Outdoor Classical Concerts Summer 2019

From public squares and parks to shopping centres and high streets, all the world’s a stage. Here’s a selection of the open-air concerts filling the UK during the summer. To receive these recommendations straight to your inbox, sign up to our mailing list. And come say hi on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter! 👋

24 July - 4 August, free
Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross

Open-air music festival at London’s newest and smartest shopping area. Try out Madame Butterflop, a bemusing ruination of Puccini’s masterpiece from Tête à Tête, cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson who fuses classical music with alternative R&B, award-winning songs from composer/singer Errollyn Wallen, and Kabantu, a quintet who unravel new marriages of music from around the globe.

Sunday 30 June, 5pm, free
Trafalgar Square, London

Trafalgar Square will be transformed into a giant free music stage as the London Symphony Orchestra performs a dance-inspired programme of music by Dvořák, Poulenc and Ravel, plus a world premiere – Tuqus – by Bushra El-Turk, who was selected by the BBC as one of the 100 most inspiring women of today.

Tuesday 2 & 9 July, 7pm, free
Throughout the UK
Pack a picnic and some Prosecco as the Royal Opera House is broadcasting Carmen and The Marriage of Figaro to screens all over the UK from Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight. You can also watch from the comfort of your sofa while wearing your onesie as the operas will be live streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

Thursday 25 July, 6pm - 9pm, free
The Garden at 120, Fenchurch Street

Escape to a tranquil oasis of sound without even leaving the city as nonclassical brings new classical and experimental music to the city skyline. Live music from classical guitarist Sam Cave, saxophonist Ben Vince and violinists Chihiro Ono and Mandhira de Saram, plus genre-bending DJ sets by Gabriel Prokofiev.

11-14 July, free-£20 (under 30s £5)

In a great move from Roman River, Street Orchestra Live is the resident ensemble for the 2019 festival. The opening night takes place in the natural amphitheatre of the lawn outside the contemporary art gallery Firstsite. After that there’s lots in store, including pop-up performances in the local shopping centre.

19-28 August, free
West coast of Scotland

Scotland now has its very own street orchestra! Since their first performance in July 2018, the orchestra has given 130 performances to around 22,500 people all across Scotland, from a farm in the Scottish Borders to the summit of Ben Nevis – and everywhere in between. They’ve got plans to tour the west coast of Scotland and Barra, Berneray and Harris islands in August.

Monday 15 July, 1pm & 7pm, free
Jubilee Park, Canary Wharf

Lunchbreak Opera livens up your lunchtime picnic with a whistle-stop tour of the weird and wonderful world of opera in its many eras and forms, sung by four young singers. Then later in the evening, the Scherzo Ensemble presents a semi-staged concert performance of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Sung in Italian with English narration.

Fridays 5, 12, 19, 26 July, 12.30pm-2pm, free
Jubilee Park, Canary Wharf

A fun end to each week in July with a series of free pop-up gigs by Docklands Sinfonia. Grab yourself a sarnie and pull up a picnic blanket in Jubilee Park, seconds from Canary Wharf Tube.

Saturday 29 June, 6.30pm-7.30pm, free
The Guildhall, Guildford

The Big Free Fringe Weekend presents an early-evening operatic treat on the balcony of The Guildhall on the High Street. Expect well-known arias from operas including Puccini’s La Bohème and Verdi’s La Traviata. No need to book, just rock up!

Hannah Fiddy