Small classical music venues
London may have its Royal Albert Hall and its Royal Opera House, but the city is also home to plenty of lesser-known venues hosting classical music of a very high standard. Many are in themselves beautiful places to visit and offer a welcome break from the city centre
LSO St Luke'sAn attractive building in less-than-attractive surroundings, LSO St Luke’s is a more intimate venue at which to view the London Symphony Orchestra. The 18th-century, Grade I-listed ex-church houses the ‘Discovery’ programme, which aims at making classical music more accessible. This includes open LSO rehearsals, evening concerts and free lunchtime concerts (usually Friday 1-1.45pm).
St Luke's, 161 Old Street, EC1V 9NG, 7490 3939, www.lso.co.uk/lsostlukes, tickets free-£25)
Blackheath HallsSituated in the ‘village’ of Blackheath in south-east London, the atmospheric Blackheath Halls hosts a diverse mixture of concerts, with excellent acoustics. As well as an extensive programme of world music, the building houses a variety of classical concerts, fed largely by talented musicians from the Trinity College of Music.Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road, SE3 9RQ, 8463 0100, www.blackheathhalls.com, tickets £6-£20
Lauderdale HouseOverlooking beautiful Waterlow Park, Lauderdale House is an easily accessible escape from central London. Built in 1582, it now functions as an arts and education centre offering a wide programme of musical events. The small, elegant interior is the perfect setting for evening concerts from top-quality soloists and small ensembles. The calendar includes Sunday Morning Concerts, where recent graduates from major music colleges play to a family-friendly audience, and monthly participatory events such as ‘Bring a song, Sing a song’.Lauderale House, Highgate Hill, N6 5HG, 8348 8716, www.lauderdalehouse.co.uk, tickets £1-£12
ArtsdepotThe open-minded Grosvenor Chapel (South Audley Street, Mayfair, W1K 2PA, 7499 1684, tickets £5-£15), built in 1730, has recently broadened its repertoire of concerts from organ recitals to include much bigger names. It now boasts the English Sinfonia’s programme of ‘commuter concerts’, refreshing performances from London Pro Arte, and a variety of other concerts.Opened in late 2004, the artsdepot is a multidisciplinary arts centre in the heart of a new development, which has an exciting programme of art, music, theatre and dance. The purpose-built venue has frequent classical concerts from heavyweight performers – names in their first season included Evelyn Glennie, London Jewish Male Choir , Smetana Trio and Guildhall Strings.Artsdepot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, 8369 5454, www.artsdepot.co.uk, tickets £10-£18
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You can add:Bel Canto Opera Dinners It's a new concept in London existing from 10years in Paris and Madrid with each evening 4 or 5 young singers performing arias from Opera and helping like ''waiters''. A pianist playing on yamahaS4 concert piano accompaigns. Youngs singers are just professionals ore students at Guildhall school. www.lebelcanto.co.uk
Visit Wilton's Music Hall in E1. Occasional concerts are held in this still-operating but semi-derelict music hall. A unique, faded setting for classical performances.