In Manchester, 9 home concerts cost £96

In Manchester, 9 home concerts cost £96


norman lebrecht

November 16, 2020

The Hallé Orchestra has put together a winter season of nine concerts streamed from the Bridgewater Hall and Hallé St Peter’s.

Music director Sir Mark Elder will conduct five concerts, the rest divided among his assistants.

The cost of a season ticket for watching at home is £96, which is a lot more than Netflix.



  • Firing Back says:


    The ‘episodes’ are not even ground-breaking or particularly interesting.

    The Hallé has been endlessly passing around the collection plate, it got rather large emergency funding – huge, in fact – and now it wants more money for so very little.

    As I’ve said many times here, put a clown in charge and you get a circus. Except, in this case, a circus would be of more interest and of better value than the bile that Hallé execs now think the public will welcome.

    Their days are seriously numbered.


    • pjl says:

      I regularly make round trips of 500 miles to hear this orchestra; recent highlights were Andrew Manze’s Elgar 1 (he spoke eloquently of the band’s quality) and a Mahler 1 (with Korngold violin concerto) under Billy Joel’s brother.
      The Butterworth & Metamorphosen concert looks special, thugh I was hoping Sir Mark would repeat the Schreker chamber symphony he did in Glasgow recently.

    • Don Pasquale says:

      You really haven’t a clue have you. Do you actually go to any concerts or just sit and spew bile. Musicians have lost their livelihood and this is the best on offer. And what does more than Netflix mean?

    • C_Porumbescu says:

      You’re priceless. In my head you’re a little tiny red-faced cartoon figure with a trident and a forked tail standing on Norman’s shoulder, droning on and on down his ear in a nasal monotone. £10 per event is not remotely excessive to watch a live streamed event (anyone who attends ROH or Met relays regularly can tell you that); it won’t remotely cover the costs, and of course most people who are interested will appreciate that this is also a small attempt to offset what has – for reasons all intelligent concertgoers understand are wholly beyond the control of the organisation – been a financially ruinous few months.

      But you’re not very well informed about reality, are you? You’ve made that fairly clear. Have fun, by all means, ranting at the weird, toxic cartoon version of the UK orchestral scene that exists in your head; but please don’t imagine that with posts like this you’re doing anything other than encouraging informed readers to do anything other than roll their eyes while inching slowly (but deliberately) towards the metaphorical.

      • Firing Back says:

        C_Porumbescu, let’s get this straight:

        You didn’t like my observations, so you decided to attack me personally.
        Your stance is that anyone who dares to disagree with industry decisions is ill-informed.

        Logical Deduction:
        You are either a naive member of the public

        Or, as is MUCH more likely, you’re an industry stooge/crony, triggered by words on a blog from someone you can’t even identify. Triggered to such a point that it shows that your ego and industry position must be desperately fragile.

        You clearly hold this blog in disdain – but you still read it and comment.
        And you cannot cope with dissenting voices in the cult, oops, sorry, industry.

        I respectfully suggest you get help.


  • Norbert says:

    I think that’s a little harsh.

    Twenty years ago, I didn’t rate Elder that-much, but he’s grown, and become so much more secure as a musician. I like him more and more these days. Seems like he has less to prove.

    Musically, much better.

    Hardly a clown.

    • Firing Back says:

      I wasn’t referring to Elder – he’s another story entirely, for another day 🙂

      The execs are in charge – and I was referring to them.


  • Don Ciccio says:

    I always thought of Elder as a better opera than orchestral conductor.

  • BassOne says:

    A pity they have not seen fit to include the Hallé Choir.

  • Stereo says:

    The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra are live streaming 12 concerts for £100 organised without the fuss generated by the Halle and CBSO.

  • Nick Moutrie says:

    You could subscribe to Berlin Phil film catalogue for less than that – and have a much better time

  • Ian Munro says:

    Are you saying they should be playing for free? If you are that undervalues the orchestra, conductors and soloists who are coming in. £10 a ticket for a concert isn’t unreasonable to me. With so many musicians and arts organisations struggling financially shouldn’t we be doing more to help them rather than taking them forgranted? Now more than ever our industry is in a very delicate position. Help from the government is appreciated but not enough to save many institutions or individuals. Instead of sitting in your little ivory tower making snide blog posts why don’t you encourage your readers to support as many artists and arts organisations. Art and artists are viable. Many are staring into an abyss. Come on Norman, show your support. Blog posts such as this do nothing other than make you seem very shallow and insensitive.

  • Nurhan Arman says:

    Every orchestra needs to set their own pricing in these difficult times. Some orchestras can afford offering virtual concerts for free but others need some ticket income. The usual concert production costs are still the same. In addition there are now livestreaming costs and the added costs of marketing to a global audience. At Sinfonia Toronto we are offering a 7-concert virtual series for $99 Canadian dollars or $15 per-concert. We are at the lower end of the Canadian prices for virtual concerts.