Concert Halls and Other Classical Music Venues in London
📖 "When a man is tired of London he is tired of life, for there us in London all that life can afford."
What was historically a 'toneless' town in a 'country without music' became a world leader in the 20th century, a 'musical capital of the world', offering a richer variety of top-class concerts than any other city on this planet. There are now more international orchestras in London than in Berlin, more music conservatories than in Vienna, more opera performances than in Paris and Milan put together and a busier record industry than in New York. London has become the musically most vibrant place on earth.
This list is a selection of concert halls and cultural centres where you can discover the enormous variety of classical music events in London:
🎶 Wigmore Hall
The Wigmore Hall has been streaming all concerts for free during the pandemic. You can watch videos live as well as after the events on the Wigmore Hall YouTube Channel and and also live on their Facebook page.
🎶 Royal Albert Hall
One of London's most iconic, treasured and distinctive venues which seats more than 5,000 listeners. Since its opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, many leading international artists have performed at the Royal Albert Hall in classical, pop, rock, ballet, opera, films with accompaniments and other musical events. It is also the venue for the Proms, the world's most phenomenal classical music festival.
🎶 Royal Opera House
One of the two principal British opera companies along with the English National Opera. Based in Covent Garden, it is joined with The Royal Ballet. Being one of the most famous opera houses in the world, the ROH has welcomed a myriad of the greatest singers, conductors and other performers since its creation, among them Maria Callas, Plácido Domingo, Kirsten Flagstad, Hans Hotter, Birgit Nilsson, Luciano Pavarotti, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Joan Sutherland, Kiri Te Kanawa, Jon Vickers, Karl Rankl, Rafael Kubelík, Georg Solti, Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Antonio Pappano, John Gielgud, Carlo Maria Giulini and many others.
There are of course many more places in London where music comes to life but the suggestions listed above are some of this world's most significant venues and often offer performances of the very best quality. Do not miss the experience of "Promming" at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in the summer - London life is not fully experienced without it!
London guides will have more details on venues and websites such as TimeOut will have lists with events which can be searched by date. And consider reading Norman Lebrecht's book Music in London or any of the following suggestions:
📖 "So is music an asylum. It takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence and whereto. All the great interrogatories, like questioning angels, float in on its waves of sound."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
📖 "The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, 'Is there a meaning to music?' My answer to that would be, 'Yes.' And 'Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?' My answer to that would be, 'No.'"
Aaron Copland in What to Listen for in Music (1939)
📖 "When you hear music, after it's over, it's gone in the air. You can never capture it again."
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