Wigmore Hall is a leading international recital venue that specialises in hosting performances of chamber music and is best known for classical recitals of piano, song and instrumental music. It is located at 36 Wigmore Street, London, UK and was built to provide London with a venue that was both grandly impressive yet intimate enough for recitals of chamber music.
With near perfect acoustics, the Hall became quickly celebrated across Europe, acquiring almost legendary attraction for the greatest artists of the 20th century. Today the Hall promotes some 400 concerts a year and broadcasts a weekly concert on BBC Radio 3 attracting an audience of several hundred thousand listeners as well as a worldwide internet audience. The Hall also promotes an extensive education programme throughout London and beyond.
Originally named the Bechstein Hall, it was built between 1899 and 1901 by C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik, the German piano manufacturer whose showroom was next door. The hall was designed by Thomas Edward Collcutt, who also designed the Savoy Hotel on The Strand. Similar concert halls were also built by Bechstein in Saint Petersburg and Paris.
The "Bechstein Hall" opened on 31 May 1901 with a concert featuring the virtuoso pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni and violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. During its early period, the Hall attracted great artists like Artur Schnabel, Pablo Sarasate, Percy Grainger, Myra Hess, Arthur Rubinstein, Camille Saint-Saëns and Max Reger.