From timeless, definitive compositions backed by immersive laser displays to pioneering original works inspired by the climate crisis, Manchester’s 2024 classical concert schedule boasts a thrillingly diverse array of live performances from the nation’s most celebrated musicians.

Here are some of the best classical shows around the city this year.

BBC Philharmonic: Tapas and Some French Bon Bons | The Bridgewater Hall | Sat 13 Apr | 7.30pm | £6-£29

A standout fixture in the BBC Philharmonic’s upcoming Manchester schedule, Tapas and Some French Bon Bons offers a soaring celebration of Mediterranean music with a programme of eclectic yet inimitable arrangements, innervating the city with a shot of orchestral sunshine while welcoming world-renowned violinist James Ehnes back onto the Bridgewater Hall stage.

The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3WS
The Hallé: Verdi's Simon Boccanegra | The Bridgewater Hall | Thu 18 Apr | 7pm | £16-£46.50

Led by globally renowned Music Director Sir Mark Elder in one of his last performances, The Hallé delivers a flawless rendition of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra in its original 1857 form, performed in partnership with Opera Rara and the Chorus of Opera North.

Packed with gripping political intrigue, ill-fated love and hollow-eyed revenge, Verdi’s three-act masterpiece revisits his perennial core theme of the bond between a father and daughter with tragic consequences.

The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3WS
Manchester Collective | The Bridgewater Hall | Fri 10 May | 7.30pm | £15-£37

On Fri 10 May, the inimitable Manchester Collective returns to The Bridgewater Hall for another evening of bold, intrepid music featuring a quartet of brand new pieces from four exciting, innovative modern composers.

Rarely heard in UK concert halls, Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel offers an eerie yet stirring dual tribute to the titular Texan chapel and the groundbreaking namesake artist, who took his own life shortly before it opened, before the Collective showcases four emerging composers with a series of innovative works which are so new they are as yet untitled.

The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3WS
Mozart: Made in Manchester | The Stoller Hall | Fri 17 May | 7.30pm | £24.50 - £39.50

Described as ‘energetic Mozart up there with the very best’ in BBC Sounds Magazine‘s 5-star review, Manchester Camerata return to The Stoller Hall with their penultimate entry in the wildly popular Mozart: Made in Manchester series, presented in partnership with Gábor Takács-Nagy and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

The Stoller Hall, Hunts Bank, Manchester M3 1DA
Finale: Sir Mark Elder conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 | The Bridgewater Hall | Fri 31 May | 7.30pm | £16-£46.50

Staged as Sir Mark Elder’s fitting final concert as Music Director of the Hallé, The Bridgewater Hall hosts a ‘musical coup’ featuring a brand new choral work by decorated composer James MacMillan, based on John Dryden’s seminal 1697 poem Alexander’s Feast: Or The Power of Music, followed by Mahler’s tempestuous orchestral odyssey from suffocating tragedy to soaring hope, showcasing the Hallé at the peak of its powers.

The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3WS
The Silent Planet | RNCM | Wed 3 Jul | 7.30pm | From £10

Presented in collaboration with youth-led global climate non-profit organisation, Force of Nature, alongside members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Northern College of Music, award-winning BBC Radio 3 Presenter Delia Stevens and three-time BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year nominee Will Pound première Silent Planet Suite, a brand new double percussion and harmonica/melodeon concerto which offers an enchanting recalibration of Gustav Holst’s inimitable Planets Suite in celebration of his 150th birthday.

Stevens and Pound’s reimagined work includes a movement for the planet Earth – famously left out of Holst’s version for being ‘astrologically insignificant’ – in a joint collaboration with Force of Nature activists to emphasise the need to listen to the demands of our ailing home.

RNCM, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD
The Hallé: Disco Dynamite | The Bridgewater Hall | Sat 27 Jul | 7.30pm | £16-£43

Conducted by Stephen Bell and starring four renowned singers, The Hallé provides a fitting conclusion to its blockbuster Summer Season with a night of iconic disco tunes from genre-defining icons like Sister Sledge, Barry White, Donna Summer and The Jackson 5..

For one night only at The Bridgewater Hall, guests are invited to don their dancing shoes and party under the mirror ball with a memorable programme full of groovy basslines and infectious melodies, as the award-winning orchestra charts a unique history of disco funk with covers including We Are FamilyLe FreakThat’s The Way (I Like It) and many others.

Classical Spectacular | The Bridgewater Hall | Sun 22 Sep | 3pm | £29.50-£49.50

Featuring a programme of definitive works which form the foundation of orchestral music in our collective imagination, the UK’s most popular classical show returns to Manchester with an evening of thrilling spectacle and timeless arrangements at The Bridgewater Hall.

Set to mesmerising lights and immersive laser displays, Classical Spectacular promises to delight enthusiasts and newbies alike with an unforgettable show which includes Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Bizet’s Flower song from Carmen, Debussy’s Clair de Lune and more.

The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3WS
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Thu 11 Apr 2024