Delphine's Top 5 Venues for...Orchestras!

Posted: 06 March 2020

Delphine's Top 5 Venues for...Orchestras!

Thinking about taking your orchestra on a music tour abroad? Struggling to decide where to go? Delphine, Head of Halsbury Music, takes us through her top 5 venues for orchestras.

Thinking about taking your orchestra on a music tour abroad? Struggling to decide where to go? Delphine, Head of Halsbury Music, takes us through her top 5 venues for orchestras. 

Lucca Cathedral, Tuscany

In Italy, the cathedral, or duomo, is the beating heart of any city, and Lucca is no exception. Despite being tucked away in a quieter corner of the historic centre, the Cattedrale di San Martino has been a focal point for city life since the 6th century. 

It has been remodelled several times throughout its history – the exterior dates from the 12th century, while the interior was last decorated in the 15th century. 

The cathedral is principally famous for two things – the medieval labyrinth carved into one of the pillars of the portico, which is said to predate the famous example in Chartres, and the Holy Face of Lucca, which is said to have been carved by Jesus’ contemporary Nicodemus. 

The cathedral also played an important role in the life of the city’s most famous son – the composer Giacomo Puccini. His father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great grandfather were all maestro di cappella of the cathedral and he himself was both a member of the boys’ choir and was a substitute organist at the cathedral, before leaving to pursue his musical education at the Milan Conservatory. 

Your orchestra will love the opportunity to perform in these beautiful, historic surroundings, to an appreciative audience with a real love of music.  

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La Madeleine, Paris

La Madeleine is an important landmark in central Paris, not only for the focal role it continues to play in the cultural life of the city, but also because it is so unusual for a religious building. Rather than the crosses and bell towers expected of a French religious building, La Madeleine instead resembles a Greek temple. And that is thanks to Napoleon, who wanted to create a pantheon in honour of his glorious armies. 

La Madeleine is an important musical venue in Paris, with concerts held there on a regular basis as part of the city’s cultural programme. Your orchestra will never forget the experience of performing in such a spectacular venue with such an important place in Parisian life. 

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St. John the Divine, New York City

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City is technically an unfinished building, as only 2/3 of the original planned building was ever completed. Despite this, it is the largest Protestant cathedral in the world, and the fifth-largest church buildings in the world by area!

The impressive setting lends itself well to concerts and the cathedral is known for hosting regular choral, orchestral and instrumental performances. This established reputation as a venue for incredible music means that you can be certain you’ll be performing to an audience of real aficionados, who will give your orchestra a warm reception. 

And you’ll be among fine company when it comes to previous performers at the cathedral – Mariah Carey, Duke Ellington and Aretha Franklin have all performed here. 

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Monnickendam Church, Netherlands

Just a 20-minute drive from Amsterdam, the town of Monnickendam is in the province of North Holland and is a beautiful example of a traditional Dutch town. A visit here offers the opportunity to enjoy a real taste of Dutch culture. 

And its beautiful church, the Church of St. Nicholas, is a wonderful venue for an orchestra to perform in. It has been the focus of local life here since the 14th century and is well known for hosting fantastic concerts, exhibitions and other events that keep drawing the local community and wider public to visit this magnificent building. 

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St. Bavo Cathedral, Ghent

The site on which the spectacular Saint Bavo Cathedral stands has been a place of worship for over 1,000 years and the cathedral you see now was built between the 14th and 16th centuries. 

Its magnificence reflects the wealth of the city during the Middle Ages, when Ghent was one of the richest, most important cities in Western Europe, thanks to its cloth and wool industry. 

The cathedral itself is most famous for the Ghent Altarpiece, also known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, by the Van Eyck brothers. This polyptych altarpiece is considered one of the most important and influential pieces on the history of European art. 

The cathedral is also known for hosting musical concerts, attracting a mix of locals and tourists. Your orchestra will certainly never forget the experience of performing in such grand, impressive surroundings. 

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Ready to start planning your orchestra’s next music tour abroad?

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