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Bridgewater Hall

Critics' choice
City Centre

Home to three resident orchestras and immune to interference from the tram system, aural pleasure doesn't get much better


There aren't many places where you can see Mahler's 5th one night and Liza Minnelli the next.

Manchester's premiere concert venue is such a place. Boasting over 250 performances a year, Bridgewater Hall is the grand home to three resident orchestras: the Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata. No surprise then to see a programme reflecting an impressive range of classical performance, where the more prom-friendly likes of Bach, Beethoven, Sibelius and Strauss share the stage with more challenging composers.

The modern hall more than lives up to the quality of the programme. With comfort, great sight lines and superb acoustics, Bridgewater Hall provides a sensory feast, the building providing a generous welcome with its wide, expansive foyer spaces, leading into the impressive hall itself. Inside, the quality of the sound has been tinkered with over the years to provide an astonishingly detailed listening experience. It also has a huge organ – 5,500 pipes to be exact.

A glance through the venue listings reveals much more, with performers as diverse as Burt Bacharach, Lisa Stansfield and John Grant all taking to the stage this season. Its programme also includes regular jazz, world music and family concerts.

Bridgewater Hall sits within Barbirolli Square, where you can also find Manchester's best piece of public art. It was installed in 1996 to celebrate the opening of the hall so stop by for a look at Kan Yasuda's 'Ishinki Stone' before heading inside.

Interesting fact: Bridgewater Hall's main auditorium is built on a foundation of gigantic springs, preventing the nearby tram system from causing sound and vibration interference.

Venue name: Bridgewater Hall
Address: Lower Mosley Street
Manchester
M2 3WS
Venue phone: 0161 907 9000
Website: http://www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk
Transport: Rail: Oxford Road/Deansgate
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