Sir Maestro comes first at the Wigmore Hall

Sir Maestro comes first at the Wigmore Hall


norman lebrecht

May 30, 2014

A quiz question: which music director of the Royal Opera House has played a recital at the Wigmore Hall?

Think back.

Not Bernard Haitink; never seen at a keyboard.

Not Colin Davis; he played clarinet.

Not Solti (we think)…. though he did revert to the piano late in life, playing four-hand Mozart with Murray Perahia.

Not Rafael Kubelik or Karl Rankl.

In that case…. drum roll… Sir Antonio Pappano will be the first serving chief at Covent Garden to play the Wigmore when he opens the new season with …. second drum roll…. Dame Joyce DiDonato (the damehood is in the mail).

Nice one, Tony.

In other news, tickets for the Wigmore’s new seasons, released this morning, are selling at 1,000 an hour.

pappano didonato

Season highlights include:


Joyce DiDonato and Sir Antonio Pappano in the opening concert


Maria João Pires Portrait Series


The Mozart Odyssey


Henry Purcell: A Retrospective celebrates the ‘British Orpheus’


Paul Lewis: A Celebration


Pavel Haas Quartet Bohemia


Introducing Igor Levit


Florian Boesch Residency


Composer Focus – Wolfgang Rihm


  • John says:

    Well Thomas Beecham made his London debut there in 1905 (when it was still the Bechstein Hall) but admittedly he was conducting and not playing the piano. (And if he was never named Music Director of the ROH he effectively carried out that post between the wars.)

  • Paul says:

    that’s bit unfair to write “he did revert to the piano late in life” about Solti. He was always quite the excellent pianist, and even Toscanini was impressed with Solti’s playing.