No 36 Wigmore Street, more widely known as the Wigmore Hall, is to open its doors – and its bar – for a new late-night concert series. ‘Wigmore Lates @ 36’ will take place on Friday nights in June and July, and will include an hour-long recital at 10pm in the main hall, followed by an intimate musical soirée in the bar from 11.15pm.
The series will cover a wide range of musical traditions: from Monteverdi madrigals and Schubert Lieder to jazz, improvisation and world music. There will be concerts by Julian Bliss, as he explores the legacy of Benny Goodman with his ‘King of Swing’ project; Amjad Ali Khan, joined by the Britten Sinfonia giving the world premiere of his Sarod Concerto; Gabriela Montero; Yaniv d’Or; Ensemble NAYA; and I Faglioni.
Wigmore Lates @ 36 is part of a larger trend of presenting classical concerts in a different format. The Night Shift series by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment mixes late nights with early music – as part of the attempt to create a more convivial atmosphere, audiences are invited to bring in drinks, the concerts are usually compered, and the musicians talk to the audience about what they’re about to play. Yellow Lounge, founded nearly a decade ago in Berlin, has recently expanded to include London events, mixing (and re-mixing) classical performances with DJ sets.
While many late-night classical music events are held in clubs, warehouses and urban underground haunts, Wigmore Lates @ 36 is staying in the concert hall – reminding us that classical venues aren’t on the rocks, they’re just offering a new twist.