Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Fancy test driving a classical concert?

READING’S critically lauded Classical Music Alive concert series is about to return for the 2015-2016 season

READING’S critically lauded Classical Music Alive concert series is about to return for the 2015-2016 season — but did you know that you could attend a concert for free?

Reading Arts, which organises the concerts, is working hard to develop a new audience of all ages and acknowledges that a full-price ticket for someone who is unsure if they’ll enjoy a concert, or for students with little or no income, can be a little off-putting.

With this in mind, there are a number of opportunities for people to enjoy Classical Music Alive concerts at a low price.

The most innovative of these schemes is Borrow Your Concert Seat, in association with Reading Borough Libraries. Simply go to Central Library, Caversham Library or Tilehurst Library in the seven days before a concert, register for “CMA Loans”, and take away a voucher for a ticket for the concert.

Then, after the concert, return your ticket stub to one of these libraries and tell us about your experience.

By registering, and returning your ticket stub, you will be eligible for further offers for Classical Music Alive concerts.

Conditions: You must be a register library user. You are entitled to “borrow” two concert seats — one concert at the Hexagon and one at the Concert Hall.

Another way of accessing the concerts, if you’d like to come but are not quite sure they are your thing, is by booking a Test Drive ticket.

You probably listen to more classical music than you think — on adverts, in films, in pop songs, as ringtones and even when you are put on hold.

So trying a concert, without committing to a £34.50 ticket price, is the next step, and Test Drive enables you to purchase tickets for £10.

Conditions: Test Drive tickets are only available to bookers who have not been to a Classical Music Alive concert before. Tickets can only by purchased by phone or in person, are subject to availability and inclusive of booking fee.

Discounted tickets are also available for school groups at £6 a head. And for young people aged 18 to 25 — or for students of any age — Reading Arts offers a membership that enables members to book tickets for any Classical Music Alive concert for just £12.

The series 2015-2016 series opens on Thursday, September 24, with a piano recital by Mitsuko Uchida.

A Reading Arts spokesman said: “Reading is proud of its classical music scene, with 16 professional concerts in the Classical Music Alive series plus a wealth of orchestras and choirs made up of talented and enthusiastic local residents, giving top quality performances throughout the year.”

Full details of Classical Music Alive in Reading 2015-2016 are available online at www.readingarts.com — or call the box office on 0118 960 6060 for a free brochure.

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