Wiltshire Music Centre
Wiltshire Music Centre is a 300-seat concert hall in Bradford on Avon and has been described as having ‘the finest acoustic outside London’. The Centre puts on approx. 100 concerts a year including critically acclaimed artists such as Claire Martin OBE & Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Courtney Pine , John Williams Imogen Cooper CBE and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and many more. Wiltshire Music Centre Trust Ltd is an independent charity run by a small team of 10 employees, who are supported by a team of approx. 85 volunteer stewards.
The first event to take place at the Centre was the BBC Radio 4 Any Questions? programme in January 1998. Any Questions? returned to the Centre on 1 July 2011 with Billy Bragg, Deborah Meaden, Shaun Woodward and Steve Webb as panelists.
The Princess Royal opened the Centre on 29 April 1998 and the first concert was performed by international pianist John Lill on 7 March 1998. In May 2004, the Trust was invited to a reception at Number 10 Downing Street to celebrate outstanding achievements in the arts.
The Centre's programme and visitor levels grew year on year during its first decade, and in recent years the Centre has offered a programme of classical, jazz, folk and world music to more than 20,000 audience members.
The Centre promotes on average 50 professional concerts every year, as well as providing a performance venue for 30 local amateur and professional groups and on average 30 local young people’s participation events.
In 2011 the Centre’s concerts and participation events attracted more than 60,000 people into the Centre. On 24 January 2012, the town of Bradford on Avon became an honorary city for the day after winning a competition run by BBC Radio 5 Live. In celebration, the Tony Livesey show was broadcast live in front from Wiltshire Music Centre on the evening of 24 January.
The Centre is home to a variety of orchestras, choirs and other music groups. The Centre was founded on a commitment to nurture musical ability or interest, regardless of age or background, and runs projects aimed at delivering strong musical experiences.
The Centre has worked with most special schools and many of the primary schools in Wiltshire, as well as a number of the county's secondary schools. In 2007 Wiltshire Music Centre played a key role in launching South West Music School; a virtual school which provides advanced training for gifted young musicians and singers, aged 8 to 18. In 2011 the Centre’s concerts and participation events attracted more than 60,000 people into the Centre.
- Sean Rafferty, BBC Radio 3, November 2061 Check date values in:
- Wiltshire Music Centre Trust Ltd. Annual review (PDF), 2010/11 Check date values in:
- Courtney Pine press coverage
- John Williams review
- Charity Commission listing
- Wiltshire Music Centre ‘about us’
- St Laurence School history
- Wiltshire Times ‘Any Questions?’ Article
- BBC Iplayer version of July 2011 ‘Any Questions?’ show broadcast from Wiltshire Music Centre
- Details of 2004 activities (PDF)
- "Bradford-on-Avon Honorary City of 2012".
- "Tony Livesey, Radio 5 Live, live from Bradford on Avon". 24 January 2012.
- Jazz Factory
- West Wilts Young Musicians
- South West Music School Associate members