Tuesday 25 August 2020

Live music-making cautiously moves indoors

The orchestra of Opera North (Photo Justin Slee)
The orchestra of Opera North (Photo Justin Slee)
Music venues continue to cautiously return to live music making, and whilst many are continuing to make music out of doors, the move to indoor music grows apace though the continuing uncertainty about what will be permissible when makes life tricky for concert promoters. Many are going for the mixed model, streaming and live, though Kings Place's Culture Clinic on Saturday 29 August is offering the ultimate in socially distanced performances, a series of bespoke one-to-one encounters!

On Friday 28 August 2020, live music returns to Leeds Town Hall as the orchestra of Opera North, tenor Nicholas Watts and pianist David Cowan perform a programme of Mendelssohn, Schubert and Mozart to a socially distanced audience. Whilst, in London, Cadogan Hall has announced a programme of live music making for the Autumn including performances from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Wigmore Hall has a programme of 100 concerts planned.

The concert at Leeds Town Hall is a pilot indoor event and will involve members of the orchestra of Opera North. The programme opens with Mendelssohn's Octet, and then tenor Nicholas Watts (a former member of the Opera North chorus and Peter Quint in the company's recent performances of Britten's The Turn of the Screw) will be joined at the piano by Opera North's head of music, David Cowan, for a selection of songs from Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin, then finally strings, wind and brass come together to perform Mozart's Symphony No. 29. Further details from the Leeds Town Hall website.

Cadogan Hall in London has announced plans for a cautious return to indoor music making with a socially distanced audience. The full programme will be announced next week, but the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be giving three lunchtime concerts (30/9/2020, 14/10/2020, 11/11/2020), each one showcasing a different section of the orchestra. There will also be music from the EFG London Jazz Festival (13-22/11/2020), and a Christmas programme from the Mozart Symphony Orchestra. Full details will be announced on 4 September 2020, see Cadogan Hall website. 

Starting on 13 September 2020, Wigmore Hall has a remarkable season of 100 concerts planned for the Autumn, with over 200 artists two thirds of whom are born in the UK or based in the UK. The concerts will go ahead with or without an audience, and will all be live streamed on the hall's website and free to watch for 30 days. The season opens with baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber in Schubert and Berg, and season focuses include Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Julius Eastmann and Mieczysław Weinberg. Initial plans are for an audience of 56 (10% capacity) so expect competition for the tickets to be keen. Full details from the Wigmore Hall website.

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