Wigmore Hall, one of the world’s great concert halls, specialises in chamber and instrumental music, early music and song.
Having recently celebrated its 118th Birthday, Wigmore Hall is livelier than ever, offering music-making of outstanding quality and an array of activities in the broader community. With its infectious sense of adventure, it consistently captures the public imagination and broadens its audiences’ horizons.
Wigmore Hall’s focus is on great musical works, best experienced with a powerful sense of immediacy. The repertoire extends 250 years on either side of Beethoven (born 1770) – from the Renaissance to contemporary jazz and new commissions from today’s most exciting composers.
Bringing this music to life are the world’s most sought-after soloists and chamber musicians. Wigmore Hall also provides a showcase for exceptional young artists — some making their professional London debuts — and remains an essential platform as their careers flourish.
Discreetly nestled in Central London, the Hall – renowned for its intimacy, crystalline acoustic and beautiful interior complete with an Arts and Crafts cupola above the stage – has a capacity of 552 seats, but draws in audiences from far and wide through its enterprising use of digital media and its ambitious Learning programme; these go beyond concert audiences to embrace schools, nurseries, hospitals, community centres and care homes.
Since 2005, the Hall has grown attendance across its entire programme by over 60 per cent. All in all, it now presents over 460 concerts each year, selling a total of 200,000 tickets, and stages as many Learning events. Wigmore Hall plays host to a biennial International Song Competition, and a triennial International String Quartet Competition, drawing exceptionally talented young musicians from around the world keen to embark on significant recital careers. Wigmore Hall attracts a diverse range of audiences, with the lowest ticket for every evening concert in its series priced at £18 or less. Its subsidised ticket scheme for people under 35-years-old goes from strength to strength, and free tickets are also offered to young people aged 8–25 through its Chamber Zone initiative, in collaboration with CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust.
Since 1994, Wigmore Hall's renowned Learning programme has been giving people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities opportunities to take part in music making, engaging a broad and diverse audience through innovative creative projects, concerts, events and online resources. Working in collaboration with a range of community, health, social care and education organisations, the Learning programme comprises Schools and Early Years, Community (including Music for Life, our programme for people living with dementia and their care staff), Family, Young People and Behind the Music, an extensive study programme.
The Hall was refurbished in 2004, and the sympathetic restoration and upgrading of its facilities included new seats in the Auditorium and air cooling throughout. The Wigmore Hall Trust purchased the building’s long-term lease in 2005, securing Wigmore Hall’s future as a leading recital venue, and launched an Endowment Fund appeal in 2013. The backstage areas were renovated in 2015; the revolutionary results, barely visible to the public, now combine the advantages of the famous acoustic and original design with the facilities expected of a word-class modern concert venue. The latest development also hailed a new era of international access to some of its many recitals and events through live streaming, enabling more people than ever to experience some of the variety of its concert programme and Learning events.
Launched in October 2005, Wigmore Hall Live was the first CD label to be run by a performing venue. It has now released over 80 live recordings to great critical acclaim and in 2011 made history by becoming the first live label to win the Gramophone Award for Label of the Year. The Hall also enjoys a fruitful relationship with BBC Radio 3, and many of its concerts are broadcast live to listeners all around the globe.