You may have noticed a surprising new trend springing up in the classical music world. The new way to sit through a concert is with a pint in your hand and your shoes sticking to the floor, with an increasing number of performers keen to put Beethoven through his paces at nightclubs more used to mosh pits than Mendelssohn. Here are four of the best classical music nightclubs around.
1) Nonclassical, London
Founded by Gabriel Prokofiev in 2003, Nonclassical prides itself on inviting “innovative and virtuosic” classical musicians to come and play at the Macbeth in Hoxton, East London. Groups play through the venue’s PA, alcohol abounds and DJs play throughout the night – so it’s not quite your average classical concert at the Wigmore Hall. Artists to have taken to the stage include Tansy Davies, the Juice Voice Ensemble, the Elysian Quartet and the Azalea Ensemble.
Nonclassical says: “Even the most sceptical visitors to the club can’t help but be stimulated by being so close to the high-quality musicianship presented. Classical music can be part of everyone’s lives and this night is part of rediscovering its relevance.”
2) Limelight, London
Limelight at the 100 Club was established in 2009, dedicated to hosting live classical music in a true-blue rock ‘n’ roll setting. The entertainment is all programmed by a classically-trained musician who now puts together European tours for artists and orchestras on behalf of a global management company – so you know you’re in good hands. Thus far, the likes of Danielle De Niese, Milos Karadaglic, Emily Andrews, 2CELLOS and The Bozza Ensemble have come to the 100 Club to play.
Limelight says: “We present live classical music in a rock ‘n’ roll setting, throwing light on both new and established artists. Our regular events take place at the 100 Club, with grand piano, café tables and bar.”
3) The Night Shift, London
Organised by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Night Shift, which takes place between four and five times a year, is one of the coolest, most relaxed ways to experience classical music in the UK right now. The typical format includes an hour-long classical concert as the main event, flanked by DJs and other live performances. Concerts have taken place at the Roundhouse, the Southbank Centre and Village Underground, with a series of pub gigs taking place this year.
The Night Shift says: “The Night Shift is a unique classical night, brought to you by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Running since 2006, it puts great classical music in a different context – late-night, laid-back and contemporary.”
4) Classical Revolution, global
Classical Revolution was started in 2006 in the Mission District of San Francisco by a group of visionaries dedicated to bringing chamber music to a new group of people. Since its inception, the Classical Revolution has gone global, with almost 30 active chapters in cities in Europe, Canada and the US. You can catch artists outside the regular concert halls in Manchester, London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and all over North America.
Classical revolution says: “In the past five years, we’ve presented over 700 chamber music events in more than 90 Bay Area venues, with the goal of bringing live chamber music to our neighbourhoods, making it an open, accessible, and fun musical experience for the community.”
What do you think? Should classical music be taken out of the concert hall and into nightclubs?
- 4 of the best: Weird classical music venues (2mfblog.wordpress.com)
- Classical music should be about more than elite parties and private schools (newstatesman.com)
- The death of the concert hall (newstatesman.com)
- The pernicious rise of “indie-classical” – New Statesman (newstatesman.com)
- The Best Classical Music Moments In Blockbusters (huffingtonpost.com)