This weekend, the Hallé-led Manchester Classical festival gathers the city’s esteemed musical organisations for a breathtaking celebration of classical music for new audiences across the city. As well as an unmissable schedule of orchestral performances, the festival features an incredible selection of free concerts, creative family sessions and sumptuous street food.

Throughout the weekend, various areas in and around The Bridgewater Hall host a wide range of irresistible food and drink options, including a noodle bar, carvery van and confectionery van in Barbirolli Square, an array of hearty salads and sandwiches on the Circle level, indulgent cakes on the ground floor and even a prosecco and champagne bar.

On Sat 24 Jun, families with children in Key Stage 1 and 2 can try out a range of instruments including cello and trombone, as well as a variety of musical games, with a drop-in ‘Music Makers’ session in the Circle Foyer from 10.30am-12.30pm, while the RNCM Olias Saxophone Quartet play a selection of Chick Corea Children’s Songs as part of a free performance in the Stalls Foyer from 12pm-12.45pm.

Throughout the day, an array of sparkling global talent introduces audiences to contemporary and traditional sounds from around the world. Taking place in the Barbirolli Room at 3pm, the Bharatiya Vrund Gaan Indian Adult Choir presents a selection of authentic songs, popular group songs, raga based Tarana, Vedic chants & hymns, famous poetry and songs of the seasons with Colours of India, composed and artistically led by Manchester’s own Rakesh Joshi.

Bharatiya Vrund Gaan Indian Adult Choir

At 5.45pm, the world music fusion collective RNCM K’in Ensemble take over the Stalls Foyer with a set of thrillingly unique compositions influenced by the rhythms and musical inflections of non-Western genres such as Flamenco Afro Beat, Latin American and Middle Eastern. From 8.30pm in the Barbirolli Room, Rakesh Joshi returns to round off the day’s free festivities with an uplifting evening of raga, folk and vibrant summer tunes.

At 10am on Sun 25 Jun, the RNCM M15 Brass Quintet kick off proceedings with their chosen programme for the finals for the 2023 International Phillip Jones Brass Quintet Competition, with pieces from Franz Liszt, Engelbert Humperdinck, Edward Gregson and others, before Live Music Now host ‘Be Hear Now’, a fun, engaging creative session for SEND children in the Circle Foyer at 11am and 2pm.

At 12pm, the Hallé Youth Training Choir bring a light yet spirited programme to the Barbirolli Room with a selection of mood-boosting songs performed by a group of gifted 13-15 year-old singers, before they make way for a relaxed, joyous concert from the Hallé Ancoats Community Choir at 3.30pm. At 4.45pm in the Circle Foyer, the Bassically Quartet round off the wondrously diverse free events programme with an exploration of the double bass at its spectral extremes, from the very low bass lines to the virtuosic and soloistic passages in the higher registers.

From 10am-5pm on both days of Manchester Classical, children in Key Stages 1 and 2 can head to the Circle Foyer for ‘Get Creative’, where they can pick up a free colouring-in sheet and learn more about the history of the Hallé as part of the Ancoats: the Hallé Story project.

This week, the Hallé unveiled Kahchun Wong as its newest Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for the 2024-25 season. Ahead of his debut next year, Wong conducts Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition on Saturday at 7pm. For the chance to see him in action, grab a ticket for just £10 (£2 for under-16s).

Kahchun Wong

For more information on Manchester Classical and the full weekend programme, head to their website.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Sat 24 Jun - Sun 25 Jun, The Bridgewater Hall,
Lower Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3WS
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Wed 21 Jun 2023