Grand Union's priority is live performance, and over the last 25 years we have toured all over the UK and to many parts of the world.

Autumn 2014

Grand Union’s main preoccupation throughout 2014 is an ambitious international collaboration with artist-led companies in France and Portugal, supported by a substantial grant from the European Union Culture Fund. A programme of workshops and performances during the spring and summer culminates in a series of shows in the autumn produced by the partner companies. They all explore a common theme – migration – and include local performers; but each has its own title, reflecting local character and history.

Dates 2014/15 for large-scale shows in the EU-funded project

  • September 27th/28th: Alès, Espace La Fare Alais – Soie et Charbon (Silk and Coal)
  • November 1st/2nd: London, Hackney Empire Theatre – Undream’d Shores
  • February 19th/20th: Setúbal, Forum Luisa Todi, Mil e Uma Marés (A Thousand and One Tides)

Work mainly centred on East London’s historically varied and ever-growing migrant communities is leading up to what promises to be one of Grand Union’s best ever shows, in East London’s most glorious theatre - Undream’d Shores at the Hackney Empire Theatre. Preparation for the show has been taking place in another of the East End’s iconic venues, the wonderfully atmospheric Wilton’s Music Hall. The full programme appears here.

Preparation is also continuing for the shows in France and Portugal.

Summer school

Grand Union’s Summer School, fulfilling a long-held dream of the Company, was a huge success. In partnership with the music services of Essex and Cambridgeshire and our own Youth Orchestra, it took place in the picturesque setting of Oundle School, near Peterborough, Monday to Wednesday August 11th to 13th.

Young musicians aged 12-21 who play non-Western instruments and/or wish to learn more about music from other parts of the world had the opportunity to work with Grand Union’s core musicians who are experts in most traditions worldwide. Full details can be found here, and regular updates on the GUYO website. A full report is in preparation.

Highlights of 2013

Trading Roots performances:

  • Colchester, Arts Centre
  • Cambridge, West Road Concert Hall
  • London, Rich Mix Arts Centre
  • Southampton, Turner Sims Concert Hall
  • Setúbal, Music Festival
  • Lisbon, Museu do Oriente
  • London, Wilton’s Music Hall
  • Alès, Fête de la Musique
  • Birmingham, mac Arena
  • Leeds, City Varieties Music Hall
  • Liverpool, Capstone Theatre

Music Untamed - Hackney Empire Theatre

On the Edge – four-day world jazz festival, Wilton’s Music Hall

Grand Union Orchestra 2012

  • Liberation and Remembrance – Hackney Empire (London Jazz Festival)
  • The Golden Highway – Hackney Empire (London 2012 Festival)
  • What the River Sings – Trinity Buoy Wharf (BBC Music Nation Festival)
  • 11.11.11 – Hackney Empire (Remembrance Day event)
  • Battle of Cable Street – Wilton’s Music Hall (75th anniversary commemoration)
  • If Paradise – Queen Elizabeth Hall (also CD launch based on Radio 3 broadcast)

Latest Reviews

Current shows

For full details of our available shows, the latest line-up of the Grand Union Orchestra and our current Learning and Participation programme, go to press and bookings.

Grand Union main image Quote from The Scotsman

Latest news


Tickets on sale here for Undream’d Shores, November 1st & 2nd at the Hackney Empire. Read the full details of the show here.

Undream’d Shores

Work gets under way for Grand Union Orchestra's latest epic show at the Hackney Empire in November.

European spectaculars announced

Venues and dates for shows in France, Portugal and the UK concluding our European Union Culture Fund project have been confirmed.

Summer School

Read about Grand Union’s first ever residential Summer School for young musicians.

Undream’d Shores

Following a creative workshop programme at Wilton’s Music Hall, preparations continue for this autumn’s new Hackney Empire spectacular

World Jazz Festival

Great review of On the Edge at Wilton’s Music Hall.

Supported by the European Cultural Foundation
For regular updates of Gathering, Travelling – Grand Union’s ECF-funded project in collaboration with partners in Portugal and France – please click here.
Supported by the Arts Council England
Youth Music