Sunday, 2 March 2008

More London Music

Last night I watched “Eurovision: Your Decision” on TV. The fabulous X-Factor singer/songwriter Andy Abrahams won but I doubt he’ll win the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade – his song is far too sophisticated and his voice is far too good to be appreciated by the “European” voters in this chronically biased contest! Oh well!

After my experience of classical music on the Underground, I thought I’d mention a few music venues in London which are worth a visit. There are plenty of famous places to go if you are a music lover from the newly rebuilt Wembley Stadium and the renamed O2 Arena (previously the Millennium Dome), both of which predominantly hold pop and rock concerts. For classical lovers there is the Barbican and The Royal Festival Hall and then there is the multi-purpose Royal Albert Hall. Next door to the Albert Hall you can find the Royal College of Music, one of the world’s top music conservatoires. Student concerts and master classes with internationally renowned singers and musicians are often open to the public free of charge. If you are visiting London this may be your chance to hear the classical music stars of the future!

The Southbank Centre is a fabulous place to hear free music. Many of these free recitals and concerts are held at lunchtime or early evening and everything from classical, jazz, electro, and folk music can be heard. I plan to check out the list of free concerts and, while I’m on that side of the river, visit the Florence Nightingale Museum, take a tour around the National Theatre and visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (yes I admit I am a bit of a “luvvie”!). A fun-packed day of music and theatre with a little history thrown in for good measure!

London is a musical metropolis and there are loads of other venues that I will visit and report on but I mustn’t forget the famous West End theatres that are full of musical extravaganzas as well as plays. I have a number of West End shows on my list of “must-sees” and, using the London Pass, I’ll be able to get quite a significant discount. They also offer dinner and show combos which are great value for money so if you are interested it is worth having a look at and finishing a day of sightseeing in style!

This week I am going to have my first day out using the London Pass and will start writing about the various places I get to visit. This home-grown tourist is finally going to start her rediscovery of London and I look forward to sharing it with you!

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