Opening celebrations continued over the weekend with two spectacular concerts marking the official launch of the newly transformed, iconic Aberdeen Music Hall.
On Saturday, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performed under the baton of guest conductor Alpesh Chauhan and guest soloist Freddy Kempf played Grieg’s much-loved Piano Concerto to an enraptured, sell out audience. Prokofiev’s festive Lieutenant Kije Suite was the perfect way to start the evening and Sibelius epic Symphony No.2 brought a special evening to a memorable conclusion with several ovations.
On Sunday evening, a sell out concert from Scottish rockers Texas had the audience dancing in the aisles from the off with Sharleen Spiteri encouraging a lively crowd to “raise the roof on the new refurbishment”. Texas was supported by local band and Aberdeen Performing Arts’ Project Band alumni, The 101.
Aberdeen Performing Arts chief executive, Jane Spiers, said: “We set out to create a fit for purpose, inspirational space for a new generation of artists and audiences. It is wonderful to welcome the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra back to its home in the North-east of Scotland and so satisfying to see the fantastic reaction from artists and audiences to our beautifully restored and renovated auditorium. We are looking forward to a full season in Spring 19 and the Music Hall once again at the heart of cultural, community and civic life in the city.”
Aberdeen Performing Arts chairman, Craig Pike, said: “It has been a hugely ambitious and complex project and what has been achieved is incredible thanks to a great team of committed professionals who believed in the project and have always gone the extra mile – our architects BDP, our contractor Kier Construction, project managers, Axiom and above all, the determination and vision of the team at Aberdeen Performing Arts.”
Aberdeen City Council co-leader, councillor Jenny Laing said: “We were delighted to have invested £3 million in the redevelopment of the Music Hall as part our £1 billion transformation of the city’s infrastructure and it’s great to see our much-loved cultural landmark re-open its doors in its greatly improved form. The revamped Music Hall will join the redeveloped Art Gallery and the new £330m TECA complex in playing an integral part supporting the delivery of the city’s ambitious Aberdeen 365 event programme, a year round programme of world class events, festivals and performances which make the city a vibrant and exciting place to visit and experience.”
Iain Munro, acting chief executive, Creative Scotland, commented: “Aberdeen Music Hall is a vital and much loved part of Scotland’s cultural infrastructure and Creative Scotland is delighted to have supported the refurbishment through National Lottery funding. Our revenue funding to Aberdeen Performing Arts will also help invigorate the new space with more diverse programming, youth activities and music education, and outreach hubs will attract fresh audiences and improve overall music provision for local artists and audiences.
“The revitalisation of the Music Hall comes at a time of step change in ambition for the cultural offer in the city. Huge congratulations go to Jane Spiers, the APA Board, staff, City Council and all those involved for their energy, ambition and determination to ensure that the Music Hall continues to play a key role in placing the community and culture at the heart of the city centre regeneration.”
The celebrations continue with Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook on December 20, which will feature the legendary Scottish musician joined by singers Karen Matheson and Eddi Reader, and instrumentalists John McCusker, Kris Drever, Ian Carr, Kevin Macguire and a special guest brass band.
Tickets for all upcoming shows are on sale now and available from www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, by phone on 01224 641122, or in person at the box office.