Portsmouth Guildhall launches first phase of Renaissance Development

Portsmouth Guildhall launched the first phase of an ambitious programme of restoration and development so it can continue to thrive for the next 130 years and be a venue of which the city can be proud.

The exciting Renaissance project will cost £15 million and be completed in several phases over the next 10 years, allowing the Guildhall to raise the funds needed and complete the programme without having to close the venue for long periods.

The initial phase of the project will see The Harlequin Room transformed from a tired and under-utilised space on the Ground Floor of the Guildhall, into a 185 seat/250 standing capacity Guildhall Studio which will create a much needed facility to support emerging talent across the region, develop a diversified arts and classical music offer, create a small conference and meeting space and provide an accessible hub that community groups can utilise.

As a Concert Hall that has seen some of the world’s finest artists perform including The Beatles, Th…

Ding dong merrily!

Ding-dong comes December! Google Dictionary says ‘ding-dong’ stands for a riotous party. I hope everyone is merrily looking forward to this festive season.
This Saturday 9 December check out CURIO: Southsea Creative Pop Up in the Trinity Church Hall on Albert Road.
On Sunday 10 December, the Milton Glee Club will be holding its Christmas Concert at the Guildhall at 3 pm. That evening, the University Concert and Big Band are holding their Christmas Concert at the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney at 7.30 pm.
On Monday 11 December listen to Peoples' Stories Coffee Morning at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in the Historic Dockyard.
On 14 December head to the Live Lounge event in the Guildhall, featuring the Blues legend Paul Jones.
Don’t forget to give ice-skating a go with your family. The ring at Guildhall Square will be there until 2 January. Join the Christmas Elf Trail at the Spinnaker Tower from now until 24December.
Meet Santa at the Groundlings Theatre on Sunday 17 Dece…

Tamsin Waley-Cohen dazzled Guildhall audience

Violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen was in concert at Portsmouth Guildhall last night with pianist James Baillieu. 
Tamsin gave a superb rendition of Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 1; strong, angry and despairing. It was emotional and stunning at the same time. The memory of this concert will linger for months.
In contrast, the C.P.E. Bach pieces were light and capricious in parts. It was a delight to hear the pieces. One audience members said the music was intriguing and surprising, while the Schubert Sonata was subtle and warm. 
Each piece was full of fireworks! It was a wonderful concert and we felt privileged to be there. 

The rest of the Portsmouth Chamber Music season includes:
Ensemble 360 - 29 January
Gould Piano Trio and Robert Plane - 19 March
Marmen Quartet - 16 April

More details from Portsmouth Guildhall

University choir sings Britten's St Nicolas

The University of Portsmouth Choir performs at St Mary's Church this Saturday 2nd December under the direction of conductor Thomas Neal.

The choir will be singing Britten's St Nicolas. The piece was written in 1948 for the centennial celebrations of Lancing College in Sussex. The text to was written by Eric Crozier, and it details the life of St Nicolas, his miraculous birth and his journey to become the Bishop of Myra, a pilgrimage destination for Byzantine Christians in Turkey.

The University of Portsmouth Choir performs at St Mary’s fresh from their highly successful fundraising concert in March, in which they raised thousands of pounds for local charities, including the St Mary’s Music Foundation.

The Solent Symphony, which celebrates their 25th anniversary this year, will once again be accompanying the choir.

The tenor part will be sung by Dominic Bevan, a postgraduate diploma student at the Royal College of Music.

Choral conductor Thomas Neal is a music teacher at the Portsm…

Countdown to Victorian Christmas!

In just 15 days, the largest Christmas festival on the south coast is set to return when Portsmouth Historic Dockyard welcomes back the ever-popular Victorian Festival of Christmas.
The festival is the perfect way to kick off seasonal celebrations. You will be transported to a bygone era where a cast of colourful characters roam the snow-covered cobbled streets. Rub shoulders with a medley of street entertainers, enjoy seasonal refreshments and browse over 150 stalls for perfect gift ideas.
Encounter the ever-popular traditional Father Christmas dressed in green, see Scrooge in his hand-drawn carriage, bump into young chimney sweeps, and enjoy street performances from Victorian magicians and musicians. To top it off, there will be a 35-foot Christmas tree alongside HMS Victory. Historic parts of the dockyard will be transformed into a Victorian-style street, complete with coffin measurers, ladies of the night, street urchins, market sellers and many more.  This year there is a brand ne…

Van Kuijk Quartet performs in Portsmouth

The Van Kuijk Quartet will be performing in Portsmouth on Monday 30th October as part of the Portsmouth Chamber Music Series.
Currently BBC New Generation Artists, the Van Kuijk Quartet’s international accolades boast First, Best Beethoven and Best Haydn Prizes at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition, First Prize and an Audience Award at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition, as well as becoming laureates of the Aix-en-Provence Festival Academy. Further to this, they join the ECHO Rising Stars roster for the 2017/2018 season.

Since their formation in 2012, the ensemble is already an established presence in major international venues, performing at the Wigmore Hall in London, Auditorium du Louvre and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Tonhalle in Zurich, Musikverein in Vienna, Berliner Philharmonie, Tivoli Concert Series in Denmark, Sage Gateshead, and at festivals in Cheltenham, Heidelberg, Lockenhaus, Davos, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier/Radio F…

Southsea Library

I love reading and grateful that the city has a good collection of libraries. I often think it's the one resource that is worth spending money on. 
Libraries give people access to knowledge and leisure. Whether you are an extrovert or introvert, there is a place for you in the library. Whether you are highly educated or just started learning, the library is for you.
I go to the library to read novels, literary genius or pure chick-lit depending on my mood and inclination. I look up holiday destinations and even use the maps on the holidays themselves.
At the library I spend hours looking at books for ideas to decorate the home or learn a minor DIY needed to be done. I cook many delicious meals from books borrowed from the library. Most of all, I learn. Every single thing I read in the library, I learn from.
This week I read 'Homegoing' by Yaa Gyasi about the slave trade and displacement, and the finding of your soul's home. What will you learn this week?