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Lunch in style: Lunchbreak Concerts return to Aberdeen Art Gallery after two years

lunchbreak concerts

Spend your lunch break in style by introducing a bit of Mozart, jazz and even songs inspired by medieval Aberdeen to your day thanks to Aberdeen Art Gallery’s Lunchbreak Concerts.

The venue’s Cowdray Hall will reverberate with the sounds of live music for the first time in two years with the return of the popular free Lunchbreak Concerts series on Thursday (February 3).

The new programme will be launched in an ambitious style as virtuoso local pianist Joseph Long continues his personal challenge to play all 18 of Mozart’s piano sonatas.

This will be the fifth in the series and the first to be performed live. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, audiences were able to enjoy a special pre-recorded performances by Joseph via the Art Gallery’s Museum From Home page and virtual concerts.

Lunchbreak Concerts
Aberdeen City Music School will perform at Lunchbreak Concerts.

Aberdeen Art Gallery to once again host Lunchbreak Concerts

The upcoming concerts will take place at the Cowdray Hall which was gifted to the people of Aberdeen in 1926 by Lady Cowdray of Dunecht to “encourage a taste for art and music in the city of Aberdeen”.

Today it remains true to its original purpose, with music events accentuated by the fantastic natural acoustic.

Lunchbreak Concerts have been an important aspect of the Art Gallery’s public programme for many years, offering an important platform for both established and emerging performers. The programme features professional and non-professional musicians, from Aberdeen and the north-east as well as further afield.

Following this week’s launch with Joseph Long, Thistle String Quartet, Aberdeen City Music School based at Dyce Academy as well as Neil Birse and Ed Parr will also perform.

Aberdeen Art Gallery’s Cowdray Hall.

Special performance inspired by medieval Aberdeen

Aberdeen’s UNESCO-recognised medieval town registers have inspired a very special performance on Thursday March 31 . “Songs from medieval Aberdeen” is the result of collaboration between historian Dr Claire Hawes and musicians Davy Cattanach, Paddy Buchanan and Craig Spink, looking at how songwriters can use medieval material in their work.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: “The return of the Lunchbreak Concerts programme of live music at the Cowdray Hall is another welcome step towards ‘normal service’ for music fans and performers.

“Whilst it was great to be able to listen to pre-recorded performances during lockdowns via the Archives, Gallery & Museums website, nothing compares to gathering together to share the experience of listening to live music.”

Former city centre masterplan lead, and current administration leader, Marie Boulton will vote to suspend rules meaning the Union Street debate cannot be heard. Picture by Scott Baxter/DCT Media.
Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson.

Lunchbreak concerts programme

Each concert starts at 12:45pm and lasts for 45 minutes. Tickets are free but advance booking is recommended.

  • Thursday February 3 (pre-concert talk starts at noon) – Joseph Long plays Mozart
  • Thursday February 17 – Thistle String Quartet
  • Thursday March 3 – Aberdeen City Music School
  • Thursday March 17 – Neil Birse and Ed Parr play jazz
  • Thursday March 31 – Songs from medieval Aberdeen

In other news, Aberdeen Jazz Festival will take place from March 17 to March 27. Music fans will be able to enjoy performances at Aberdeen Art Gallery on Sunday 20, Saturday 26, Sunday 27 March.

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