Barbican HallKings PlaceFestival Hall


Celia BallantyneVisits to classical concerts, with the occasional foray into jazz and world, in various London venues.

Group Coordinator: Celia Ballantyne (click to contact)

Our visits are on an ad hoc basis, depending on what's on.

London concert halls and churches.

We go to a wide variety of concerts including orchestral, choral, chamber, vocal, recital and big band. Suggestions are always welcome. Concerts might be late morning, lunchtime or evening and are in a variety of venues. Wherever possible ticket prices are very reasonable and chosen with the acoustics and sightlines of the venue in mind. Some concerts are free.

The way it works is that the Group Coordinator identifies a concert to visit, and notifies members on her mailing list. Those expressing interest then receive all relevant information, including guidance on which row to buy tickets in, and then they buy their own tickets.

All iU3A members are entitled to be on the mailing list to receive information and to join visits if they wish. To join the mailing list, click here

Our Next Concert Visits
Saturday 16 February, King’s Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG, 7.30pmKings Place
Our last jazz outing to King’s Place was very successful and I’m hoping to repeat the experience by suggesting that we go and hear Ivo Neame, an artist introduced to me about 10 years ago by the dynamic young man who runs Edition Records. The tickets are general admission and I can tell you that Ivo Neame’s recordings are fantastic! Details here. Directions here.


Friday 1 March,
LSO St Luke’s, 161 Old Street, EC1V 9NG, 1.00pmLSO St Luke's
British soprano Carolyn Sampson is absolutely at the height of her powers now and with her long-time pianist Joseph Middleton presents a programme of French chansons being recorded for future broadcast by BBC Radio 3 in the beautiful surroundings of this Hawksmoor church. Tickets are only £12 and seating is unallocated. Details here.  Directions here.


Wednesday 10 April,
Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX,Festival Hall 7.30pm
This moderately priced offering of Debussy, Saint-Saëns and Ravel is described by the Southbank as ‘pure sunshine’. The soloist is the wonderfully musical pianist, Stephen Hough and the Southbank’s resident orchestra, the London Philharmonic are conducted by Edward Gardner. Details here. Directions here.

Thursday 23 May,
King’s Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG, 7.30pmKings Place 1
I have it on good authority that the Southbank Sinfonia are really worth hearing and their programme of Britten, Lutoslawski, Bacewicz, Gorecki and Grieg will surely test their mettle. Balcony seats are already sold out (unfortunately so have all the saver tickets). Incidentally, if you book for both the King’s Place concerts you’ll only be charged once for the booking fee and there’s no fee if you buy at the venue. Details here. Directions here.

Friday 7 June,
LSO St Luke’s, 161 Old Street, EC1V 9NG, 1.00pmLSO St. Luke's
Something of a Czech-fest awaits us in Jerwood Hall as we hear the LSO Wind Ensemble in a Radio 3 lunchtime concert. This programme, which takes roughly an hour, features Janáček’s Mládí and Dvořák’s Serenade. As ever, tickets are £12 and unallocated. Details here. Directions here.

Previous Concert Visits
So far we have heard:

- Young Korean violinist Hyeyoon Park and her accompanist Sholto Kynoch in a superb recital of Szymanowski and Beethoven in a very welcome Sunday morning coffee concert at Wigmore Hall.
- The young choristers of New College, Oxford in a programme of Advent and Christmas music specifically devised by their chorus master to reflect the musical fare heard at the College.
- The highly impressive UK debut of Amir ElSaffar's Rivers of Sound on the opening night of the London Jazz Festival offering a fascinating fusion of world and jazz vibes.
- An extremely lively rendition of George Gershwin's 'An American in Paris' as part of the London Philharmonic Orchestra's  French Fancies concert, brilliantly conducted by Enrique Mazzola.
- Verdi's mighty Requiem sung and played with gusto by the students at the Guildhall School of Music, given the opportunity to perform at the Barbican Centre.
- The superb Jacob Kirckman harpsichord housed in another new venue for us, the Handel House in Brook Street.
- The prodigiously talented pupils of The Purcell School playing chamber works by Mendelssohn, Villa-Lobos and Ravel in St James's, Piccadilly
- Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski in a thrilling recital of Grieg, Mendelssohn and Rimsky-Korsakov.
- Cellist Steven Isserlis in Elgar's seminal Cello Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, topped and tailed with Britten's Four Sea Interludes and Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances.
- The BBC Singers in a highly unusual programme of choral works by Debussy and Pizzetti at LSO St Luke's.
- An all-Handel concert celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
- A delightful lunchtime programme of Schumann and Mendelssohn from the highly talented Amatis Piano Trio.
- Highly unusual Christmas music, both ancient and modern, superbly sung by the Choir of Merton College Oxford in Temple Church.

For a record of what we've been to earlier have a look in our archive here.

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