South Bank, Belvedere Road, SE1 (box office 020 7960 4242)
Embankment tube or Waterloo tube/rail. Box office 10am-9pm daily. Tickets ?5-?60. Credit AmEx, DC, MC, ?TC, V.
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Were the programme of
music not so good at this stalwart of London concert life, its location
would still make it worth a visit. Its Thames-side situation affords
lovely views along and across the river, especially at night. The
umbrella name of the South Bank Centre encompasses three concert halls.
The Royal Festival Hall
is the largest, staging mainly symphony concerts and events at the more
popular end of the spectrum, although the acoustics arguably don’t suit
amplified music. The Queen Elizabeth Hall is about a third of
the size of the RFH, and takes care of chamber groups, semi-staged
operas and the occasional idiosyncratic theatrical event. Finally,
small chamber groups and recitals can be found in the comparatively
cosy Purcell Room . In addition, there’s a good-sized bookshop,
free foyer music, an overpriced record store, a poetry library and
performance room, several caf?s, bars and restaurants, including the
classy People’s Palace .