London’s long history of the performing arts has led to the creation of many a well known cultural institution. From the millennium born O2 Arena to the historic Old Vic Theatre, London is teeming with stages that combine world class performance and stunning architecture. For guests at the Park Grand London Paddington, one of the closest venues of this ilk is the Royal Albert Hall. With a long history and an intimate relationship to the Victorian era, the Royal Albert Hall is one of the most prominent venues in the city.
Whilst it’s a penchant for classical music may make it seem inaccessible to the outside yee, the venue has a long history of bringing music back to everyday people. With affordable tickets and a vast collage of different events, the Royal Albert Hall attracts spectators of all ages and tastes. Below is a little more information about the venue itself, alongside a rundown of just some of the events you can expect to see there throughout 2020.
History of the Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is located beside Hyde Park and just off of Kensington Row. As an already well-renowned area in London, South Kensington was the perfect place to begin building the prestigious public hall. Once the grounds of Gore House, Prince Albert chose the area of South Kensington on account of the nearby Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, and decided to call the hall Albertopolis. Unfortunately, the Prince and husband of Queen Victoria died in 1861, six years before the hall’s completion.
A memorial to Prince Albert was designed on the edge of Hyde Park and opposite what would become the Royal Albert Hall. This can still be seen today, the gold-tinged statue of the Prince sitting within a Gothic Revival style spire that was designed by George Gilbert Scott, adding yet more beauty to the already stunning hall.
With its early history of popular classical music, the hall became a proponent of providing accessible entertainment through the BBC proms. It even became the site of the Central School of Speech and Drama between 1906 and 1957, which was the training ground for the likes of Vanessa Redgrave, Judi Dench and Laurence Olivier.
Events to watch out for in 2020
Whilst the history of the Hall might be wondrous, the present also proves the halls unique engagement with the arts. This coming year you can expect to find some of the best events in London, bringing together, music performance and age-old London traditions.
Throughout the last half of July, Cirque du Soleil bring their Mexican inspired show Luzia to the Royal Albert Hall. Alongside this is all swinging all-dancing show, you’ll find film screenings and late-night jazz getting the year off to a magical start.
Shlomo Beat Boxing adventure for kids take place on the 17th of February in the Elgar Room and offers youngsters an accessible way to engage with music. If you’re staying at the Park Grand London Kensington with children, this could be a surefire hit for the whole family.
Standouts for March include Steve Martin and Martin Short’s comedy show on the 15th and 16th, as well as electronic musician John Hopkins on the 18th. Alongside this, you can find the Classical Spectacular presented by Raymond Gubbay. This show sees world-class classical musicians perform accessible and exciting music from the 19th to the 22nd.
The Olivier Awards will take place on the 5th of April in the Royal Albert Hall, a fitting venue for such prestigious performance awards. Alongside this, central London hotel special offer guests can watch award-winning singer-songwriter James Blunt on the 7th, the London Choral Society perform the Messiah on 10th of April (Good Friday) and Chinese pop star Jeff Chang on the 28th of April.
The world-famous Royal Philharmonic bring their renditions of film music to the Albert Hall on the 9th of May, whilst the critically acclaimed jazz musician Gregory Porter brings his uplifting jazz to the stage on various dates between the 19th and 23rd.
Prog Rockers Yes take the stage on the 5th of June, whilst Italian singer-songwriter Zucchero performs his hits on the 10th and 11th. June looks truly eclectic in 2020, especially with the addition of the music of Hans Zimmer on the 13th and performances of Swan Lake on the 17th to the 28th.
July – September
July through to September sees some of the best examples of classical music take to the halls on a weekly basis. With the addition of Proms in the Park nearby in Hyde Park, mid-July to late September promises a stunning variety of accessible, exciting concerts spanning everything from pop culture to historical gems. Check out the BBC Proms website for more information on this wonderful, internationally televised season of music.
October 2020 is one of the most exciting times for movie fans to visit the Royal Albert Hall, the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack will be played in full from the 2nd to the 3rd, whilst the 23rd to the 25th will see the soundtrack to Return of the Jedi played live by the in house orchestra. Superman Returns is another gem for October 27th, whilst the Matrix soundtrack will be performed live on the 28th.
November will see the start of the Christmas festivities, many charity choir events bringing Christmas carols to the hall throughout the month in awareness of a variety of different causes. On top of this, music lovers will find renditions of Handel’s Messiah, and for the more contemporary music lover, the music of Katie Melua on Monday 9th.
Though it’s a year away, the lineup of December 2020 is already live and kicking with festive fun. With Big Band seasonal cheer, the Birmingham Ballet Company’s Nutcracker rendition and a whole load more Christmas Carol Concerts, December 2020 at the Royal Albert Hall will be just as spectacular as it is this year.