souhami is the author of several books, short stories and plays, often exploring influential lesbian and gay figures of the 20th century. Doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets £7 (includes a glass of wine). Held in the cemetery chapel in Swains Lane, Highgate.

5. Tuesday - Kenwood House Guided Tour

Pay a visit to one of London’s finest houses in this “A to Z” guided tour inside Kenwood House. The neo-classical house on Hampstead Heath was built in 1616 and remodelled for the Earl of Mansfield, William Murray, a key figure in pushing for the abolishment of slavery. Focusing on its treasures of art and furniture, Blue Badge guide Mark King will take you from “A” (grand Adam Brothers interiors) to “Z” (famous portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray attributed to Zoffany), looking at a selection of works from the original house, Iveagh Bequest, Suffolk Collection and other loans. Tickets £15. Starts 2pm. Meeting place will be given after booking at or on 020 8457 5000.