Test Drive Classical

Have you noticed how classical music is everywhere? It's in the most dramatic scenes in your favourite films, TV, games and often sampled in your favourite rock and pop music.

You’ve probably enjoyed more classical music than you think! So why not experience the thrill and vibrancy of The Hexagon’s resident orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, or world-class ensembles and recitalists at The Concert Hall, in high definition on your doorstep for only £12*.

What to expect at your first classical concert.
There are a lot of misconceptions about classical music that can be off-putting, so we've pulled together the answers to some of the queries you might have...

The concerts are long.
The concert usually last around 1hr & 45minutes, but there is a 20-minute interval in this time, which gives you chance to get a drink, stretch your legs and chat to your friends.

There are rules about when I should clap.
If you feel moved to, clap. If in doubt, wait for people around you to clap. Yes, some people may frown, but clapping is, afterall, a way of showing your appreciation and enjoyment of the music being played. And all performers will be delighted to hear that appreciation.

I have to be dressed very smart to get in.
Some people do like to wear their 'Sunday best' to classical concerts, but others will be in jeans and trainers. Dress as you feel comfortable.

I'll need a music degree to understand it.
You don't need to be a gourmet chef to enjoy fine dining... So you don't need to be an expert to enjoy classical music. Live performance is fantastic for immersing yourself into, and allowing it to conjure up whatever feeling you like. If you'd like to learn more about the works in the concert, do buy a printed programme which provides notes on the pieces, and may give insights as to what to listen out for.

Classical Music is for rich, old people.
Classical music is so varied that it appeals to people from all walks of life, from young to old, and for all backgrounds. There is always something for everyone. Classical Music Alive is proud to have an Emerging Artists Platform, working with Berkshire Maestros, Henley Music School, Reading Youth Orchestra and Violin with Helen Suzuki groups, to support young people in their music making and enjoyment. This includes invitations to open rehearsals, Q&A sessions with soloists and conductors, opportunities to perform during concert intervals and participating in masterclasses and workshops. These young people can often be found in our audiences. 

Classical Music is boring.
Classical music is a broad term. Open yourself up to the music. Let it stir memories and emotions. Listen out for the rhythms, watch the musicians and the conductor, and see how they interact with each other and guide you on a musical journey. You’ll probably recognise a lot of the pieces from TV adverts and films too!

The tickets are expensive.
We like to think our ticket prices are good value for money. Plus with our Test Drive ticket offer, you can try out a concert for only £12 - about the price of a cinema ticket but much more rewarding!


*Test Drive Classical is an exciting initiative making high quality classical music accessible to new audiences. To benefit from this offer, quote 'Test Drive Classical' when booking. Tickets can only be purchased by phone or at the Box Office, are subject to availability and inclusive of booking fee. To qualify, you should not have attended a Classical Music Alive concert before.

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