THE CADOGAN HALL: Arguably, the best live music venue in London; and probably beyond too!

Tony Andrews (contributing editor: Jazz) writes:

If, like me you enjoy listening to a wide range of live music then it is not unusual to find that one venue can become very important in your life. During the many years I have been searching for that perfect venue, I never thought I would find it by attending a free lunchtime Jazz Concert. However, that’s exactly what happened.

I can't remember how or why but I attended the Out To Lunch series of free concerts at Cadogan Hall, just off Sloane Square in Chelsea around 7 years ago and I fell in love with both the venue and the series of events.

Cadogan Hall was originally opened in1907 as a New Christian Science Church and the design by Robert Fellowes Chisholm was then - and still is - a true work of art. In the heyday of this religious movement a congregation of 1400 was not uncommon. As the years passed, this dropped until a much smaller venue was found in 1996.

This fabulous building laid empty until in 2000 when Cadogan Estates bought the building to prevent the structure falling in to disrepair. After substantial renovations had taken place, Cadogan Hall reopened in 2004 as a Concert Hall of outstanding quality.

The windows are especially of interest and were designed by Danish Nobleman Baron Arild Rosenkrantz who learnt his craft whilst working for Tiffany in New York. These feature highly within the overall beauty of this outstanding piece of architecture. The Main Auditorium is not just functional but stunning visually. Acoustically it’s as good as it gets anywhere in the UK and very probably further afield too.

I can talk about the beauty of this Concert Hall for hours but the best way to appreciate this is to attend a Concert and experience this for yourself.

Returning to how I discovered this gem, it was via The Out To Lunch series of Jazz Concerts.

The 2017 season starts in June and the full list of concerts will be added here shortly. Be warned …. Out To Lunch is free and this means that these can be very well attended. Seating in the smaller Culford Room of Cadogan Hall is limited so get there early if you do not want to stand.

Many of the audience prefer to stand and mingle. It’s friendly; happily convivial and I am in no doubt that friendships have been struck merely through spotting those who have attended previously and who share the love of good music, superbly performed in truly magnificent surroundings.

You’ll experience two hours of top class musicianship, sufficient to lift your spirits. Obviously as it is “Out To Lunch,” food and beverages are available at sensible prices. Food and music experienced at the same time. It’s wonderful!

Whist you are enjoying your visit, pick up a What's On leaflet and book for some of the fantastic concerts in The Main Auditorium.

From Monday 17th July, The BBC Proms Lunchtime Concerts Season starts with a Concert every Monday until 4th September. The Tickets for these Concerts sell out very quickly but …. do not despair; Day Tickets are available on the day. Note though that for these you’ll need to be comfortable with early morning queuing.

The benefit of getting up early is that you can get a maximum of two tickets per person for £6 per ticket. It is a very sociable to queue and you meet some very interesting people. Rebecca Stewart who is the brains behind Out To Lunch and all the Concerts at Cadogan Hall has been known to stop for a chat to the queue. A lovely experience because, quite simply, is delightful to chat with.

The two gorgeous Ladies in The Doorway at Cadogan Hall are Rebecca Stewart who is The Concerts Manager on the right and Helen Warner on the left who is Marketing Executive

In these cynical days, the phrase “There is no such thing as a Free Lunch” becomes ever more applicable. However, OTL music concerts are totally free. I always look forward to OTL as indeed the regular attendees do.

In summary then, a great venue, a friendly audience who very likely will love the same music as you do in a terrifically inspiring venue, free to all and any and without having to confront rush hour travel issue. Plus great food at reasonable prices and the possibility of an informal chat with the ever-delightful Rebecca.

Come along and be amazed. Happiness is guaranteed; no doubt about it.

T. A

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