About this Event

Jess Dandy is the foremost British contralto of her generation and has performed as a soloist at the world's most prestigious venues, including the Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Philharmoniede Paris. Ben-San Lau (piano) is a former organ scholar at King’s College Cambridge and he also studied at the Guildhall school of Music. He has worked at the Paris Opera and Glyndebourne.

Jess excels in the repertoire of Bach, Handel, Mahler, Elgar, and Berlioz, where the tessitura and orchestral forces demand real vocal presence and artistic maturity.

“The stunning young contralto Jess Dandy...offered sumptuous tone and beautiful legato. She's a name to watch”


The fourth in a new series of 'Music at Marchmont' events under the leadership of our Musical Director Simon Leach.

The concert takes place in arguably the finest room at Marchmont, Sir Robert Lorimer's majestic oak-panelled Music Room.

Doors open at 6:30pm for pre-concert drinks included in the ticket price. The concert begins at 7:00pm and concludes at 8:15pm without an interval.

The Music Room

The Programme - 'Songs of Life and Love'

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Ständchen (Serenade) Op.106/1
Geheimnis (The secret) Op.71/3
Das Mädchen spricht (The girl speaks) Op.107/3
Botschaft (A message) Op.47/1
Alte Liebe (Old love) Op.72/1
Feldeinsamkeit (Alone in fields) Op.86/2
Nachtwandler (Sleepwalker) Op.86/3

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Serenade Op.63/6
Lullaby Op.16/1
None but the lonely heart Op.6/6
Was I not a blade of grass in the field? Op.47/7
Does the day reign? Op.47/6

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Tell me the truth about love

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
Silent noon

Roger Quilter (1877-1953)
Love’s philosophy

George Gershwin (1898-1937)
‘S wonderful

Kurt Weill (1900-1950)
Speak low
I’m a stranger here myself

Option to stay overnight at Marchmont and enjoy dinner with Jess and Ben-San after the concert

We are making a limited number of rooms available for concert attendees to stay overnight at Marchmont at a special event rate, and enjoy a delicious 3 course dinner with Jess and Ben-San after the concert. This option includes early arrival, dinner after the concert, an overnight stay in the main House (all bedrooms are ensuite with king-size beds), breakfast and finally a tour of Marchmont House the following morning with checkout at 11:30am.

This can be booked directly (subject to availability) but please email office@marchmonthouse.com if you require further details.

The Lorimer Dining Room and Bedroom 1

Good to Know:

Dogs are not allowed at our events other than registered Guide Dogs.


Jess Dandy

Born in Cumbria, Jess studied Modern & Medieval Languages at Trinity College, Cambridge and the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. An alumna and fellow of Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Jess has performed with many of the world’s leading ensembles and orchestras: among them the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Minnesota Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä; The English Concert/Harry Bicket & Kristian Bezuidenhout; BBC Symphony Orchestra/Dalia Stasevska & Douglas Boyd; BBC Philharmonic/Gemma New, and Dunedin Consort/John Butt & Sir Trevor Pinnock.

This 2023/24 season Jess sings Elgar's Sea Pictures with Tokyo Symphony, Mozart's Requiem with Tampere Philharmonic, Handel’s Messiah with Hallé, Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Glyndebourne Sinfonia and Il Gardellino, Julia Perry's Stabat Mater and Bach's St John Passion with the BBC Philharmonic. Jess will also appear at the London Handel Festival for the Brockes Passion with the English Concert and Handel's Esther (Mordecai) with the London Handel Orchestra and Singers.


Pic © Clare Park

Jess is regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Earmarked as “one to watch”, she opened the First Night of the BBC Proms 2021 and was shortlisted later that year for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award. Her recordings of Handel for Linn Records with the Dunedin Consort (Samson 2019) and English Concert (Rodelinda 2020) were nominated for BBC Music Magazine & Gramophone Awards, with Jess’ contributions being reviewed as ‘stand-out’.

Jess finds a natural habitat on the recital platform and first collaborated with Ben-San Lau during their postgraduate studies together at Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Ben-San Lau

Ben-San was born in Manchester. He trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the National Opera Studio, and the Opéra National de Paris. He is currently a freelance pianist and répétiteur, working regularly for Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera.

As a recitalist he has performed at the Barbican Centre, Wigmore Hall, the Oxford Lieder and Buxton Festivals, Snape Maltings, and the Internationaal Lied Festival Zeist. He was a recipient of a Musician’s Company Concert Award supported by the Concordia Foundation, a prize winner in the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform, and a Britten-Pears Young Artist.

Most recently he has been working on productions of Bizet Carmen and Wagner Tristan und Isolde for Glyndebourne, and will return there in the autumn for Verdi La traviata.

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Cancellation and Refund Policy

Our cancellation period is 14 days in advance.

We will happily offer a refund or a credit for a later date before then, please do get in touch.

Should we cancel the event for any reason you will receive a complete refund.

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