Wigmore Hall breaks a duck

Wigmore Hall breaks a duck


norman lebrecht

January 27, 2016

It’s hall happening on Wigmore Street this week.

Reading backwards, on Friday night a pianist of advanced years will make his belated debut. Simon Rattle, the name is. There has been a late programme change here.

Thursday evening, the guvnor John Gilhooly will go live online to break the new season, including – for the first time – live streaming.

And more. Twice as many £5 tickets for under-35s. Apparently, parts of the Wigmore Hall have undergone a demographic metamorphosis.

A woman composer in residence.


Cecilia Bartoli.

Brigitte Fassbender.

An Igor Levitt Beethoven cycle.

Mahan Esfahani doing the complete Bach over five years.

Debuts by Barbara Hannigan and Emmanuelle Haïm.

The Wigmore just carries on reinventing itself. Don’t miss the launch.

Selections from the press release below.


Wigmore Hall


Artistic Director, John Gilhooly doubles the number of £5 tickets for under 35s for 2016/17 Wigmore Hall season announced today

Doubling of number of £5 tickets offered to under 35s

 New digital capability of Wigmore Hall further extended internationally with new partnership with medici.tv

Helen Grime becomes Wigmore Hall’s first female Composer in Residence

Major artist residencies and series from trumpeter Alison Balsom, pianists Angela Hewitt, Igor Levit & Francesco Piemontesi;  violinists Janine Jansen & Patricia Kopatchinskaja; harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and Takács Quartet

Vibrant Early Music & Baroque Series includes Arcangelo with Jonathan Cohen as first Baroque Ensemble in Residence, plus performances by Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Les Arts Florissants, Collegium Vocale Gent, Le Poème Harmonique, The Sixteen, The Tallis Scholars, La Venexiana, Vox Luminis

Major contemporary music with Thomas Adès Day ‘Arcadiana’, Ensemble 360: Music in the Round weekend and 52 major premieres including 25 world premieres of Wigmore Hall co-commissions

Return concerts for Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Sir András Schiff, and Violeta Urmana

Masterclasses by Brigitte Fassbaender and Sir András Schiff

Wigmore debut recitals from René Pape and Barbara Hannigan. Emmanuelle Haïm makes her debut as a conductor

Christian McBride returns and celebrated pianist Vijay Iyer becomes Jazz Artist in Residence

Schubert: The Complete Songs continues with outstanding and compelling visions of the composer’s late song-cycles, as well as the songs in English as part of Wigmore Hall’s Learning programme

Wigmore Hall’s rich legacy of great performances, artistic revelations and creative daring is set to grow throughout the 2016/17 season. The Hall’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director John Gilhooly was last Sunday named as one of Britain’s 500 most influential people in Debrett’s 2016 People of Today list, published in The Sunday Times. He announces his bold new 2016/17 programme on Thursday 28 January, shortly before a performance given by an ensemble of remarkable young artists. The season launch and subsequent concert is the first event to be streamed live from Wigmore Hall, inaugurating an online series designed to broaden international access to Europe’s leading venue for chamber music, early music and song. It was also announced that Wigmore Hall’s 115th Anniversary Gala Concerts on 31 May, 1 & 2 June 2016 will be streamed live in partnership with medici.tv.

Wigmore Hall now attracts capacity audiences to many of its 488 concerts each year,’ observes John Gilhooly. ‘We want to share the experience of great music-making with the greatest possible number of people. This is why we created a world-class digital studio as part of our £2.1 million building infrastructure upgrade last year. I am also delighted to announce that, as a result of its overwhelming success, we will increase our £5 ticket scheme for Under-35s from 10,000 tickets this season to 20,000 tickets in 2016/17. Our digital capability and work to attract new and younger audiences belong to the Hall’s vitally important investment in its future.’

Wigmore Hall’s complete survey of Schubert’s 600-plus songs, launched in September 2015 and presented in partnership with Austria’s Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and Hohenems festival, unfolds with 20 concerts across the new season. The series offers the chance to hear many of the world’s finest Schubert interpreters and a carefully chosen group of exceptional young talent. This season’s roster of distinguished Schubertians – singers and pianists – includes Florian Boesch, Robert Holl, Graham Johnson, Simon Keenlyside,Elisabeth Kulman, Stephan Loges, Malcolm Martineau, Georg Nigl, Mauro Peter, Christoph Prégardien, Anna Lucia Richter, Dorothea Röschmann, Markus Schäfer, Sir András Schiff, Violeta Urmana and Elizabeth Watts. The series contains complete performances ofWinterreise with Matthew Rose and Gary Matthewman (15 February), Die schöne Müllerin with Henk Neven and Imogen Cooper (11 April), and Schwanengesang with Ian Bostridge and Lars Vogt (10 May). The song-cycles can also be heard in new English translations by Jeremy Sams, performed under the umbrella of Wigmore Hall’s Learning programme by Toby Spence, Roderick Williams, Sir John Tomlinson and Christopher Glynn.

Several substantial new series come to Wigmore Hall in 2016/17. Igor Levit starts his first complete survey of Beethoven’s piano sonatas in a major concert hall, comprising a total of eight concerts. Beethoven Cycle: Igor Levit opens on 28 September with four works, including the early Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor Op. 2 No. 1 and the dramatic ‘Waldstein’ Sonata. Takács Quartet: Beethoven String Quartet Cycle presents a prominent platform for Wigmore Hall’s internationally acclaimed Associate Artists to explore some of the greatest works in the chamber music canon. The Takács Quartet’s series starts on 3 February 2017 and unfolds with five further concerts. Angela Hewitt: The Bach Odyssey, devised by John Gilhooly to run over several seasons, starts on 25 September and continues on 20 January and 10 June. The divinely-inspired composer’s keyboard fantasies, inventions and sinfonias provide the creative launch pad for this landmark series, which will grow in 2016/17 to include a complete survey of the French Suites. Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, also at John’s request, begins a long-term survey of Bach’s keyboard works on 21 December with theGoldberg Variations.



  • Victoria says:

    Niether Rostropovych nor Vishnevskaya.

    • Furzwaengler says:

      Any more shades of the dead you’d like to see performing there? What about poor Yorick?

      Some people are just never happy….

      But what a brilliant line-up of artists the Wiggy has assembled for the new season. I can’t wait!