10 things every classical music fan should experience in their lifetime

23 June 2020, 10:37 | Updated: 23 June 2020, 10:46

10 things every classical music fan should experience
10 things every classical music fan should experience. Picture: getty

By Kyle Macdonald

Life should be full of incredible experiences and unforgettable moments of beauty. Here's 10 we'd recommend to any lover of classical music.

See a concert at the Royal Albert Hall

This Victorian concert hall is a true musical arena that oozes history and majesty. The hall was built in the mid-1800s, seats just over 5,500, and has hosted almost every musical star since its opening in 1871. Hearing the 1812 Overture or a rousing British melody in this gigantic space is something no music-lover will ever forget!

Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall. Picture: Classic FM

Hear the organ of St Paul's Cathedral

Nothing compares to the mighty sound of a full pipe organ, but just imagine hearing it in a grand Baroque cathedral with an incredible 11-second echo. St Paul's Cathedral in London holds regular recitals and organ festivals, so you can be overcome by the sound while gazing up at that beautiful Christopher Wren dome. Inspiring!

St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, London
St Paul's Cathedral, London. Picture: Getty

Say hello to the Bach statue in Leipzig

For the final 20 years of his life, the great baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach worked at the church and school of St Thomas' in the German city of Leipzig.

Outside the church you can still find him, overlooking the streets where he once scurried around with manuscripts in hand. This great city is always abuzz with concerts, culture and music, and everyone who passes stops to get a selfie with their hero.

Listen to Elgar while walking in the Malvern Hills

Malvern-native Edward Elgar was a keen walker and cyclist. Many of his most beautiful musical moments were dreamed up while he was exploring the stunning landscape of his homeland. So we recommend getting your walking boots on and blasting some Elgar through your headphones as you walk though the composer's part of the world. There might be a nice pub along the way too.

Hear opera, literally anywhere in Italy

Is it the climate, is it the food and wine, or the way the top Cs echo through the alleyways? Whether it is a complete Verdi at La Scala opera house, or a Puccini aria sung in one of the famous outdoor gala concerts, any experience of opera in Italy will be one that will stick with you forever.


See a concert in the Musikverein, Vienna

Vienna is one of the great musical centres of the world, and many say that the Golden Hall of the Musikverein has the best orchestral acoustic of any concert hall in the world. This hall has seen the premieres of works by Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler. And just look at it. Makes you want to go, doesn't it?

Musikverein, Vienna
Musikverein, Vienna. Picture: Getty

Tap along to Gershwin in New York

The big apple is one of the best destinations for any music lover. New York is home to the Met Opera, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Centre and countless pokey bars offering amazing jazz. So when you're stateside, make it timeless and jazz-infused, by catching something by Brooklyn-native George Gershwin.

Visit the house of your favourite composer

It could be Grieg's humble-but-enchanting hideaway in the fjords of Norway, the Mozarthaus in Vienna, or the fantastic Handel and Hendrix house in London. Few things get to closer to the everyday life of a musical hero than feeling their floorboards beneath your feet, enjoying their decor, and soaking up their domestic surroundings.

Learn to play a new instrument

It doesn't matter how old you are. It doesn't matter if it's your first instrument, or your tenth. Play, sing, explore, take lessons, learn online – any learning and playing deepens your love and appreciation of music and connects you anew to that life-long joy of music making.


Support and encourage a young musician

Music is timeless and passed down through the generations. For members of your family, a friend, or that talented young busker, supportive words and an encouraging audience mean everything. There are also many programmes like In Harmony Liverpool that support young instrumentalists from less privileged communities. An act of support helps a youngster to get playing and discovering.