Skip site navigation and jump to page content

Royal Albert Hall announces latest initiatives in its education and outreach drive

9 May, 2013

As part of its remit to promote the appreciation and understanding of the arts, the Royal Albert Hall is today announcing a new wave of initiatives to inspire future generations in the world of music and offer an outreach programme for all. They include a new partnership with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, a series of music workshops with Classical Brit award- winner Nicola Benedetti, a re-launched subsidised ticket scheme that will offer discounted tickets to charity, community and voluntary groups and, extending the venue’s reach beyond London, the house-band Albert’s Band joins the Camp Bestival line-up as well as launching Songbook, where they will engage in interactive performances with the elderly throughout the UK.   

The new activities are part of the Hall’s existing education and outreach programme which already reaches over 100,000 individuals a year. Ensuring it remains true to Prince Albert’s legacy to offer access and increased education in the arts and sciences, the Hall offers a variety of educational events to supplement its larger shows on the main stage.

The venue already works with partners including Music for Youth and Dance Proms to nurture the country’s future talent and give young people unique experiences to perform on the world famous stage. Last year, the Hall was appointed as a strategic partner in one of the Arts Councils’ music hubs, helping to shape music education in its surrounding boroughs in West London. It has also just announced its first ever event in partnership with TEDx, TEDxAlbertopolis on September 23rd, an event for all designed to celebrate the artistic and scientific institutions that flourish in the South Kensington community. 

The new partnership with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, an organisation whose values of education and outreach are closely aligned with the Hall’s, will see the venue sponsor their entire audition process throughout the UK. This includes some of their auditions taking place at the iconic venue to support their annual concert which is held every year on the main stage. The partnership offers young singers and musicians a once-in-a-life time opportunity to perform at the iconic venue and hopes to inspire a new generation of musical talent. 

Chris Cotton, Chief Executive at the Royal Albert Hall, said ‘The Royal Albert Hall is delighted and excited to become an official partner of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. We will be sponsoring the UK-wide auditions programme to help nurture exceptional musical talent. In supporting the participants the Hall seeks to encourage good communication skills and improve performance and vocal potential, musicianship skills and musical appreciation. We look forward to welcoming some of the London auditions for the NYCGB to the Royal Albert Hall, as well as continuing to host the annual National Youth Choirs concert, a key feature in our yearly calendar!’

Following successful education workshops over recent months with big-name artists such as Emeli Sandé, Foals and Soweto Kinch, the Royal Albert Hall is teaming up with classical violin sensation Nicola Benedetti to host three educational workshops between September 19-21 with participants throughout London ahead of her gig on the main stage on September 25th. These workshops will see Nicola engaging with 70 young string players (Grade 4 standard) from schools in London and the surrounding areas who will work on a piece of music with Nicola to then perform at the Royal Albert Hall later that day. In addition, she will also lead a workshop with conservatoire students to work on Bartok’s Divertimento followed by a performance and a Q+A as well as an exclusive open master class with 3 more accomplished students, giving all of the participants involved an unparalleled opportunity to learn from one of the country’s leading violin artists and ask questions of their idol.

Nicola Benedetti added: “I greatly look forward to my first ever non-orchestral performance at the Royal Albert Hall and, most specifically, a chance to engage with the venue's fantastic education department to develop some initiatives that will allow me to share my experiences in teaching and in music education”

The Royal Albert Hall is also pleased to announce the relaunch of its ticket subsidy scheme, now named Friendship Matinee. Friendship Matinee is specifically designed for people of all ages who are supported by charity, community or voluntary organisations and would never normally get the chance to visit or experience live performances at the Royal Albert Hall. This will consist of a one-off performance held once a year to offer discounted tickets as part of its mission to increase access to the arts. This year’s performance will be the Royal Philharmonic’s  ‘The Very Best of John Barry’, a special matinee show paying homage to the late great film composer, featuring many of his famous scores including the James Bond theme, on 4th October. Tickets will be offered for those applicable for just £5 and can be applied for by contacting the Royal Albert Hall’s education team on 020 7959 0541 or emailing 

Finally, Albert’s Band, one of the country’s leading workshop ensembles and the Hall’s in house band, offering creative and educational music sessions, is joining the line-up at Camp Bestival. Taking its musical workshop on the road and bringing the Hall’s education team outside of London, the band will be delivering a fantastic festival first- the Royal Albert Hall Ginormous Percussion Orchestra! The band will be inviting children to interactively explore the world of classical music inside the festival’s Big Top by making their own instruments to create one gigantic percussion orchestra especially for Camp Bestival followed by a live performance. Not only that, they will also be launching Songbook this Autumn, extending their outreach further throughout the UK, by visiting care homes and hospices to perform interactive mini Royal Albert Hall concerts. These will be weekly concerts, featuring sing-along performances as well as a slideshow of images direct from the Hall’s fascinating archive collection including all the well-known classics from The BBC Proms and medleys from the back catalogues of the likes of Frank Sinatra, Vera Lynn, Cliff Richard and Shirley Bassey who have all performed at the world famous venue.    

Commenting on the new initiatives, Lucy Noble, Head of Programming and Education at the Royal Albert Hall added: “Last year our programme reached over 100,000 participants and we’re looking to build on this through these latest events. From engaging children through to the elderly with our Albert’s Band outreach to offering young people a unique chance to work with their music idol, we are passionate about inspiring future talent and providing an outreach programme for all. As a charity committed to providing musical education as well as championing youth music, we hope these latest initiatives are of benefit to as many people as possible and provide opportunities for those that wouldn’t normally get the chance to engage with the Royal Albert Hall”.

For further information on the Royal Albert Hall’s education programme please visit 


Notes to editor:
For more information on the education programmes of the Royal Albert Hall, please contact:

Hannah Hayes 020 7861 3176 / 
Nicola Hamilton 020 7861 3189 / 

For the Royal Albert Hall, please contact:

Sean Carrigan 020 7959 0531/ 

Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Its breathtaking auditorium hosts over 370 shows a year by the world’s greatest artists. The magical atmosphere combined with inspired artists creates legendary events.

Opened in 1871 as part of Prince Albert’s vision for a centre for the Arts and Sciences, the Hall is a registered charity which operates without public funding, remaining true to his founding ambitions within a modern context. Extending the brand with 200 events outside the auditorium, the Hall has broadened its appeal to younger, diverse audiences whilst still engaging its existing customers.

The Hall also offers the Elgar Room, a state-of-the-art small-scale performance space which hosts performances of classical music, jazz and world music, comedy, dance and hush, a series of gigs for just signed bands throughout the year. In the main auditorium, it offers the Albert Sessions, an initiative that encourages up and coming acts to play at the Hall by offering reduced rental fees to promoters and lower ticket prices to encourage younger audiences to visit the Hall. It also works extensively with schools, young people, disadvantaged groups and partners such as Music For Youth through its Education programme, reaching over 100,000 participants each year as part of its extensive public benefit remit. It has also been appointed by the Arts Council as one of the country’s regional music education hubs.

For more information, please visit 
Registered charity number: 254543

Contact Us

For press enquiries, please contact:

Press Executive

Rick Burin
020 7959 0531

Marketing Executive

Ellen Morgan
020 7959 0500 Ext 3004

Senior Marketing and Press Manager

Jessica Silvester
020 7959 0510

feature pic 1

Press Mailing List

Receive our monthly press listing directly to your inbox.

Learn More

feature pic 2

Media Resources

Download images, videos and audio clips here.

Learn More