Classical concerts take place across the UK every day. Obviously there is a huge amount of classical music, opera and some ballet taking place in London (you can read about this in our dedicated page about classical concerts in London) but once you start to look carefully, you find that there are classical concerts being held everywhere in the United Kingdom.
Choral music is put on by choirs across the country in churches and cathedrals of all sizes. Possibly through the recent publicity on Radio 3, choirs across the country are beginning to see the average age of their members go sharply lower: a wonderful sight for lovers of choral music. In May 2009 over 50 choirs performed Mendelssohn's “O For the Wings of a Dove” in churches across the United Kindom. Details of those involved can be found in our page about Mendelssohn's Hear My Prayer. Choirs are always looking for more singers so if you are considering joining a choir to go to the Gerontius website for more information. There are many classical music festivals in the UK but there is one outstanding choral festival, The Three Choirs which takes place alternately in Hereford, Gloucester or Worcester in August every year. If you ever consider travelling abroad to a festival, the May Festival in Cincinnati is well worth a visit with some wonderful world class performers. If you are involved in a choir we are always happy to have more people inputting concerts into our database, and if you love choral music then look at our listings page for UK Choral music to see what forthcoming concerts are on our site.
There are eight publicly funded orchestras in England: London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hallé. In addition there are hundreds of other professional orchestras and amateur orchestras of excellent standard trying to cover the length and breadth of the UK. In Scotland the Royal Scottish National Orchestra tours the larger cities, while the Scottish Chamber Orchestra travels more widely. In Wales the BBC National Orchestra of Wales is newly installed in the Hoddinott Hall giving another great venue to the already rich Cardiff scene which benefits from the Millenium Centre and St David's Hall too. Northern Ireland enjoys the Ulster Orchestra which offers a wealth of cultural activity from their base in Belfast. The BBC Orchestras elsewhere in the UK, from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, to the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester and surrounding areas and BBC Symphony Orchestra in London add strength and breadth to the music played in the vibrant orchestral classical music scene in the United Kingdom. This link shows orchestral concerts in the UK.
Chamber Music may be less easy to find for those who have not always lived in the United Kingdom, because it is less well publicised, but there is a vast amount of such music held in venues from churches, parish halls and even the odd music shop or drawing room throughout the UK. There is of course one major venue for chamber music in the UK, Wigmore Hall in London. Recently Kings Place has arrived to challenge their dominance and offer performers an alternative venue. Chamber music may be heard across the country through the dedication of the countless Chamber Music Societies each of whom typically puts on 6 concerts a year in the months from September / October to May. Between their Wigmore Hall appearances the top Chamber Ensembles will typically perform at scores of venues from Keswick and Aberdeen, to Plymouth.
We have put together a list of Chamber Music Societies in the UK within our Directory where you can select by region when you click on the map so can see which societies are closest to you. Concerts are not expensive if you attend irregularly but it will be cheaper if you join the society and go regularly to their concerts. Find out more on our directory page for UK Chamber Music societies. You can also find all chamber concerts within the United Kingdom listed in our database from the UK chamber concerts listing page.
So there is really no excuse any longer for staying in, saying you cannot find out what is on in classical music. If you want to search simply by looking at your local area you even do that by starting at our classical concerts in the United Kingdom page. Remember to check out your local church, parish hall and nearest university many of whom have regular events performed by students, music students and young musicians. We are extremely fortunate in having a lively classical music scene that we can all enjoy, let's all support the musicians who have to practice so phenomenally hard to achieve a little success.
Last updated: 12th May 2009