A full and exciting programme is on offer

Classical music has long been a feature of the programme on offer at Portsmouth Guildhall and now the South’s leading Concert Hall is delighted to present a greatly expanded programme of works that will see a wide range of new and contemporary artists, ensembles and orchestras welcomed to the city for the very first time.

The Classical Series 2023/24, which will run from October – May, will present the finest in classical music with much to choose from for seasoned classicalists, those who are looking to discover something edgy and new, those who enjoy the music of the big screen and for those who are completely new to the thrilling world of classical music!

View our latest Classical Brochure:

Exciting, new works to be explored include:

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – Baroquebusters
The trail-blazing ensemble renowned for doing things a little differently, will present classic hits from the hottest composers of the 18th Century. Tunes that you will certainly know and love from the radio, adverts, soundtracks or remixed as pop songs, you will hear the stories behind some of the best-loved pieces of our era including, The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Air on a G String, Well-Tempered Clavier and many more.

Baroque Busters

The Spectacular Music of Harry Potter
A spellbinding concert featuring the music of the Harry Potter films performed by the sensational International Film Orchestra. A truly fabulous concert for all the family.

A Celebration of Opera with London Festival Opera
A programme of passion, drama and humour. Superb singing, an instrumental chamber ensemble, sumptuous costumes and an elegant set combine to make this a performance not to be missed by opera lovers and newcomers alike.

Philip Blake-Jones of London Festival Opera said, We are thrilled to be making our debut at Portsmouth Guildhall. Our performance brings together established artists from the major companies, including the Royal Opera, English National Opera and Glyndebourne, with exceptional young singers.”

London Sinfonietta
One of the world’s finest contemporary ensembles with a reputation built on cutting-edge programming and virtuosic performances performs an exciting programme of minimalist works.

Sounds of Now – Music in the Round
In an exciting, new addition for this year alongside their Portsmouth Chamber Music programme, Music in the Round will also introduce a Sounds of Now series of concerts. A platform for musicians creating and exploring the most artistic ideas today – nurturing talent, inspiring new thinking and provoking debate.

Classical Music Consultant for Portsmouth Guildhall, Colin Jagger said “It is very exciting to see this expansion of the Chamber Music offer with this completely new look series. If you’re not quite sure what this is about, it’s almost certainly got something for you, so why not give it a try?”

About the Guildhall’s inaugural Classical Series, Chief Executive Officer for Portsmouth Guildhall, Andy Grays, said “Classical music is core to the programming of Concert Halls, and as the leading Concert Hall for the South Coast we wanted to invest and provide a wider offer that would appeal to everyone whether they are an afficionado or completely new to the genre. So much of our music today comes from or is remixed from the classics and with film music often the soundtrack to our lives, we want to break down perceptions and invite people to come and explore the range of different concerts on offer!”

Having performed the first concert at Portsmouth Guildhall following the re-opening of the venue by HM The Queen in 1959, it is a special and long-standing relationship between the venue and the renowned Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra who will present a scintillating series of live symphonic concerts performed by internationally acclaimed musicians featuring the music of Mozart, Mahler, Brahms, Smetana, Bruckner, Gliere, Borodin and Vaughan Williams.

You will also not want to miss BSO’s series of Popular Classics; Symphonic Space which will feature the greatest galactic classics written for the big screen, a Classic FM Hall of Fame featuring some of the most instantly recognisable works in classical music and the ultimate Christmas cracker, Last Night of the Christmas Proms.

BSO Chief Executive, Dougie Scarfe, said “We are delighted to be returning to the Guildhall, the BSO’s home in Portsmouth since the reopening of the Concert Hall in 1959. Portsmouth remains an important part of the BSO’s remit to enhance lives through music and as well as our main season concerts, we are looking forward to performing our free Key Stage 2 schools’ concert in early 2024.”

Portsmouth Chamber Music presented by Music in the Round, which has been established in the city for 20 years, will also return with an exciting series of intimate concerts where you can experience world-class musicians perform just a few metres away.

The award-winning and highly regarded Ensemble 360, Leonkoro Quartet, Trio Gaspard, Consone Quartet and Gould Piano Trio will wow with dramatic, graceful and eclectic programmes of the works of Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Dvorak and Mendelssohn to name just a few, with a post-show Q&A after every concert.

Edward Mackay, Head of Programmes for Music in the Round said, “We are so excited about our partnership with Portsmouth Guildhall and delighted to be offering a substantially expanded range of concerts in the coming year of some of the most exciting international chamber musicians, a schools programme of storybook concerts and ‘Close Up’ concerts which explore real chamber music in a dynamic way and our intriguing new ‘Sounds of Now’ series which expands the boundaries of chamber music. We are thrilled that the breadth of chamber music for all ages is represented for audiences in Portsmouth, who are always deeply engaged and keen to explore more.”

As part of The Classical Series, a special programme of concerts and workshops for schools will also be delivered. Head of Learning & Participation for the Guildhall, Hayley Reay, said, ”We strive to inspire, educate and engage all in our community and to develop a passion for music – it is so important that young people are introduced to the world of classical music and have the chance to experience a live orchestra in concert”.

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