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Saturday, July 2, 2022

London’s Wigmore Hall Streams Its Concerts. But at what Cost?

I’m a chamber music fan, and my three favorite places to hear such music are Wigmore Hall in London, Bargemusic in Brooklyn (a floating old coffee barge), and the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress in D.C. Plus three good venues in Seattle: Nordstrom Recital Hall, Town Hall, and Meany Center at U.W. Speaking of Wigmore, here are interesting cost figures for streamed concerts (free and wonderful), and how the money is flowing in for the broadcast fund. 

John Gilhooly, who runs Wigmore, notes these streamed concerts cost about 3,000 pounds to produce, not counting full artist fees, and that this scheme is far from a sustainable model for this musical mecca, which now has only one-seventh its usual income. One of the delights of Wigmore is the Sunday concert with mimosas, 11 am, and shortened to 75 minutes. Nice if someone imported that model to Seattle, though I still think the best time for classical chamber music is Sunday at 4 pm.

David Brewster
David Brewster
David Brewster, a founding member of Post Alley, has a long career in publishing, having founded Seattle Weekly, Sasquatch Books, and Crosscut.com. His civic ventures have been Town Hall Seattle and FolioSeattle.

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