Guide to Classical Music, Opera and Dance in London

London by night © David Karlin
London by night
© David Karlin
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LondonDisney Fantasia: Live in Concert

LondonRussian Chamber Music: Seasons & Soundscapes

Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Mussorgsky

LondonTosca

Puccini: Tosca
Becca Marriott; Philippa Boyle; Roger Paterson; Martin Lindau

LondonChina National Peking Opera: A River All Red

A River All Red
Unknown; China National Peking Opera Company

LondonJames Horner: A Life in Music

Horner
Cinematic Sinfonia; Ludwig Wicki; Crouch End Festival Chorus
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A trio of great Bs: Beethoven, Bruckner and Blomstedt

The amazing phenomenon that is Herbert Blomstedt leads the Gewandhausorchester from Leipzig in Beethoven's Triple Concerto and Bruckner's mighty Seventh.
*****
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Energetic Scheherazade from Temirkanov and the Philharmonia

After hearing three exhilarating and razor-sharp Philharmonia concerts this season under Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jakub Hrůša, this performance with regular guest conductor Yuri Temirkanov felt decidedly “Old School”.
***11
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Shobana Jeyasingh Dance: Bayadère – The Ninth Life

A radical and challenging new look at La Bayadère that has the well-worn familiarity of something borrowed but also brings a distinctively and refreshingly new perspective 
***11
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Dmitriev brings a taste of St Petersburg to London

Alexander Dmitriev and the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra paraded passionate and colourful Tchaikovsky, while the masterful Peter Donohoe gave a potent and intricate Rachmaninov.
****1
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Veronika Eberle wows in Mendelssohn

This was the second of Bernard Haitink’s Barbican appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra mostly drawing on the Austro-German orchestral tradition in electric and efficient perfromances. 
****1
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ARTICLES AND MORE

This is Rattle: LSO new season

It’s been the most hotly anticipated arrival in British classical music for years. Sir Simon Rattle takes up his post as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra with a refreshing season programme. 

Guide to Kings Place

Kings place inside venue © Kings Place
© Kings Place
Find out more about Kings Place, the iconic, award-winning arts and conferencing venue located in the heart of King’s Cross. Since opening in September 2008 as an entirely self-funded venue, it has enjoyed critical success for classical music, along with a wide range of art forms, including classical, opera, jazz, folk, world and contemporary music as well as dance, film, comedy, literature and spoken word.

Guide to the London Philharmonic Orchestra

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Discover the next concerts of LPO and read our latest reviews

Guide to the Philharmonia Orchestra

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Find out more about the next concerts of one of the most active orchestras
Biography

People looking for a classical concert in London are truly spoilt for choice. The city boasts five major orchestras and regularly hosts many others; several venues for chamber music and smaller-scale orchestral performances; choral works are frequently played in the main concert halls as well as in churches, and there are two major opera houses.

The Barbican Centre where the well known London Symphony Orchestra perform (and the BBC Symphony Orchestra) as well as the Southbank Centre (where you find both the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall,) home of the Philharmonia and London Philharmonic Orchestra vie for the title of London's premier hall for orchestral concerts. Cadogan Hall, near Sloane Square, is the main home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which also performs music outside the standard classical repertoire. In summer, the attention shifts to the BBC Proms festival at Kensington's Royal Albert Hall, which hosts a dazzling array of visiting Orchestras as well as the BBC's own performing groups.

The Wigmore Hall in Marylebone, is the capital's home of instrumental and chamber music. In addition, there are many other venues for smaller scale events, joined recently by the newly built King's Place, a development near King's Cross station which houses the London Chamber Music Series. London has several specialist orchestras such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (specialising in baroque and early music), and the London Sinfonietta, which plays 20th and 21st century works.

Many churches host concerts of choral and other works, most notably St. Johns Smith Square in Westminster and St. Martin-in-the-Fields on Trafalgar Square.

London has two internationally acclaimed opera companies: the Royal Opera (which performs at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), and the English National Opera, which performs at the London Coliseum and always sings opera in English. Less known is the fact that there are several smaller opera companies such as Hampstead Garden Opera, who perform in smaller venues with tickets suitable for considerably smaller budgets!

These are some great concerts also to be found at the music colleges: the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College both have events which showcase their students: these are often of very high quality.

There are dozens of other venues not listed above. If you're a music fan visiting the capital and looking for a classical music concert, you'd be hard pressed to pick a day when nothing's playing, and if you live in London, you have an overwhelming selection of orchestras, conductors and pieces of music in different styles from different composers. The main danger is to your bank balance!