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Who were the real beneficiaries of 18th-century benefit concerts? In this online talk, researcher Lizzy Buckle introduces her work.

In May 1750, London’s 'beau monde' flocked to the Foundling Hospital for a performance of Handel’s Messiah. Although ostensibly organised for philanthropic causes, such occasions were also opportunities for performers to demonstrate their virtuosity, for patrons to exhibit their wealth, and for members of the flourishing bourgeoisie to network.

By comparing 18th-century benefit concerts to modern-day charitable schemes, Buckle will identify the winners and losers of these events and ask - was Handel the Bob Geldof of his day?

After the talk there will be a live Q&A.


The Foundling Museum

40 Brunswick Square, London, Greater London, WC1N 1AZ

020 7841 3600


Opening times

Wed-Sun 10am-5pm

Closed Mon & Tues

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