Wigmore Hall Announces the 2023/24 Season
Tue 28 Mar 2023
With more than 500 concerts from September 2023 to July 2024 featuring some 2500 artists performing music from the past six centuries, it is the largest programme of classical music concerts in the UK. Highlights include:
- 28 world and UK premières, including the first ‘Voices of Today’ commissions, Wigmore Hall’s largest ever new music commissioning programme launched during the coronavirus pandemic
- A new £1 ticket scheme for Wigmore Hall’s renowned family concerts, for audiences from 1-year-old, especially devised for struggling families affected by the cost of living crisis
- A new series of ‘low stimulus’ concerts for neurodivergent audiences and those who prefer a quieter environment
- New international partnerships include a ‘Wigmore Hall Festival’ opening Ireland’s new concert hall, the Whyte Recital Hall at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, and a French Song Exchange in collaboration with Paris’s Salle Cortot
- Composer focuses on Australian composer Brett Dean and British composers Laurence Osborn and Joseph Phibbs
- Solomon’s Knot becomes Baroque Ensemble in Residence and soprano and composer Héloïse Werner becomes an Associate Artist
- Artists in Residence include pianist Jeremy Denk, violinist Veronika Eberle, mezzo-soprano Ema Nikolovska, soprano Louise Alder, 12 Ensemble, Apartment House and Trio Gaspard
- Leading artists returning to Wigmore Hall this season include violinists Joshua Bell, Renaud Capuçon, Hilary Hahn and Janine Jansen; pianists Richard Goode, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Igor Levit, Maria João Pires and Sir András Schiff; vocalists Ian Bostridge, Dame Sarah Connolly, Lise Davidsen, Iestyn Davies, Gerald Finley, Matthias Goerne and Magdalena Kožená; ensembles the BBC Singers, Les Arts Florissant, Pavel Haas Quartet and Quatuor Ebène; and Associate Artists Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, Nitin Sawhney and the Takács Quartet
John Gilhooly, Wigmore Hall’s Artistic and Executive Director, said:
'As we celebrate the new season, recent news has cast a long shadow over the future and well-being of classical music in the UK. While Wigmore Hall's belief in the intrinsic value of music is unwavering and we continue to do what we do best – bringing the best of classical music performed by the finest musicians to the widest possible audience – we will be re-doubling our effort to introduce classical music to young people from the earliest possible age. We hope our new £1 ticket scheme for struggling families will be a signal to parents and teachers that it is never too early to start and that children's musical education needn't be a victim of the cost of living crisis.
'I am particularly proud to have forged new friendships abroad – bringing Wigmore Hall artists to Ireland's first purpose-built chamber music concert hall opening in September, as well as a song exchange programme in Paris. Our biggest ever new music commissioning scheme launches with a world première by the wonderful Canadian pianist-composer Stewart Goodyear. Our musical lives are immeasurable enriched by these international connections and friendships.'
Wigmore Hall’s 2023/34 season opens with a festival-like week of concerts with top-flight artists and very broad repertoire setting the tone for the season ahead. Leading pianists Mitsuko Uchida and Jonathan Biss together perform works by Schubert for piano duo (Fri 8 Sep) and Paul Lewis performs with the Vertavo String Quartet (Mon 11 Sep). The Doric String Quartet performs Schubert’s final work in the genre and with a typically varied programme, Sir Stephen Hough opens the season (Thu 7 Sep).
21st-century repertoire is the focus of concerts by string quartet Brooklyn Rider, giving three UK Premières (Wed 13 Sep), and Ensemble Modern with soprano Anna Prohaska, conducted by Sir George Benjamin (Tue 12 Sep).
Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian makes her Wigmore Hall debut (Sat 9 Sep) while conductor Carlo Rizzi, Artistic Director of Opera Rara, performs songs by Donizetti which have rarely, if ever, been performed in modern times with tenor Lawrence Brownlee and baritone Etienne Dupuis (Sat 9 Sep) and Roberta Invernizzi and friends celebrate women composers of the Baroque period (Mon 11 Sep).
£1 Ticket Scheme
In response to the cost-of-living crisis and the urgent need for further music provision for children, Wigmore Hall is introducing a new £1 ticket scheme for its much loved and celebrated series of family events. From ‘For Crying Out Loud!’ for babies aged 1 and under, ‘Chamber Tots’ for toddlers aged 1-5 to ‘Family Concerts’ for families with children aged 5-11, families who face financial barriers are now eligible for subsidised £1 tickets.
Low Stimulus Concerts
Wigmore Hall is committed to creating environments where everyone can enjoy world-class live music. A new series of low stimulus concerts for those who may prefer a quieter environment including some neurodivergent people, or anyone who may be more comfortable in calmer surroundings, is also announced today.
Audiences enjoy natural daylight; other lighting in the auditorium will be kept low. Announcements are kept to a minimum and a quiet space is available. Audiences may leave and re-enter as needed, and even hand dryers in the toilets are switched off. The first is on Sat 4 Nov and features the Miyabi Duo, guitarists Saki Kato and Hugh Millington, performing music by Enrique Granados, Sylvia Lim and premièring a new piece by Electra Perivolaris. A further two low stimulus concerts this season will be announced in due course.
Voices of Today
Among 28 world and UK premières performed during the 2023/24 season are four works commissioned by Wigmore Hall during the pandemic. The first of 16 commissions, they are all from new voices, composers whose work had never been performed at Wigmore Hall before. The Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear, who is renowned for his Beethoven interpretations, begins the series on Sat 23 Sep, performing Beethoven’s ‘Hammerklavier’ sonata following his own new work Mending Walls, which responds to a poem by Robert Frost. New works by Hilda Paredes (Sat 24 Feb), Francesco Antonioni (Sat 1 Jun) and Jocelyn Campbell (Sat 29 Jun) will also appear, and the remaining twelve commissions will be performed in the coming seasons.
Other Wigmore Hall commissioned premières include 14 Reveries, written and performed by Brad Mehldau (UK Première, Wed 20 Sep); a new work for string quintet by Joseph Phibbs (Sat 7 Oct), performed as part of a focus on his work; a new work by Laurence Osborne (Sat 25 Nov); and I Saw A Peacock by Brian Elias, a song cycle written for, and performed by tenor James Newby (Thu 28 Dec). New works by Sally Beamish, Louise Drewett, Dai Fujikura, Joseph Howard and Thea Musgrave also feature in the season.
The Wigmore Hall Festival, which has been devised by John Gilhooly, is a unique collaboration with the Royal Irish Academy of Music in its 175th anniversary year. It celebrates the opening of Ireland’s first purpose-built chamber music venue, the Whyte Recital Hall, which is part of the recently redeveloped RIAM campus in Dublin. Five of Wigmore Hall’s concerts from September 2023 will also appear in the Whyte Recital Hall and the artists will give masterclasses and Q&A sessions with students from the RIAM, giving them unparalleled access to some of the world’s great musicians.
The Wigmore Hall Festival opens with Mitsuko Uchida and Jonathan Biss on Tue 5 Sep (ahead of their Wigmore Hall recital on Fri 8 Sep) and continues throughout the month of September with Sir Stephen Hough (Thu 7 Sep, WH; Tue 12 Sep, WRH), the Schumann Quartet (Mon 18 Sep, WH; Tue 19 Sep, WRH), cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason with guitarist Plinio Fernandes (Sat 23 Sep, WH; Tue 26 Sep, WRH), and soprano Regula Mühlemann making her Wigmore Hall recital debut with pianist Tatiana Korsunskaya (Tue 26 Sep, WH; Thu 28 Sep, WRH).
Also on Tue 5 Sep, in Paris, young singers taking part in the Wigmore French Song Exchange programme perform at the Salle Cortot, following a year of mentoring with Dame Felicity Lott and François Le Roux, who have devoted much of their careers to the mélodie and have devised the programme in collaboration with Wigmore Hall. The French Song Exchange will continue with concerts at Wigmore Hall on Wed 20 & Wed 27 Sep.
New Resident and Associate Artists
From this season Wigmore Hall welcomes Solomon’s Knot as Baroque Ensemble in Residence and Héloïse Werner as an Associate Artist.
The hugely innovative musical collective Solomon’s Knot begins in its new role with a concert on Thu 7 Dec that includes major works by Bach and Handel: subsequent instalments occur on Sun 4 Feb (Handel’s Esther) and Mon 27 May.
Composer-soprano Héloïse Werner performs a programme of music mostly by women composers, including a new work of her own, with mezzo soprano Helen Charlston, harpist Anne Denholm and pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen on Sat 2 Mar.
Wigmore Hall/BBC Radio 3 Monday Lunchtime Concerts
In partnership with BBC Radio 3, the lunchtime concerts every Monday at 1pm will be broadcast live on the station and streamed live on Wigmore Hall's website. Many of the Hall’s evening concerts are also streamed live and available on the website for up to 90 days, completely free of charge.
Australian composer Brett Dean is Composer in Residence and his works are performed by Associate Artists Apartment House (Mon 6 Nov), the Skride Quartet (Thu 11 Jan) and the Armida Quartet (Mon 22 Jan) and, during a day focused on his work Dean, a distinguished violist, himself performs with the Nash Ensemble and Associate Artist Lawrence Power (Sat 20 Apr).
The music of Laurence Osborn (b. 1989) is the focus of a day of concerts (Sat 25 Nov) which will include two world premières of new works performed by the Castalian String Quartet and the Marian Consort, and the London première of Coin Op Automata, ‘a series of little mechanical tableaux’ inspired by ‘all sorts of coin-operated machines,’ performed by the Britten Sinfonia and Mahan Esfahani on solo harpsichord.
Rachmaninov’s songs are heard throughout the season, including a four-concert series by collaborative pianist Iain Burnside (Thu 28 Sep, Wed 17 Jan, Wed 17 Apr and Fri 7 Jun) whose complete traversal of the songs on disc is a landmark recording.
The fascinating and increasingly highly regarded music of Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-96), is explored with a Focus Day led by violinist Linus Roth on Sat 30 Sep, and through a complete cycle of the composer’s string quartets, paired with Shostakovich’s, performed by Quatuor Danel across five concertsd, beginning on Mon 13 Nov, and continuing in 2024 .
Leading viol consort Phantasm mark the 400th anniversary of William Byrd’s Death with three concerts, the first comparing the composer with Johann Sebastian Bach (Wed 11 Oct). They return, joined by soprano Anna Prohaska, on Wed 10 Jan, and again on Tue 25 Jun.
The piano music of Balakirev is the focus of two concerts by Nicholas Walker on Sat 27 Apr following his six-volume survey of the composer’s complete solo piano music on the Grand Piano label.
The Nash Ensemble devotes its latest series ‘From My Homeland,’ commencing on Sat 14 Oct, to Czech music: also included will be works by Dvořák’s long-term friend and supporter Johannes Brahms. On Sun 26 Mar, joined by the BBC Singers, the Nash Ensemble celebrates the life and work of the composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle, who died in 2022.
African Concert Series
Rebeca Omordia returns to Wigmore Hall with the African Concert Series on Sat 17 Feb and Sat 20 Jul for further explorations of music in the classical tradition emanating from the continent or by its expatriate musicians.
Pianist Jeremy Denk opens his residency on Fri 15 Sep with the first book of Études by Ligeti, returning for further concerts on Sat 24 Feb and Mon 6 May.
On Sun 24 Sep pianist Marc-André Hamelin performs a programme including Ives’s Piano Sonata No. 2 ‘Concord, Mass’, and returns to perform with Associate Artists the Takács Quartet for a programme which includes the Piano Quintet in A minor by the early 20th-century American composer Florence Price.
Violinist Antje Weithaas performs Bach's complete sonatas for violin and keyboard between Wed 2 and Mon 7 Oct with harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani. Boris Giltburg brings his remarkable Ravel series
to a close in a joint recital with Alina Ibragimova (Sat 12 Oct). His next project – a Chopin series – commences on Tue 16 Dec, continuing on Mon 8 Jan & Tue 4 Jun.
German violinist Veronika Eberle’s Residency begins on Fri 1 Nov with a programme of Beethoven and Bartók, and continues on Wed 6 Mar and Tue 21 May. Violinist Janine Jansen and pianist Denis Kozhukhin give two concerts centred around Brahms’s chamber music (Wed 13 and Tue 21 Dec)
Sir András Schiff once more brings his authoritative pianism to Wigmore Hall audiences on Mon 23 & Wed 25 Oct and pianist Paul Lewis continues his series of Schubert piano sonatas on Thu 2 & Sat 4 Nov, and Fri 22 & Sun 24 Mar.
The first of three recitals by pianist Angela Hewitt, on Tue 19 Dec, features Mozart sonatas, a cycle of which she is currently recording, and she returns on Thu 18 Apr and Thu 13 Jun.
Violinist Esther Hoppe, cellist Christian Poltéra and pianist Ronald Brautigam come together to celebrate Schubert’s birthday on Sun 28 Jan with performances of his piano trios and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet continues his acclaimed ‘Tour de Debussy’ series on Tue 13 & Thu 15 Feb.
Other great instrumentalists to perform this season include Igor Levit (Fri 19 Jan), Christian Blackshaw (celebrating Mozart’s birthday on Sat 27 Jan), Maria João Pires (Sun 28 Jan) and Evgeny Kissin (Mon 8 Jul); cellists Steven Isserlis (Tue 10 Oct) and Jean-Guihen Queyras (Mon 20 & Tue 21 Nov); and violinists James Ehnes (Tue 5 Dec Sun 18 Feb & Sun 9 Jun) and Isabelle Faust (Fri 29 Mar).
Following his hugely successful debut recital at Wigmore Hall in January 2023 at the age of just 18, Yunchan Lim returns to the Wigmore Hall for a recital in on Mon 8 Apr.
Sarod virtuoso and Wigmore Associate Artist Amjad Ali Khan is back for three concerts with his sons and fellow Associate Artists Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash on Sat 27 Jul and a morning concert the following day.
Three of today’s very finest sopranos perform this season, Lise Davidsen gives a recital on Fri 13 Oct, Regula Mühlemann makes her Wigmore Hall recital debut on Tue 26 Sep, and Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha performs on Mon 18 Mar.
Leading Irish mezzo Tara Erraught pays tribute to Victoria de los Ángeles in her centenary year, one of the great voices of the 20th Century, and a favourite with Wigmore Hall audiences. Following her outstanding 1950 debut she returned to Wigmore Hall regularly for four decades until her retirement in 1998.
Soprano Louise Alder opens her residency on Thu 23 Nov with a programme of French song, returning for further appearances on Mon 25 Mar and Sun 2 Jun.
The Belize-born British composer Errollyn Wallen will sing from the Errollyn Wallen Songbook and performs some of her own works for solo piano on Sat 28 Oct.
Rising star mezzo-soprano Ema Nikolovska begins her residency on Tue 26 Nov with a programme of songs from various traditions, including Schubert, Copland and Prokofiev. Her residency continues on Tue 14 May and Sat 8 Jun. One of the world’s finest basses, Sir Willard White invites you to celebrate the Christmas season with him on Fri 1 Dec.
One of the most remarkable singers of recent times and a Lieder specialist, Thomas Quasthoff, will appear for masterclasses with young singers between Wed 19 and Fri 21 Jun and the hugely experienced collaborative pianist Roger Vignoles gives a masterclass (Wed 29 Nov).
Collaborative pianist Graham Johnson joined by both singers and actors will present a special A-Z of Song Festival (Tue 2, Thu 4 and Sat 6 Jul).
Among numerous other outstanding vocalists profiled during the season are Magdalena Kožená (in collaboration with Mitsuko Uchida on Sun 8 & Mon 9 Oct), Dorothea Röschmann (Sun 10 Dec), Miah Persson (Fri 15 Dec), Elsa Dreisig (Sun 14 Jan), Jakub Józef Orliński (Thu 1 Feb), Véronique Gens (Mon 15 Apr), Sabine Devieilhe (Sun 21 Apr), and Matthias Goerne (Tue 23 & Thu 25 Jul).
From Baroque to contemporary and from string quartets to the immersive theatricality of Solomon’s Knot, a huge range of ensembles perform at Wigmore Hall.
A new residency by Trio Gaspard commences on Sun 12 Nov with a programme of Dvořák, Haydn and Suk, with further instalments on Tue 30 Jan, Mon 22 Apr.
The Leonkoro Quartet – first prize-winners of the 2022 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition – will give their winner’s recital on Sun 8 Oct.
Associate Artists, Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective give three typically varied concerts beginning on Tue 24 Oct with a programme of Beethoven, Goldmark, Schubert and Zemlinsky, with further concerts on Mon 18 Mar and Sat 25 May.
In contemporary music, the vital 12 Ensemble launches its residency on Mon 16 Sep, with further concerts on Sun 21 Jan and Sat 1 Jun, while Apartment House gives three concerts on Sat 13 Apr to include a new work by Rolf Hind celebrating his 60th birthday, featuring Associate Artist Elaine Mitchener. Sat 11 May is devoted to the JACK Quartet.
There are three appearances by La Nuova Musica under the ensemble’s founder/director David Bates (Wed 15 Nov, Fri 26 Jan, Sat 15 Jun). The first will focus on concert arias by Mozart, featuring countertenor Iestyn Davies.
Early-music ensemble Arcangelo appears on two evenings, on Sat 4 Nov and Wed 13 Mar and Gesualdo Six bring a programme with a religious theme on Mon 1 Apr.
Taking their name from the German title for Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah, the Elias Quartet perform a cycle of the composer’s quartets between Sun 7 Apr and Fri 12 Jul.
Christmas celebrations come from the imaginative vocal ensemble Siglo de Oro, whose programme on Fri 22 Dec charts the 12 Days of Christmas.
Under founder-director William Christie, Baroque stars Les Arts Florissants arrive to mark New Year’s Eve in resplendent style with not one but two countertenors: Hugh Cutting and Carlo Vistoli.
Their visit forms part of an exceptional Festive season that includes performances by pianist Ariel Lanyi (Wed 27 Dec), baritone James Newby with pianist Joseph Middleton (Thu 28 Dec), the Doric String Quartet (Fri 29 Dec), violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen and pianist George Fu (Sat 30 Dec), and the Leonore Piano Trio (Sun 31 Dec).
Jazz, cabaret and special events
Brad Mehldau performs 14 Reveries on Wed 20 Sep, a welcome return to Wigmore Hall for the leading jazz pianist, and other international jazz stars appearing throughout the season include pianist Vijay Iyer and jazz bass phenomenon and Associate Artist Christian McBride.
There is a late-night appearance by cabaret artist Miss Hope Springs on Fri 7 Jun, celebrating Pride at Wigmore Hall.
The exceptional jazz bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado performs with Viktoria Mullova on Fri 5 Jul.
Wigmore Hall celebrates International Woman’s Day on Fri 8 Mar with programmes featuring saxophonist Trish Clowes and soprano Gweneth Ann Rand – both Associate Artists.
On Sun 10 Mar, Dr Leah Broad, Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford University, specialising in twentieth-century music, will talk about her book Quartet, which charts the lives and trailblazing musical careers of four British women composers of the 19th and 20th centuries, Ethyl Smyth, Rebecca Clarke, Dorothy Howell and Doreen Carwithen.
There is a tribute to ECM Records, whose recordings in various genres since the company’s foundation more than 50 years ago and under the artistic leadership of Manfred Eicher have been hugely influential. Musicians taking part in the series are Hanna Weinmeister (violin), Reto Bieri (clarinet), Anja Lechner (cello), Anna Gourari (piano) on Thu 2 Nov; Avishai Cohen (trumpet) and Yonathan Avishai (piano) on Sat 4 Jan; and Joe Lovano (saxophone), Marilyn Crispell (piano) and Carmen Castaldi (drums) on Fri 12 Apr.
Broadcaster Zeb Soanes hosts a gala concert on Fri 6 Oct given in support of a statue of Benjamin Britten by the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley to be located at the seafront in Lowestoft, Britten’s birthplace.