An iconic venue in it’s one hundred and fiftieth year, a great year to hear Holst: bringing war, peace, jollity and much more to The Royal Albert Hall.

Originally intended to be called The Central Hall of Arts and Sciences’  Queen Victoria announced on the twentieth of March eighteen sixty seven, at the laying of the foundation stone, that the building was to be known as the ‘Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences’.

The Hall officially opened on the 29th of March eighteen seventy one and has become an icon of the nation. Listed Grade I the RAH is held in trust for the nation and yet receives no regular government funding.

During the covid pandemic the charity lost out on £60m of income.

Through the decades I’ve visited The Royal Albert Hall for spoken word, pop concerts, rock concerts and, perhaps the most enjoyable, classical concerts.

Every time I visit I feel a thrill, a connection with the thousands of other visitors there but also with the millions who have enjoyed attending events throughout the last one hundred and fifty years.

Eating at the Hall is always a pleasure and, for me, very much part of the experience.

I love Coda, a collaboration with Michelin Star chef Eric Chavot, but on this particular evening I had booked in The Elgar Brasserie and the food was also excellent there; atmosphere and class pervade the Royal Albert Hall in every aspect and area.

The program for our evening was:

Wagner Mastersingers Overture
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2
Holst The Planets

Being at a classical concert is about much more than listening to the music, however wonderful it is, there is an added element of joy in watching proceedings. An illustrious conductor such as Christopher Warren-Green adds a layer of delight.

To sit in a position where you an watch the individuals in the orchestra step in and out of the flowing music, how you watch instruments create the amazing overlapping layers of sound, the contrast and complement; I am always amazed that someone can visualise and write the music when there is so much complexity to creating the sound and I absolutely love how different conductors lead the orchestra to produce such wonderful entertainment.

The Royal Philharmonic always excel. An evening which also included the excellent Martin James Bartlett is pretty much perfection and from entering the hall, through the meal and into the depth of the musical performance, yet again the Royal Albert Hall has done incredible justice to the visionaries who brought it into being and all those who work tirelessly to keep it alive for us lucky souls and for generations to come.

If you haven’t been before – follow the link below to their website below and find something that will add joy to a day out for you. If you haven’t been for a while, well follow that link and remind yourself why you love it and if you are a regular there, thank you for being an important part of preserving an icon.

Christopher Warren-Green

Martin James Bartlett

The Royal Philharmonic

The Royal Albert Hall Website

A beginner’s guide to Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ Suite

If you wish to make a donation to support the RAH click here to go to the Support Us page on their website.

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