London’s Wigmore Hall celebrates 110 years

Posted on: September 17, 2010

In Thursday’s (9/16) Telegraph (London), Ivan Hewett writes, “If there’s a grande dame among Britain’s concert halls, it’s surely the Wigmore Hall. … Ask many of the world’s best singers and chamber musicians to list their favourite venues—András Schiff, Ian Bostridge, Karita Mattila—and they’ll put the Wigmore Hall at the top. … When it opened as the Bechstein Hall on May 31, 1901, with a concert by among others the great Italian-German pianist Ferruccio Busoni, its acoustics made the musical world take notice. The German name became a liability during the First World War, and after it was reborn as the Wigmore Hall it enjoyed a golden age. But the dead hand of municipal control brought a sense of genteel mediocrity in the Fifties and Sixties. … The resurrection of the Wigmore Hall was achieved by a quiet Australian named William Lyne. A turning point came in 1978, when he bagged what turned out to be the last recital by Artur Rubinstein. By nurturing new talents, such as Alice Coote and Joshua Bell, Lyne ensured their loyalty when they became famous.”

Posted September 17, 2010