Wigmore Hall Medal awarded to Dame Felicity Lott

John Gilhooly, Director of Wigmore Hall, today announced the artistic programme for the Hall’s celebratory 110th anniversary season at a special launch event in the presence of HRH The Duke of Kent, KG.

Artists appearing during the 2010/11 Season (September 2010 – July 2011) include Daniel Barenboim, Martha Argerich and Stephen Kovacevich, Cecilia Bartoli, Diana Damrau, Jonas Kaufmann, Jordi Savall (and Hespèrion XXI), András Schiff, Philippe Jaroussky, Maria João Pires, Andreas Scholl, the Takács Quartet, Thomas Hampson, Dame Mitsuko Uchida, Susan Graham and Karita Mattila, who will open the season. Alfred Brendel will present a lecture-recital series throughout the season.

Two special anniversary galas will be held on 31st May and 1st June 2011, the actual dates of the Bechstein (now Wigmore) Hall’s inaugural concerts in 1901. Artists appearing in these Gala Concerts include the Takács Quartet, Stephen Hough, Steven Isserlis, Joshua Bell, Tabea Zimmermann and Jeremy Denk. Contemporary music celebrations include a focus on the Australian composer Brett Dean and new works by Mark-Anthony Turnage and Dai Fujikura. Italian pianist Marino Formenti will give his Wigmore Hall debut in a programme entitled ‘Kurtag’s Ghosts’. The New York based Jack Quartet, a string quartet dedicated to the performance of new music, will also give their London debut, closing the anniversary season in July.

During November of 2010 the Risør Festival of Chamber Music will visit the Hall for four concerts including Leif Ove Andsnes, Marc-André Hamelin, Henning Kraggerud, Lars Anders Tomter, Torleif Thedéen, Martin Fröst, Measha Brueggergosman and the Risor Festival Strings. The autumn of 2010 will also feature a special focus on Robert Schumann (celebrating the bicentenary of his birth) with a special emphasis on songs composed during his annus mirabilis of 1840. The Florestan Trio will perform Schumann’s Piano Trios and his quartets will be performed by the Elias, Vogler and Doric Quartets, who will each take one work.

John Gilhooly said, “It has been a great pleasure and a privilege for me to put this 110th anniversary programme together – my fifth as Artistic Director and my tenth as a member of staff, having initially joined the Hall as Executive Director in the run up to our centenary in 2001.”

“The Hall has achieved much over the past 10 years,” he continued, “and I see this anniversary programme very much as a tribute to all of those who have helped us to achieve so much over the past decade. In 2004 we were able to refurbish the Hall for £4m, in 2005 we launched our critically acclaimed record label, Wigmore Hall Live, and in 2006 we acquired a long-term lease of 250 years (for £3.1m). Since 2005, when we sold some 110,000 tickets a year, we have now grown our annual audience to over 170,000 attendances. We have expanded our programme in traditional and new directions, with record-breaking audiences season after season”, said Mr. Gilhooly. The full brochure for the anniversary season will be published in April.

The Launch Event also marked the presentation of The Wigmore Hall Medal to Dame Felicity Lott. The medal, awarded at the discretion of the Director of Wigmore Hall, is occasionally presented to internationally important artistic figures in recognition of their significant contribution to Wigmore Hall. The medal was introduced in 2006 and the two previous recipients are Matthias Goerne and András Schiff.

In the citation John Gilhooly praised Dame Felicity’s “unique contribution to Wigmore Hall and her contribution to the advancement of the song recital as a concert-going experience throughout the world.”

“This afternoon, Dame Felicity, some 35 years since you first set foot upon this platform, we salute you for all that you have achieved.” The medal was presented by HRH The Duke of Kent KG.


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