De Montfort Hall
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|Owner||Leicester City Council|
|Capacity||400-2,200 (auditorium), 250-7,000 (amphitheater)|
|Current use||Touring Venue|
|Opened||21 July 1913|
|Years active||Since 21 July 1913|
De Montfort Hall is the largest music and performance venue in Leicester, England. It is situated adjacent to Victoria Park and is named after the Father of Parliament Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester.
The hall was built by the Corporation of Leicester in 1912 and 1913, and was opened to the public on 21 July 1913, at a cost of £21,000. The architect was Shirley Harrison (1876–1961), who also designed the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. He was the son of Stockdale Harrison, architect of Vaughan College.
Its indoor auditorium seating capacity is approximately 2000, and the hall contains a pipe organ believed to be the only surviving example of a large concert organ by Leicester organ builders Stephen Taylor & Son Ltd. The organ was installed in 1914. The pipe organ is a particularly fine example and comprises 6000 pipes, attracting many distinguished organists to play recitals. In 2014 the pipe organ was estimated to be worth over five million GBP.
Most of the hall's events take place in the indoor auditorium, with shows spanning popular music, comedy, opera, ballet, world and roots music, West End musicals, classical music and a popular and traditional annual pantomime which runs from December to January. The Leicester Symphony Orchestra, started by Sir Malcolm Sargent, was established at the hall in 1922 and perform four concerts each season. The Leicester Philharmonic Choir and the Bardi Symphony Orchestra are also regular performers. With the world-famous Philharmonia Orchestra enjoying a residency at the hall since 1997.
De Montfort Hall is also the largest venue in Leicester to hold the Hindu festival of Navratri.
Events take place at the hall's spacious and scenic gardens. In recent years these have included The Big Session Festival and the Summer Sundae music festival, both ceased in 2012.
The Beatles played three concerts here at the height of Beatlemania, including a famous one just after their return from Hamburg in 1963.
Iron Maiden performed here in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986 and 1990.
In 2011, a tribute for Sir Norman Wisdom was held at the venue, raising money for the Roy Castle Fund. The charitable event also raised funds for Grand Order of Water Rats, of which Wisdom was a member, and featured notable appearances from members Bruce Jones, Nicholas Parsons, Johnny Mans, Rick Wakeman and Jess Conrad.
Keane performed there on 25 September 2019.
- "City Council|History of De Montfort Hall". Demontforthall.co.uk. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
- Public sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland - Page 370 Terry Cavanagh, Alison Yarrington - 2000 "-1922) An architect, he designed Leicester's Town Hall, 1873-6 (designs shown at the Royal Academy, London, ... The practice was continued after his death by his sons, James Stockdale Harrison (1874-1952) and Shirley Harrison (1876-1961)"
- "Rare organ celebrates centenary". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
- Country Life: Volume 194 (2000). In the film, Lord Attenborough has re-enacted that precise moment, even down to the detail of the lecture taking place in Leicester (Grey Owl's lecture tours included many of Britain's major cities).
- "When Bob Dylan played De Montfort Hall, Leicester, in 1965". Leicester Mercury. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
- "A wonderful tribute to the late, great Sir Norman Wisdom". De Montfort Hall.
- "Johnny Mans Productions - Charity Work". Johnny Mans official website.
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- "Shane Filan -". Priority.o2.co.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
- "Shane Filan (Closed November 05, 2014) | Leicester | reviews, cast and info". Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 10 January 2021.