Tucked down a narrow lane in Perivale, west London, a stone’s throw from the A4/Western Avenue, is St Mary’s Perivale, a beautiful 12th-century church. The tiny church became redundant in 1972, but has been transformed by the efforts of the Friends of St Mary’s Perivale into a fine music venue, serving west London.
Music events at the church (and also at sister venue St Barnabas, Ealing) are run by the indefatigable Hugh Mather, a retired doctor with a passion for the piano and classical music in general. Hugh studied medicine at Cambridge, but was a chorister at Westminster Abbey and also played the piano and organ, achieving an FRCO while still at school. He subsequently completed the ARCM piano performer’s diploma. Throughout his medical training and career, he has continued to study the piano and gives many piano concert himself.
St Mary’s Perivale attracts an impressive roster of fine musicians, including pianists Viv McLean, Mei Yi Foo, Ivana Gavric, Karim Said and Rustem Hayroudinoff, and Leeds Piano Competition finalists Jayson Gillham and Andrejs Osokins. Concerts are free, with a retiring collection, and audience members can enjoy a free glass of wine and nibble, along with a distinctive “salon” feel thanks to the small size of the venue (it seats just 70 people). The church has a fine Yamaha piano, an excellent acoustic, and the audience can appreciate being closer to the musicians than in most other larger venues.
One of Hugh Mather’s main motivations for organising concerts at St Mary’s is to offer vital performing opportunities to young musicians, both those still at conservatoire and those just embarking on a professional career. The venue is also available for private hire and has proved a popular meeting place for the London Piano Meetup Group.
Full details of events at St Mary’s Perivale here