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Manchester Classical Festival: a weekend of breathtaking music, food, and crafts

Manchester is set to come alive with the sound of classical music on the 24th and 25th of June 2023, as the city's top classical organisations come together for the Manchester Classical Festival weekend.

The festival promises to be a huge celebration of the city’s amazing musical heritage and will take place over an action-packed 48 hours at The Bridgewater Hall.

Featuring the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Manchester Collective, and a host of other stellar artists, who will come together for a breathtaking weekend of music, food, crafts, and free foyer entertainment, all in and around The Bridgewater Hall.

There will be hour-long concerts throughout the weekend on the main stage featuring dazzling orchestral music from iconic symphonic works to hypnotic minimalist masterpieces.

It promises to be an unmissable event.

If you’ve never experienced the power of orchestral music or visited The Bridgewater Hall before, then this will be the perfect opportunity for you to experience something new and exciting.

Free performances will take place in the foyers and The Barbirolli Room from groundbreaking groups including Psappha, the Hallé choirs, and students from the RNCM.

The festival’s confirmed lineup so far includes some exciting performances.

On Saturday, the Hallé will be performing a Victoria Wood celebration for families and the young at heart, featuring the Hallé Children’s Choir and special family arrangements of Victoria Wood songs.

The BBC Philharmonic will perform a lunchtime concert showcasing Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, while Manchester Collective will merge contemporary and classical sound worlds with a concert for small ensembles, the highlight being Steve Reich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet set to visual projections.

Other notable performances include the Hallé teaming up with star saxophonist Jess Gilliam, who will perform John Harle’s Briggflatts followed by Mussorgsky’s famous Pictures At An Exhibition.

Manchester Camerata and violinist Daniel Pioro will also perform a late-night concert, beginning with a sonic meditation for orchestra alongside two newly orchestrated works from Pioro’s recently released album, Saint Boy.

On Sunday, the BBC Philharmonic will open the second day with a performance including Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances and Dawson’s Folk Symphony (The Bonds of Africa).

The Hallé will bring the weekend to a close with a performance of Stravinsky’s riotous ballet score The Rite of Spring, which caused a riot at its premiere.

David Butcher, Chief Executive of the Hallé, expressed his excitement about the festival, saying, “Manchester Classical is a unique event bringing together Manchester’s world-class orchestras for the first time in a packed festival of concerts and events across the weekend of 24 and 25 June.

“The Bridgewater Hall opens its doors on both days with main stage concerts, foyer shows, food, and drink. We hope audiences across the North West and further afield will come to experience and celebrate the power of orchestral music and Manchester’s unique offer.”

Andrew Bolt, Chief Executive of The Bridgewater Hall, echoed Butcher’s sentiments, adding, “I am delighted that the Hall through the support of ASM Global will take a central role in support of so many of Manchester and Salford’s world-class ensembles and artists in hosting this inclusive initiative, and I look forward to this being the first of an ongoing and developing city-wide festival introducing the exciting world of classical music in all its forms to the people of Greater Manchester.”

With so many talented musicians and exciting performances lined up, Manchester Classical promises to be a fantastic weekend for anyone with a love of classical music, or simply a desire to experience something new and exciting.

Tickets are available now.

Tickets for individual performances can be purchased for £10 or £2 (under 16s)

Day and weekend tickets will also be available.

You can grab your tickets now by clicking here.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this incredible celebration of Manchester’s rich musical heritage.

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