London Report~Community, People and Music
Wigmore Hall's Education Programme
with more than 400 events

Wigmore Hall is situated in a quiet street just to the north of the busy shopping street, Oxford Street, in the heart of London's West End. Although it is best known for offering high-quality chamber music and solo recitals, it also hosts a rich educational programme as well. About 440 educational events run throughout the year constantly, except during the summer holidays. What sort of events are held there, and how?

Wigmore Hall Learning - - -
Venue : Wigmore Hall(36 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2BP Map Nearest Tube: Bond Street)
URL : http://www.wigmore-hall.org.uk/
Learning URL : Wigmore Hall Learning

An intimate hall for chamber and solo music

Wigmore Hall has a history of over one hundred years. It opened on 31 May 1901 under the name of Bechstein Hall, next to the London showroom of the German piano maker, Bechstein. However, with the increase of anti-German sentiment during the First World War, Bechstein had to wind up their affairs in the UK by order of the Board of Trade, as well as other German companies. All their assets, including the hall and 137 pianos, were auctioned off in 1916. The hall itself was resurrected in 1917 and renamed Wigmore Hall, after the name of the street.

From its early period, the hall welcomed many of the most famous musicians of the day, including Busoni, Saint-Saens, Rubinstein, Casals, Cortot, Poulenc, and Britten, to name a few. Also, it saw many young talented musicians make their debut in London. With 537 seats including a balcony, and a stage which accommodates up to 15 performers, this small hall has established a reputation as a home for piano and vocal recitals, chamber music, early music, and jazz. As this is the music that has been enjoyed mainly at home, it aims to be both greatly impressive, yet at the same time intimate. It also hosts a concert series that support young musicians starting out on their career.

According to its concert calendar, Wigmore Hall hosts over 400 concerts a year, almost every night except for the summer holidays in August, including lunch time concerts mainly on Sundays and Mondays. The total sales of tickets amount to approximately 165,000 each year. In addition to that, amazingly, it also hosts over 400 educational events per year.

A Balanced Education Programme for toddlers, teenagers, adults and older people
Brochures of Wigmore Hall Learning

Wigmore Hall Learning is the department that oversees the educational programme at Wigmore Hall, launched in 1994 under the name Wigmore Hall Community and Education. The department has devised creative events for people of all ages, levels and musical experience, using its rich resources, such as the hall facilities, materials, and network of musicians, musical works and the community. It aims at enhancing opportunities for those who are easily excluded from the regular art scene, to be inspired, learn, and make connections through music.

Wigmore Hall Learning started in response to the long felt needs of the hall itself, to work on broader potential audiences for the future, as well as the needs of its local community in the City of Westminster. It is now supported by funding from and its relationship with the City of Westminster, other musical and educational charities, and also by donations from individuals.

The programme is organized, well-balanced, and rich in variety, targeting toddlers, teenagers, adults and older people. Its main activities are as follows:

Events at Wigmore Hall
Pre-concert Talks / Master classes / Concerts for families / Concerts for young people / Workshops (forthcoming events)
Schools' Network
Working with over 40 schools a year, including a long-term partnership with 8 schools in the City of Westminster
Ensemble Ignite
Forming an ensemble called 'Ignite' of young musicians and sending them to the local youth centres, family centres and hospitals, to perform programmes that have been specially devised for the purpose
Music for Life
A pioneering programme working with patients with dementia and their carers at hospitals, care centres and residential homes
Chamber Tots
A flagship programme working with toddlers aged from 2 to 5 years old and their carers, combined with mini-concert and workshops. Chamber Tots at Wigmore Hall / Chamber Tots in the Community
Internet materials
School teachers and nursery staff can see and download materials online, such as instruction videos about instruments, music clips and musical scores, to use in classrooms and before the school concerts.
Chamber Zone free tickets
Young people aged 8 to 22, and schools can book free tickets for certain chamber music concerts. During the season from September to December 2009, 8 concerts such as trios, quartets, chamber orchestras and jazz are on the list. Related workshops can be arranged for schools, with some 'Concert - Workshop - Curriculum' combination suggestions. It is supported by chamber music charities and others.
Annual schedule

In the 2008-2009 season, 443 education programmes in total took place in 53 different settings, such as the hall, schools, nurseries, youth clubs and care centres, and 16,235 people attended them. Let's take a look at how those events at the hall were arranged throughout the year.

The number of events at Wigmore Hall held during the past year (January 2009 to December 2009), although this may vary according to how they are counted, is around 120. There are about 40 events during each season - January to March, April to July, and September to December. As you can see from the list below, events are held constantly throughout the year, but certain months are busier, such as February, May to June, and October to November, with almost daily events and more than one event per day. It is because most of the events are linked to certain concerts, and sometimes they devise more than one event out of the same concert, artists or materials, creating variation in the target or form of the events.

Looking at these 120 events in terms of their targets, 38 events are targeted at toddlers and children aged around 2 to 10 years old, 33 are for teenagers, and 82 are for adults in general. For convenience of classification, I labeled events specially devised for teenagers and those with a student discount as 'for teenagers', and talk and study events which are not specified at a particular target as 'for adults'; however, teenagers can attend the events 'for adults', obviously, so the division between these two is not fixed. When you divide the whole events into two groups, children and adults, they are roughly half and half.

Looking in terms of the form of the events, there are 4 groups - talks, study events, workshops, and concerts. Although 'talks' increase depending on the number of concerts, and some 'study' events are intensive, the average number of each form is balanced at around 10 per season. 'Talks' are about the programme, instruments or composers of the evening concert with the artists or experts, for 45 minutes before the concert. They are free or about £3 each.

'Study events' are one-off or series of programmes that investigate a certain theme. There are lectures, master classes, listening to recorded or live demonstration music, introductions for beginners, and close investigations of certain topics. They range from 2-3 hour courses, to whole-day programmes, combined with lectures, workshops and concerts. The average fee is a few pounds to over £10 each.

'Workshops' and 'Concerts' as educational events are devised specially for the target group, such as toddlers, students, and families, with the themes of certain instruments, composers and so on. The participants can learn about music while listening to live music, taking part in music making, or associating with pictures, stories, history, animation and manga, which attract young people. The fee is between £2 to £10.

Let us take a look at these events more closely next time!

  Date Talk Study Work-
Concert Topic age
children teenagers adults
January 6-Jan Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London(11sessions)
13-Jan Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London
20-Jan Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London
20-Jan Tue Chamber Tots 2-5
23-Jan Fri Introduction to Music - Chord in 12th century(4sessions)
27-Jan Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London
28-Jan Wed Artist Talk with Clarinettist/ Composer
29-Jan Thu Chamber Tots 2-5
30-Jan Fri School Concert- Percussion(Keystage2) 7-11
31-Jan Sat Family Concert - Percussion 5+
February 3-Feb Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London
6-Feb Fri Introduction to Music - Chord in 17th century
7-Feb Sat Family Concert - Violin 5+
10-Feb Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London
11-Feb Wed Artist Talk - Concerto for marimba and strings
11-Feb Wed Chamber Tots 2-5
12-Feb Thu Pre-concert Talk - Vivaldi and Baroque music
14-Feb Sat Pre-concert Talk - Handel, Acis and Galatea
17-Feb Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London
17-Feb Tue Picture Perfect - Make animation with music (3sessions) 8- 13
19-Feb Thu Picture Perfect - Make animation with music 8- 13
19-Feb Thu Haydn's String Quartets (3sessions)
20-Feb Fri Picture Perfect - Make animation with music 8- 13
20-Feb Fri Introduction to Music - Chord in 19th century
24-Feb Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London
24-Feb Tue Haydn's String Quartets
25-Feb Wed Chamber Tots 2-5
27-Feb Fri Introduction to Music - Chord in 20&21st century
27-Feb Fri Pre-concert Talk - Haydn's Orchestra
28-Feb Sat Haydn's String Quartets
28-Feb Sat Family Day 'Haydn Seek' - Paint pictires with music 5+
March 3-Mar Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London
5-Mar Thu Pre-concert Talk - Composer
7-Mar Sat Pre-concert Talk- Haydn's String Quartet
10-Mar Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London
12-Mar Thu Pre-concert Talk - Lieder compositon and the poets
17-Mar Tue Chamber Tots 2-5
17-Mar Tue 400 years of Chamber Music in London
21-Mar Sat Family Day 'Rapunzel' - Song writing & storytelling 5+
21-Mar Sat Haydn's London in 1790 - Talk, Walking & Concert
25-Mar Wed Pre-concert event - Eliott Carter's 100th Birthday
28-Mar Sat Remix Bach with DJ/Composer 11- 16
April 11-Apr Sat Pre-concert Talk - Charpentier
17-Apr Fri Pre-concert Talk - Mozart's chamber works & period performance
18-Apr Sat Young people's Day - DJ Bach (Autistic Spectrum Disorders) 10-14
30-Apr Thu Pre-concert Talk- Haydn's life and music
May 5-May Tue Chamber Tots 2-5
6-May Wed Composers and piano trio - Haydn, Shostakovich
7-May Thu Collaboration voiceworks of young composers & English students
8-May Fri Artist Talk - Viola da gamba
9-May Sat Study Day - English composer James MacMilan's work 1
9-May Sat Study Day - James MacMilan in conversation
9-May Sat Study Day - James MacMilan's work 2
9-May Sat Study Day - Explore James MacMilan
9-May Sat Study Day - James MacMilan's work 3
13 Wed Stravinsky The Soldier's Tale and exile
19-May Tue Wolf's Italienisches Liederbuch
21-May Thu Chamber Tots 2-5
23-May Sat Family Concert - Tale of Giddy Goat 5+
June 3-Jun Wed English Song - Vaugan Williams, Finzi
4-Jun Thu Chamber Tots 2-5
13-Jun Sat Young people's Day - Are you an artist or musician? 11-16
14-Jun Sun Pre-concert Talk- Handel, Purcell, Haydn
16-Jun Tue Study and Master class - English Songs (3sessions)
17-Jun Wed Chamber Tots 2-5
18-Jun Thu Study and Master class - English Songs
19-Jun Fri School Concert - Bee's life (Keystage2) 7- 11
20-Jun Sat Family Workshop 'The bees' - Music and instrments making 5+
20-Jun Sat Family Concert - Bee's journey from England to Australia 5+
20-Jun Sat Family Day - Story behind the picture & music @museum 6+
22-Jun Mon Study and Master class - English Songs
24-Jun Wed School Concert - Tudor music - history(Keystage2) 7- 11
27-Jun Sat Family Day - Story behind the picture & music @hall 6+
July 5-Jul Sun Pre-concert Talk - Handel's English Cantatas and London life
7-Jul Tue Chamber Tots 2-5
9-Jul Thu Pre-concert Talk - Serenades by Mozart and Hummel
September 12-Sep Sat Late chamber music of Cesar Franck(3sessions)
15-Sep Tue Late chamber music of Cesar Franck
16-Sep Wed Introduction to Jazz Music - improvisation (4 sessions)
17-Sep Thu Late chamber music of Cesar Franck
19-Sep Sat Open House - concert and workshop
20-Sep Sun Pre-concert talk - Schubert songs
23-Sep Wed Introduction to Jazz Music - form
25-Sep Fri Pre-concert talk - Baroque music
28-Sep Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets (11sessions)
30-Sep Wed Introduction to Jazz Music - harmony
Octber 3-Oct Sat Jazz study - Oscar Peterson
5-Oct Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets
7-Oct Wed Introduction to Jazz Music - composition
10-Oct Sat Workshop for young people - sing in a jazz style 11-16
12-Oct Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets
13-Oct Tue Artist Talk with composer
15-Oct Thu School Concert - jazz(Keystage3) 11-14
15-Oct Thu Panel Discussion - Jazz as chamber music
16-Oct Fri Chamber Tots 2-5
17-Oct Sat Family Workshop - Jazz songs 5+
17-Oct Sat Family Jazz Concert - BeeBopped 5+
19-Oct Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets
26-Oct Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets
27-Oct Tue Chamber Tots 2-5
31-Oct Sat Film combining music and images - Kevin Volans Day
31-Oct Sat Artist Talk- Kevin Volans Day
November 2-Nov Mon Artist Talk with tenor singer
2-Nov Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets
5-Nov Thu Chamber Tots 2-5
7-Nov Sat Family Concert - Quartet and clowning music 5+
9-Nov Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets
12-Nov Thu Master class - Songs by Purcell, Britten
12-Nov Thu Pre-concert Talk - centenary of Albeniz's death, and Iberia
13-Nov Fri Master class - Songs by Purcell and Britten
13-Nov Fri Pre-concert Talk - The virtuosity of Alkan
14-Nov Sat Young People's Workshop - Music and Manga 11-16
16-Nov Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets
18-Nov Wed Pre-concert Talk - The art of the countertenor
19-Nov Thu Chamber Tots 2-5
21-Nov Sat Family Day 'Myths and Legends' - Music and Paintings 6+
22-Nov Sun Pre-concert Talk - The Virtuoso Voice
23-Nov Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets
27-Nov Fri School Concert - Darwin (Keystage2) 7- 11
30-Nov Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets
December 2-Dec Wed Chamber Tots 2-5
7-Dec Mon Mendelssohn's String Quartets
16-Dec Wed Pre-concert Talk - Introduction to the work to be premiered
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