Royal Albert Hall

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Royal Albert Hall logo
Royal Albert Hall, 2012
Stereoscopic photograph of the interior of the Royal Albert Hall, 19th century

The Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences ( pronunciation : [ ˈrɔɪəl ˌælbət ˈhɔ: l ]) is an event venue in London , England . It is best known for the Proms , a traditional summer concert series that has been held annually since 1941 .


The building, which opened on March 29, 1871, is located in Kensington in the center of London and forms the usable part of the national memorial in honor of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha , the consort of Queen Victoria . The second - decorative - part of the memorial is the Albert Memorial , which is located directly north of the hall in Kensington Gardens .

The construction of the Royal Albert Hall is modeled on a Roman amphitheater and a testament to Victorian architecture . The dome was built at the suggestion of Prince Consort Albert. It can accommodate approx. 9500 visitors (7000 seats, 2500 standing places). The concert hall is operated by the Royal Albert Hall Trust, a foundation that does not receive any public grants.


The large concert organ was built in 1871 by Henry Willis with 111 stops on four manuals and a pedal and was at that time the largest organ in the world. Between 1924 and 1933 the instrument was reorganized in two sections by the organ builder Harrison & Harrison (Durham) and expanded to 146 registers, including three percussion registers. The actions were applied electro-pneumatically. From 2002 to 2004 the organ was dismantled, overhauled and again reorganized. Today it has 147 registers (over 10,000 pipes ), divided into seven individual works, playable from a console with four manuals and pedal. 15 stops (mainly pedal stops) are transmissions and extensions.


Regular events

Various types of major events take place in the Albert Hall: from symphony concerts (for example the Proms ) to pop concerts and boxing matches . In addition, the traditional graduation ceremony of the renowned Imperial College London and the Festival of Remembrance of the Royal British Legion take place there every year , which is almost like a state ceremony and is attended by the entire royal family.

The Alternative Hair Show has been held here every year since 1983 , a charity event to help people with leukemia , with performances by well-known international hairdressing teams.

Single events

Heinrich Gudehus sang the title role in a concert performance of Parsifal in 1884 , as a stage performance of the work could not be realized due to the Bayreuth ban. It was the first ever performance of Parsifal in England.

Alfred Hitchcock shot the concert scenes for the two film versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much from 1934 and 1956 in the Royal Albert Hall.

With over 200 concerts, Eric Clapton has by far the most appearances in the Royal Albert Hall. For his 1991 album 24 Nights , he made 24 appearances at the Royal Albert Hall between February 5, 1991 and March 9, 1991.

Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1967, an excerpt of which is on the album Uncle Meat . Don Preston plays Louie Louie on The Mighty & Majestic Albert Hall Pipe Organ .

Pink Floyd played at the Royal Albert Hall in 1968. Back then, they fired two cannons during the song A Saucerful of Secrets . They were then banned from the house for life . However, David Gilmour (lead singer and guitarist of the group) was allowed to play again in the Royal Albert Hall in 2006 on his On an Island tour.

The Beatles use the size of the Royal Albert Hall in their song A Day in the Life as a comparison to 4000 holes in Lancashire : Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.

In 1968 the 13th Eurovision Song Contest took place in the Royal Albert Hall and was broadcast in color for the first time.

Cream gave the legendary last concert on November 26th, 1968 in London's Royal Albert Hall.

On September 24, 1969, the Concerto For Group And Orchestra by Jon Lord was premiered at the Royal Albert Hall, together with the band Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Sir Malcolm Arnold . After the now lost score of this work had been largely reconstructed by the Dutch composer Marco de Goeij , it was performed again 30 years later, on September 25th and 26th, 1999 in the RAH, this time with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Paul Mann .

James Last has given 90 concerts at the Albert Hall.

The Cream reunion began on May 2, 2005 with a total of four concerts in the Royal Albert Hall.

The first appearance of a musician from the Commonwealth of Independent States in the Royal Albert Hall was that of Boris Grebenchtschikow with his band Aquarium on May 21, 2007. Of the 26 songs played, some were never published.

On April 5, 2010, the Swedish metal band Opeth performed at the Royal Albert Hall and shortly thereafter released the concert recording on DVD. The DVD title Opeth 'in Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall' with the Loyal Disharmonic Orchestra Conducted by The Powers That Be is a clear homage to the performance of Deep Purple in 1969.

The Albert Hall is also mentioned in the song Shame by Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow . ( ... my tears could fill the Albert Hall ... ) On October 10, 2001 Williams gave his concert Live at the Albert in the Royal Albert Hall.

Web links

Commons : Royal Albert Hall  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Information about the concert organ on the website of the organ building company Mander
  2. The Wagner Journal: "Faithful, All Too Faithful" by David Cormack
  3. An impressive concert hall: London's Royal Albert Hall , accessed April 19, 2016.
  4. Matt Griffin: Exclusive pictures: Eric Clapton hits 200 Royal Albert Hall shows - Royal Albert Hall. Royal Albert Hall, May 24, 2015, accessed April 19, 2016 .
  6. Gilmour reminds fans to "Remember That Night" . September 10, 2007. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2014. Remember That Night
  7. ^ Royal Albert Hall: Royal Albert Hall was "furious" over Beatles lyric, newly discovered documents reveal ( Memento of July 9, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (English), accessed on April 19, 2016.
  8. ESC 1968 London: Points, Results, Videos , accessed on April 19, 2016.
  9. a b The Story of Cream's Initial Farewell Concert , accessed April 19, 2016.
  10. revival of Concerto for Group and Orchestra , 1999 , accessed April 19, 2016th
  11. James Last: Big band leader dies at 86 , accessed April 19, 2016.
  12. ^ Jean-Pierre Hombach: Roy Black . Hombach, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4716-2448-3 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  13. Opeth To Release "In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall" , accessed April 19, 2016.
  14. Live at the Albert , accessed on 19 April 2016th

Coordinates: 51 ° 30 ′ 3 "  N , 0 ° 10 ′ 38"  W.