Wigmore Hall is back with a radio blast

Wigmore Hall is to resume its Lunchtime Concerts from June 1, with a live outlet on BBC Radio 3, it was announced this morning.

It will be the first live classical music series on air since the lockdown.

The series will comprise solo recitals and duos, with no audience. The only spectators will be a Radio 3 producer, a BBC sound engineer,a  presenter and one Wigmore Hall staff member.

Stephen Hough will launch the series. Other artists include Wigmore regulars: Iain Burnside (piano), Michael Collins (clarinet), Imogen Cooper (piano), Lucy Crowe (soprano), Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Iestyn Davies (countertenor), Julius Drake (piano) Benjamin Grosvenor (piano), Angela Hewitt (piano), Paul Lewis (piano), Timothy Ridout (viola), Sean Shibe (guitar),  Mitsuko Uchida and more.


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  • A few weeks before the current catastrophe I went to the Wigmore Hall with a friend older than me who was a frequent visitor. John Gilhooley was sitting a few seats away and I pointed him out. She said he did not look very refined. Heaven preserve us from middle class middle European snobs. I fit most of that expect I hope the last.

  • A hopeful, useful sign, recalling Myra Hess and her hapless onetime suitor Benno Moiseiwitsch at the National Gallery noon recitals during the Blitz. All praise to Wigmore Hall, the BBC, Stephen Hough and friends. Moiseiwitsch is one of Hough’s favourites. Benjamin Grosvenor is almost a clone of Moiseiwitsch’s, as their versions of Sint-Saens’s second concerto show; I hope he also will play on this timely and worthwhile series.

  • It’s a pretty strong bench: Hewitt, Cooper, “Benno” Grosvenor, Paul Lewis, Stephen Hough, and clarinet Mihael Collins, whose name I’ve not seen since he and Pletnev recorded sonatas a good many years ago.

    And, V. Lind, Wigmore won’t have to take the paintings down and store them in Welsh collieries as the National Gallery did when Denis Matthews played piano there in his RAF uniform during the Blitz, along with Dame Myra and her wonted swain, Benno Moiseiwitsch. His first wife was the American violinist Daisy Kennedy. His nephew Maurice wrote of it in a biography of his uncle. Moiseiwitsch’s daughter daughter Tanya had a long and successful career ias stage director and designer in Canada.

  • Fantastic, uplifting news, so a big thank you & big distanced hug to everyone involved. The recitals will be live streamed on the Wigmore Hall website.

    • I know that at present it is not permissible by government edict, but surely you could have a small, paying audience attend the concerts. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, sixty punters: they queue up outside, enter, say, five or ten at a time, they are seated so that the two metre rule is observed. I can’t see how this would be any more compromising than visiting one’s local M&S food store. I would like both to buy food and attend a live concert. I bet the performers would prefer a very small audience to none at all.

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