Although there will be no audience present, throughout June Wigmore Hall concerts will be broadcast live and daily on BBC Radio 3, where the venue's live Monday lunch-time recitals were a much-respected fixture until lockdown.
Pianists Stephen Hough, who opens the season on Monday 1 June, Benjamin Grosvenor, Imogen Cooper, Pavel Kolesnikov and Angela Hewitt are among artists taking to the Steinway grand for an hour's piano music. Wide-ranging in their tastes, we can expect passionate romantic pieces, tender Mozart and uplifting Bach.
'We're back': London-based pianist Stephen Hough opens the new concert season at Wigmore Hall. Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke
The season concludes on Friday 26 June with a performance of Schubert's soul-searching journey in song, Die Winterreise, performed by tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Mitsuko Uchida.
Concerts will be introduced by a BBC presenter in the hall, whose job it will be to re-create something of the expectant atmosphere of the live concert. Fans of Wigmore Hall will readily picture the music-inspired mosaic that dominates the stage loved by world-class artists.
Baritone Roderick Williams will perform live in June
So many international concert artists make their home in London, that organisers are expecting several to walk or cycle to the gig.
'When we shut the hall on 16 March we made sure to leave the piano on the stage, and the camera and audio equipment – all of which can be operated remotely – in one place,' explains Wigmore Hall artistic director John Gilhooly.
The semi-circular stage's two doors will come in handy – artists working together will be able to make separate entrances.
Chamber music is the likely way forward for live music-making in London in the early stages of easing the lockdown, while reassembling whole orchestras and opera companies looks to be some months off.
Wigmore Hall, with its music-themed mosaic, is the capital's leading chamber music venue. Photo: Kaupo Kikkas
The arts, he pointed out in a BBC interview, are worth £8.5bn annually to the UK. This is not only a glimmer of hope music-lovers, but for the economy too.
'There is no substitute for hearing music live,' says Stephen Hough, who is one of the busiest artists on the international circuit. 'This may only be a poking of a head above the parapet for now, but it's a clear sign that we're back.'
BBC Radio 3 lunchtime recitals are daily, Monday to Friday, at 1pm. Click here for more details
|What||Live concerts resume at Wigmore Hall|
|Where||Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2BP | MAP|
01 Jun 20 – 26 Jun 20, 20 recitals broadcast live on BBC Radio 3
|Website||Click here for more information|