The Bridgewater Hall is an international concert venue in Manchester, England. It cost around £42 million to build and currently hosts over 250 performances a year. It is located in Lower Mosley Street in the city centre.

Background

Since its opening on 11 September 1996, it has been the home of the Hallé Orchestra, the Hallé Choir and the Manchester Boys Choir, and is a regular venue for concerts of the BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata. From September 2002 it has been home to the Hallé Youth Orchestra and Youth Choir; founded for musicians under the age of nineteen who do not have the benefit of full time musical education. As well as primarily hosting musical concerts, the Bridgewater Hall also hosts lots of events for external parties such as the annual presentation evening of the nearby Wright Robinson College. The Manchester Metropolitan University has held Graduation in the hall, in July each year since 2006.

The venue is named after the Third Duke of Bridgewater who commissioned the Bridgewater Canal which crosses Manchester. The canal basin adjacent to the hall is not, however, a branch of the Bridgewater Canal, but of the Rochdale Canal.

The architects were Renton Howard Wood Levin and the builders were John Laing Construction now Laing O'Rourke. The acoustics were designed by Rob Harris of Arup Acoustics; his colleagues in Arup were the building engineers.

Inside, the central focal point of the hall is a pipe organ (with 5,500 pipes) built by Marcussen & Son, which dominates the 2,341 seat auditorium, completely covering the rear wall with a blend of wood and burnished metal.

The main auditorium sits on the foundation on earthquake-proof isolation bearings (consisting of steel springs) which insulate it from noise and vibration from the adjacent road and Metrolink line. When the 1996 Manchester bombing occurred, the workers inside did not hear the explosion, despite being only around half a mile away, showing how successful the soundproofing is.

2006 saw the 10th anniversary of its opening with special performances by La Scala Philharmonic, St Petersburg Philharmonic and the well-known pianist Alfred Brendel.

Carol Ann Duffy wrote a poem titled "Bridgewater Hall" in her Rapture collection.