In the spotlight

Which big names have played the Royal Albert Hall?


We take a look at some of the greats who've played at one of the UK's most iconic venues – the Royal Albert Hall. A majestic performance needs a royal venue, and the Albert Hall fits the bill perfectly.

One of London's most distinctive and treasured buildings, the hall is an iconic place for spectacular performances.

Stars on stage

The Albert Hall was originally designed to fulfil the vision of Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's consort), to promote an appreciation of the arts and sciences alongside the museums of South Kensington.

Since it opened in March 1871, an unrivalled list of famous performers and world figures has appeared here. Wagner, Verdi and Elgar have conducted their works on the concert platform, and Rachmaninov played his own compositions. Nearly every major classical solo artist and leading orchestra has performed at the Albert Hall.

killersIn more recent times the A-list has included Sinatra, Hendrix, the Beatles, Oscar Peterson, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and Sting, while a younger generation has screamed to Jay Z, Muse, Kaiser Chiefs and the Killers.

Matt Bellamy, lead singer of Muse, was in awe of the scale of the Hall: "It's a beautiful place, absolutely amazing. It's overwhelming really, one of the most famous venues in the world I think and so it's a great honour to be here. When the band first formed our ambition was to play the pub down the road, I don't think we had ambitions of this grandeur. But over the last five years it's been our ambition to play here."

(24 October 2013)