It takes chutzpah to mount a music festival in London just when the “world’s greatest music festival” (the Proms) reaches its climax. But then boldness has always been a virtue of Kings Place, the new concert hall located behind King’s Cross station. By any sober commercial assessment, the chances of a new chamber-sized concert hall thriving a bus-ride away from the Wigmore Hall and the South Bank Centre were slim. But a year after opening, Kings Place has proved its worth. The idea of inviting musicians and organisations to “curate” a week’s programming has thrown up some remarkable things, bold in content and stylish in execution. Now Kings Place is celebrating its first birthday with a three-day, 100-event festival.
The range of events is extraordinary. Every kind of music gets a look-in: classical, contemporary, blues, world music, jazz and folk. There’s even an event devoted to makers of “sound sculptures” and new-fangled instruments. The things that caught my eye are the “traditional folk innovators” on the evening of Friday 4th; the “Classical and Experimental” series on Saturday 5th, and the free Atrium concert at lunchtime on the same day, which offers a feast of Tudor sacred music.
Kings Place, 4th-6th September, Tel: 020 7520 1490, www.kingsplace.co.uk
Ivan Hewett is the Telegraph’s music critic