2018 | 2019 Season
The Society was established in 1915 in Manchester by the Committee for Music in Wartime as a way of engaging musicians whose livelihoods had suffered in war-time conditions, boosting morale in the local military hospitals and presenting concerts “for the convenience of business people, soldiers and visitors to the city.” The first concert took place on the 9th November 1915 at Houldsworth Hall (now Church House, 90 Deansgate).
The concerts proved so successful, that they continued after the war and from 1922 came to be managed by the newly established Tuesday Mid-day Concerts Society. From this date concerts were programmed to meet two aims:
Former Society Music Directors have included the pianist Edward Isaacs (from 1923 - 1953), and violinist and former leader of the Hallé Orchestra Laurance Turner (from 1953). As well as Houldsworth Hall, Manchester Mid-day Concerts have taken place at the original Albert Hall (since reopened in 2014), the Friends Meeting House, and the Royal Exchange Theatre. The Manchester Mid-day Concerts Society Series is the oldest and one of the largest lunchtime concert series in the UK, and concerts now take place in the state-of-the-art Bridgewater Hall.
Auditions are held once a year in Manchester for emerging musicians and the Society feels extremely fortunate to be able to invite such exceptional performers from all over Europe and the UK to play for the audition panel. The Society is a not-for-profit charitable organisation and is supported by grants from charitable trusts and foundations, donations from individuals, income from the Society’s long-running Friends scheme, important sponsorship from Manchester businesses and box office receipts.
The Manchester Mid-day Concerts Society celebrated its centenary in 2015, hosting concerts from Jennifer Pike, Mi Luna, Craig Ogden, The Navarra Quartet and Peter Donohoe, with a world premier of a newly commissioned string quartet by Sir Edward Gregson.
To date, the Society has programmed approximately 2500 performances in Manchester, with many more musicians heard during the audition process. We hope to be able to continue our work for many more years - and concerts - to come, and we hope you will join us on our journey.