Wigmore Hall announces its 2021-22 season

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

More than 500 concerts will be given by 2500 musicians during the new season

Wigmore Hall's John Gilhooly (Photo: Kaupo Kikkas)
Wigmore Hall's John Gilhooly (Photo: Kaupo Kikkas)

John Gilhooly, Artistic Director of Wigmore Hall – which recently received the Institution Award at The South Bank Sky Arts Awards for innovation during the pandemic for the Hall’s streaming programme – has just unveiled the Hall’s plans for the 2021-22 season. Some 2500 musicians will perform more than 500 concerts between September 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022. 150 concerts to be streamed online by Wigmore Hall and 42 lunchtime concerts will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Major international stars returning to London – many of whom are recipients of Gramophone Awards and are regularly featured in the pages of Gramophone – include pianists Martha Argerich, Sir András Schiff, Angela Hewitt and Igor Levit, violinists Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Janine Jansen, Leonidas Kavakos and Gidon Kremer, the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, vocalists Diana Damrau, Christian Gerhaher, Magdalena Kožená, Jakub Józef Orliński, Philippe Jaroussky, Eva-Maria Westbroek and Sonya Yoncheva, as well as ensembles Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Les Arts Florissants, Quatuor Ebène, the Belcea Quartet and the Takács Quartet. 

In his presentation of the new season – which can be watched on Wigmore Hall’s website from 1pm today – John Gilhooly appeals for donations to support the annual season, £1.5m of which has already been pledged. ‘Many are signing up to three-year commitments through our newly formed Wigmore Ensemble circle of giving,' he said, 'and we hope to achieve at least £3m in fundraising in each of the next three years ahead.'

‘It has been a great joy welcoming audiences back to Wigmore Hall again, with the hope of fuller houses from September.’ Gilhooly added. ‘Having navigated through the most difficult period in the Hall’s history, we are under no illusion about the challenges ahead.  There is the possibility of postponements or cancellations as each international territory moves through this crisis at a different pace.  However, we also want to be as confident as we possibly can be, and we will be quick on our feet in reacting to challenges, as required, to deliver this, with solutions in the Hall itself, or online, as we have done right through this crisis.’

A number of leading artists perform multiple times at the Hall in the 2021-22 season. These Artists in Residence are Jakub Józef Orliński, the saxophonist Jess Gillam, the violinists Alina Ibragimova and Christian Tetzlaff, the pianists Sergei Babayan, Angela Hewitt, Benjamin Grosvenor and Leon McCawley, jazz bassist Christian McBride, the soprano Fatma Said, the Danish String Quartet and ensembles Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Arcangelo, Gabrieli Consort, The Sixteen, Solomon’s Knot and Tenebrae.

In response to the announcement this morning about international travel and quarantine exemption, Gilhooly commented that ‘Wigmore Hall welcomes today’s news that the government is considering allowing fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and US to avoid quarantine when they arrive in England. Concerts by international musicians have been central to the Hall’s 120-year history and the UK’s cultural life.  From September we have planned more than 500 concerts by musicians from 30 nations. In addition to the new rules for EU and US travellers, we request that the government will grant leading international musicians from all countries the same exemptions as elite athletes or business leaders.’

As one of UK’s most important commissioners of new music, Wigmore Hall will host 50 UK and world premières, bringing the total of commissioned or co-commissioned new works to a record-breaking 700 since 2007. The season’s Composer in Residence is the British composer Huw Watkins.

As part of Wigmore Hall’s initiative to encourage younger people to attend concerts, 25,000 tickets at £5 will be made available to people under 35.

Full information can found on Wigmore Hall's website.

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