Classical Music in Manchester and the North

Creative Tourist

With full-scale concerts still unable to take place, Manchester and the north’s ensembles, orchestras and musical institutions are doing all they can to make shifts towards the digital arena. Here we’ll be writing about music events and activities that you can access online, as well as socially-distanced concerts that you can watch in-person.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis. This means that, although venues remain shut and campaigns cancelled, our writers can be reengaged to help arts organisations and artists across the North of England share their online content with our culture-hungry readers.

Be sure to check out our full guide to the best online events from organisations in Manchester and the North too.

Stay well folks.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Psappha: Got Rhythm (3×3) at Hallé St Peter’s

    Chris Payne

    Psappha: Got Rhythm (3×3), online, 10 December 2020, from £5 - Book now

    Psappha’s Got Rhythm features three arresting works for scaled-back ensembles, including Harrison Birtwistle’s typically uncompromising The Axe Manual.

  • 2. Psappha: Music for Sitar (In Focus) at Hallé St Peter’s

    Kabilan Raviraj

    In Focus: Music for Sitar at Hallé St Peter’s, Ancoats, 4 February 2021, from £5 - Book now

    Spotlighting an instrument that usually remains in the concert hall shadows, Psappha invites sitar virtuoso Jasdeep Singh Degun to lead a wonderfully varied programme at Hallé St Peter’s.

  • 3. Psappha: Music for Cimbalom (In Focus) at Hallé St Peter’s


    Psappha: Music for Cimbalom (In Focus) at Hallé St Peter’s, Ancoats, 25 March 2021, from £5 - Book now

    Psappha explores the full range of the lesser-spotted cimbalom with a varied programme that features several world premieres.

  • 4. Psappha: Black Milk at Hallé St Peter’s


    Psappha: Black Milk at Hallé St Peter’s, Ancoats, 29 April 2021, from £5 - Book now

    Black Milk, the penultimate concert in Psappha’s 2020-21 season, features a world premiere by Mark-Anthony Turnage plus two Viennese chamber group classics.

  • 5. Psappha: Music for Accordion (In Focus) at Hallé St Peter’s

    Alejandro Tamagno

    Psappha: Music for Accordion (In Focus) at Hallé St Peter’s, Ancoats, 27 May 2021, from £5 - Book now

    Joining Psappha at Hallé St Peter’s, world-class accordionist Miloš Milivojević guides us through a variety of music written for this unexpectedly versatile instrument.

  • 6. The Bridgewater Hall

    The seats and stage in The Bridgewater Hall

    The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 3WS - Visit now

    Home to the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic orchestras, the Bridgewater Hall attracts some of the biggest names in classical music. Purpose-built to the tune of £42m, the hall was designed around its acoustic needs; it floats on 280 earthquake-proof isolations springs that mute all external noise, perfect for shielding around 250 performances a year from the trams outside.

  • 7. Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM)


    Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9RD - Visit now

    The Royal Northern College of Music is both a music venue and an academic institution training up some of the country’s finest music students.

  • 8. The Stoller Hall

    Image by Chris Horkan

    The Stoller Hall, Hunts Bank, Manchester, M3 1DA - Visit now

    Manchester’s new kid on the concert hall block, the Stoller Hall, opened its doors in April 2017 to further enhance the city’s already enviable live music provision.

  • 9. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

    Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hope Street , Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 9BP - Visit now

    The 1930s Art Deco Philharmonic Hall, home to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, gives no hint of the sensuous curves of the auditorium inside from its hard exterior.

  • 10. Hallé St Peter’s

    Image of Halle St Peters from across Cutting Room Square in Ancoats, Manchester.
    Ben Williams

    Hallé St Peter’s, 40 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 6BF - Visit now

    Hallé St Peter’s is a deconsecrated Grade-II listed church, once a theatre prop store, then a knitting factory, before being restored and becoming home to the Hallé orchestra.

  • 11. Albert Hall

    Albert Hall on Peter street Manchester
    Image courtesy the Albert Hall.

    Albert Hall, 27 Peter Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 5QR - Visit now

    Manchester’s Albert Hall is an astounding Wesleyan Chapel turned live music venue, regularly hosting classical concerts.

  • 12. Manchester Cathedral

    Manchester Cathedral. Illustration by Simone Ridyard.

    Manchester Cathedral, Victoria Street, Manchester, M3 1SX - Visit now

    Manchester Cathedral dates back to at least the 1400s and has been rebuilt many times. In current, striking form, it’s still a place of worship, but also host to regular gigs and events.

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Amazon with HOME
Music Until 31 December 2020,

Amazon with HOME

Created by composer Alex Ho and theatre-maker Elayce Ismail, this stunning fusion of music, text and visuals sees a trip to the Amazon take an unexpected turn.

Threat to Breath with HOME
Music Until 31 December 2020,

Threat to Breath with HOME

A brand new commission for Homemakers, Threat to Breath is a sound piece to listen to at home, on your own or with others.

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum
Exhibitions Until 10 January 2021, from £5

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum – Postponed

Use Hearing Protection tells the story of Factory Records’ formative years from 1978-1982, when the label made waves with its innovative work in music, technology and design.

world of music choir
Activity Until 15 December 2020,

World of Music Choir (Autumn 2020)

Join the World of Music Choir to learn a mixture of traditional and modern tunes. With no previous experience necessary and an ethos of no judgement, it’s the most friendly introduction to group singing you could wish for.

Classical Music Until 27 May 2021, FREE

Psappha 2020/21 Concert Season

Psappha’s 2020–21 season explores the sharpest and smartest sounds in contemporary classical music, presented in concert and streamed online for free.

My First Protest Song online with the People's History Museum
Families Until 3 December 2020, FREE

My First Protest Song Online with the People’s History Museum

My First Protest Song goes online. Round up the family and join Matt Hill for this live-streamed event full of toe-tapping tunes.

couch to chorus
Activity Until 14 December 2020, FREE

From Couch to Chorus: the Festive Edition

Learn to sing opera classics alongside the chorus of Opera North, without having step outside your front door, in the festive edition of Couch to Chorus.

Classical Music 3 December 2020–25 March 2021,

The Hallé Winter Season 2020/21

The Hallé return to the stage for a streamed Winter Season packed with world premieres, Manchester originals, the familiar and the new.

Music 3 December 2020–3 March 2021, from £5

The Hallé – Fanfare for the Hallé

The first concert in the Hallé’s Winter Season sees Sir Mark Elder conduct two glorious Romantic works plus a world premiere by Huw Watkins.

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