Live Music Exchange Resources

The Modernisation of London Concert Life Around 1900 – Simon McVeigh and Cyril Ehrlich (2002)


Author(s): Simon McVeigh and Cyril Ehrlich
Organisation / Affiliation / Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Source: Academic
Date: 2002

in The Business of Music (Michael Talbot, ed.)

In the 35 years before the First World War, the concert industry in Europe and America underwent profound change, from a culture of near dearth to one of modern profusion. The patterns that emerged were to affect composers, performers, concert-goers and the packaging of musical events, within a truly international context, for most of the twentieth century. London was at the heart of this change, whose first evidence was a meteoric rise in the public demand for music entertainment but whose ultimate outcome, oversupply, led to a glut in concert provision. What happened in between – the drive to create orchestras, shape programmes, finance seasons, attract and train audiences – is the subject of the project. The research is particularly focussed on the decade around 1900, during which period the Queen’s Hall and the Bechstein (later Wigmore) Hall were established as London’s premier venues, enabling a year-round schedule of high-class orchestral and chamber concerts (including the summer Proms) for the first time.

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