London's Wigmore Hall has announced today that it will re-open to audiences from September 13.
80 concerts at the iconic chamber music venue are planned over a seven-week series running until November 1, beginning with German baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber, and continuing with artists including pianists Igor Levit and Sir Andras Schiff, soprano Sabine Devieilhe, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa, tenor Gerald Finley, violinists Julia Fischer and Leonidas Kavakos, and the ensembles the Arditti Quartet, the Nash Ensemble and Apartment House.
At least 60 of these will be open to the public, though in order to comply with ongoing Covid-19 rules, the numbers of attendees will be restricted to 56 per concert (10 per cent of the hall’s capacity), and performances will last 60-90 minutes with no interval. There will be temperature checks, staggered entrance times, available hand sanitiser and no printed programmes. All concerts will be live streamed in high-definition on the Wigmore Hall website.
The series follows a month of weekday concerts during June, which while not to public audiences were very well received online and on radio, through a collaboration with BBC Radio 3.
'After the overwhelming responses to our June broadcast series that touched minds and hearts around the world, I am thrilled to be welcoming audiences through the doors to our beautiful auditorium again,' said John Gilhooly, Director of Wigmore Hall.
'Over the past few months many of the world’s most distinguished musicians have not been immune to have their entire performance diaries wiped out and therefore without income. Wigmore Hall is pleased to be able to play a role in supporting musicians financially by providing them with a stage to perform in front of audiences in London.
'Should the international crisis escalate again before September, our planned autumn concerts will revert to empty hall broadcasts. We will continue to follow and respond closely to the government’s guidelines and recommendations in formulating our plans beyond November, into the challenging winter months,' added Gilhooly.