Exhibition: Friends with benefits: musical networking in Georgian London

This exhibition runs from Fri, 22nd Oct 2021 to Sun, 1st May 2022. See all dates

This event runs over several days/weeks. Dates include:

2nd Dec 2021  
(10am - 5pm)
3rd Dec 2021  
(10am - 5pm)
4th Dec 2021  
(10am - 5pm)
5th Dec 2021  
(10am - 5pm)
8th Dec 2021  
(10am - 5pm)
9th Dec 2021  
(10am - 5pm)
10th Dec 2021  
(10am - 5pm)

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Cost: £10.50

Discover the close-knit world of the Georgian music industry, where not what you knew, but who you knew, was of greatest importance.

From opera, oratorios, and open-air events, to private parties, balls, and benefit concerts, music was an essential element of fashionable entertainment in eighteenth-century London. Musicians seeking to capitalise on this craze flocked to the capital from all over Europe and set about finding employment in theatres, churches, and in the homes of the England’s elite. But what determined which musicians ‘made it’?

While superior sight-reading skills and excellent technique were a good starting point, being a successful musician was not just about musical competence. The top musicians of their day were expert entrepreneurs, well-practiced in the arts of communication, self-promotion, and time-management. But perhaps their most important skill was networking. Building and maintaining business connections were vital in raising a musician’s profile, introducing them to new employers, and securing future work. So it is perhaps unsurprising that many leading musicians operated in familiar circles, with colleagues who were friends, relatives, neighbours, housemates, teachers, pupils, or even lovers.

This display is curated by Lizzy Buckle. Lizzy is a PhD student at the Foundling Museum and Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research explores the musical networks involved in organising charity benefit concerts in eighteenth-century London.

Contact and Booking Details

More information at this website.

Reserve tickets at this website


Foundling Museum,

40 Brunswick Square, London,

Map of Foundling Museum


Other exhibitions open at Foundling Museum

 Fighting Talk: One Boy’s Journey from Abandonment to Trafalgar
An exhibition about the eighteenth-century foundling and sailor George King, whose first-hand account of the battle is being shown for the first time.
 Fighting Talk: One Boy’s Journey from Abandonment to Trafalgar
10am to 5pm
Ends on Sun 27th February 2022