22 Facts About Wigmore Hall


Wigmore Hall is a concert hall located at 36 Wigmore Street, London.

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Today, the Wigmore Hall promotes 550 concerts a year and broadcasts a weekly concert on BBC Radio 3.

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In 1916, the Wigmore Hall was sold as alien property at auction to Debenhams for £56,500 – a figure considerably short of the £100,000 cost of the building alone.

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Wigmore Hall is considered to have one of the best acoustics for classical music in Europe.

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Bechstein Wigmore Hall opened on 31 May 1901 with a concert featuring the virtuoso pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni and violinist Eugene Ysaye.

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Wigmore Hall enjoyed a number of long associations with many great artists of the 20th century including Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Victoria de los Angeles, Sergey Prokofiev, Shura Cherkassky, Paul Hindemith, Andres Segovia, Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten and Francis Poulenc.

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Wigmore Hall maintained a particularly fruitful relationship with Benjamin Britten, both as composer and performer.

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Wigmore Hall commemorated its association with Britten with a series of performances and events entitled 'Before Life and After' in November and December 2012.

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Since its inception, the Wigmore Hall has been a major hub for Lieder and art song performance.

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Peter Schreier, Janet Baker and Margaret Price performed regularly at the Hall, and in recent years Wigmore has produced recitals featuring Thomas Quasthoff, Ian Bostridge, Susan Graham, Mark Padmore, Sir Thomas Allen, Matthias Goerne, Dame Felicity Lott, Angelika Kirchschlager, Simon Keenlyside, Anne Sofie von Otter, Wolfgang Holzmair, Christopher Maltman, Andreas Scholl, and Soile Isokoski.

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The Wigmore Hall is noted for helping young artists launch and develop their international careers.

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Wigmore Hall's current director is Limerick-born John Gilhooly, OBE, a classical singer.

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Wigmore Hall joined Wigmore Hall as CEO in 2000 and became artistic director in addition in 2005 at the age of 32.

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Wigmore Hall fosters further links with the contemporary music scene through the introduction of its Composer-in-Residence scheme.

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Alongside performances of their work, Wigmore Hall has featured series of concerts dedicated to the music of Sir George Benjamin, Huw Watkins, Thomas Larcher, Elliott Carter, Brett Dean, Kevin Volans, James MacMillan and Jorg Widmann.

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The Fondation's donation has ensured the commission of new works by Julian Anderson, Peter Eotvos, Anna Meredith, Nico Muhly, Wolfgang Rihm, Judith Weir and Jorg Widmann and from 2013 the Wigmore Hall has committed to premiering 13 new works per season.

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Wigmore Hall publishes recordings of concerts by prominent artists on its own record label Wigmore Hall Live, receiving the special award Label of the Year in the 2011 Gramophone Awards.

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Since 1994, Wigmore Hall's renowned Learning programme has been giving people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities opportunities to take part in creative music making, engaging a broad and diverse audience through innovative creative projects, concerts, workshops and online resources.

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Wigmore Hall Learning collaborates with a range of community, education, arts, health and social care organisations, working in partnership to engage people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take part.

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Programme includes work with schools, including concerts, teacher training, projects with hospital schools and the innovative Partner Schools Programme, in which Wigmore Hall Learning works in partnership with schools and Music Education Hubs to co-produce activity over three years, creating a creative whole school plan for music.

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Families are invited to Wigmore Hall to take part in interactive workshops and concerts for families with babies, children in their early years and children aged 5+.

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Every year Wigmore Hall leads around 600 Learning events, with nearly 30,000 visits to the programme.

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