What it costs to hear Nigel Kennedy

What it costs to hear Nigel Kennedy


norman lebrecht

December 28, 2011

He’s playing in Bristol next month, a busy university town.

Tickets are £35-45 ($55-70).

I guess that’s to keep the riff-raff out.


  • john humphreys says:

    His fees are enormous – and, as you say the ticket price is probably calculated to deter the ‘working class’ (which he pretends to be) from attending. No rubbish at his gigs….

  • Andrew says:

    Hey, those prices aren’t out of line with pop and rock concerts. Anyone with a big name gets at least that much. When we charge too little for concerts, then the public think maybe it’s not worth much.

  • ariel says:

    His ticket prices are in line with what other so called celebrated stars charge . The “working class” always
    have enough money for sports and what pleases them and he is not pretending to be working class though
    he might dress worse …no respectable working class would dress as badly as Nigel Kennedy ..it is a form
    of childish rebellion carried unfortunately to middle age -which makes him more or less sadly amusing .It would
    be great if he could get over the endless four seasons- but he seems to be trapped in the nonsense he
    has created and as long as he has an audience for it he will continue . The simple response – don’t buy tickets .

    • AVI says:

      Eh? That’s a touch harsh. Nigel has spent years doing all sort of things not very four-season-ish: East-meets-East, Kroke Band, various ‘free playing’, jamming’ with Jools (so the story goes), no his own composition, and so on.

      If his audience want to hear the Four Seasons, or Bach, or anything else, and he wants to play it for them, why not? Dare I suggest he’s gone outside the classical mainstream in terms of the repertoire he plays and explores, far more than most straight classical violinists, whom I imagine you wouldn’t criticise in this way for sticking to the classical canon? So why criticise him? His history hardly suggests he is in any way “trapped” in Vivaldi’s 4S.

      • ariel says:

        Just an observation – not harsh at all – he has found his audience and plays to it …….the world of the
        “classical violinist ” is as dead as queen Anne . Mr. Kennedy presents
        himself as as entertainer using the violin as his act , it seems Mr. LeBrecht misses that point. Kennedy has
        gone outside the mainstream because his natural instincts drive him there and he does not
        have to pit himself against other fiddlers endlessly sawing away the same old same old to an ever
        dwindling audience .My point was that the four seasons as he does it has seen its day and he not to end up
        as most “classical violinists ” sawing away their endless Rondos etc. could try something new to
        aggravate his detractors. One thing you can say for Mr. Kennedy, when something does catch his fancy
        he is the most interesting of violin players something you cannot say of most violinists before the public to-day .

  • Tommy says:

    Funny that no-one says that ticket prices for the big rock/pop acts “keep out the riff-raff”. Even though they are usually at least double what Nigel is charging.

    Funny that no-one says that ticket prices for sporting events “keep out the riff-raff”. Even though they are often way above £50 for cheapest ticket.

    I’m trying to work out if this is because of ignorance or prejudice. Or perhaps both.

  • This is unworthy of you, Mr. Lebrecht …………….check out the prices of tickets to go see “Wicked”………are you suggesting that they’re intended “to keep the riff-raff out ?” Top quality commands top prices. It’s the same with everything !

    • Nigel likes to see himself as a man of the people. He’s playing in a university town at prices no student can afford. He may not know that; now he does.

      • Tommy says:

        We could spend the rest of the night listing pop and rock bands (and musicals) that pitch to ordinary people. And they all charge huge amounts for their concerts. Why should Nigel be any different? He’s not providing a service. His concert is a commercial event. What on earth is wrong with that?

      • AVI says:

        “at prices no student can afford”
        I rather take issue with that. Most students can afford something if they want it sufficiently. Next time you’re in a university town, see how many students have iPhones (say £400 to buy plus running costs, or £30+ / month) and other iGadgets, when plenty of cheaper alternatives are available. Or Bristol University hoodies (£40).

        Students may choose to spend their money on beer and electronica instead of classical concerts, but that’s up to them. Most students can afford this ticket price if they wish to.

  • I’m a university student in a university town and last month I saw Helene Grimaud play for under £10. Just some more data for you…

  • Mr. Lebrecht, I don’t want to nag, but my comment was in response to your remark about keeping the riff-raff out. Now you’ve changed that to keeping the students out ! I’m trying hard not to draw the apparent conclusion ! Incidentally, happy New year to one and all.

  • David says:

    The cheapest adult tickets for Bristol City FC home matches, not a club in the stratosphere of the Premiership, are £25. But then you won’t ever catch any riff-there 🙂 Happy New Year Norman and many thanks for the blog.

  • TC says:

    I thought he was a Punk rocker >>>>>>>>?