The Bridgewater Hall. Photo: Joel Chester Fildes.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

Creative Tourist

Across Manchester and the North, classical music is thriving. There are a number of venues whose classical offering rivals that of any in the country. To name a few, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, The Stoller Hall and the Royal Northern College of Music play host to hundreds of wonderful concerts each year. Also featuring opera and jazz, their programmes draw in a wide range of listeners.

Performing over 100 concerts a year for broadcast on BBC Radio 3, The BBC Philharmonic is a tour de force across Manchester and its neighbouring cities. Equally, The Hallé ranks among the UK’s top symphonic ensembles. Famed for its innovation, Manchester Camerata’s orchestra also celebrates a spectrum of music, and its smaller ensemble pops up in venues ranging from care homes to Northern Quarter bars.

Speaking of smaller ensembles, Manchester Collective is an electrifying new addition to the UK music scene, offering intimate and immersive concerts which aim to break down the barrier between performers and audience. In 2017 they were named The Stoller Hall’s ‘Ensemble in Residence’. Equally adventurous, Psappha is a music ensemble specialising in the performance of works by living composers. They are committed to showcasing the best in contemporary classical music.

Read about all of this and much more in the guide below, in which we preview upcoming events that promise to inspire. Also covering opera and jazz, this guide aims to showcase the very best in classical music in the north.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Buxton International Festival 2019

    Buxton International Festival

    Buxton International Festival 2019 at Buxton Opera House, 5–21 July 2019, from £12 - Book now

    One of the UK’s leading arts events, Buxton International Festival is a  summertime celebration of opera, music and books. This year’s highlights include the world premiere of a specially-commissioned opera pasticcio, a concert by enchanting vocal group Voces8, and a talk by Nobel Prize-winner Sir Venki Ramakrishnan which will resolve an ancient mystery at the heart of life itself.

  • 2. 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.

  • 3. 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.

  • 4. 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.

  • 5. 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.

  • 6. 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.

  • 7. 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.

  • 8. 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.