1. Carnegie Hall, USA
Completed in 1891, New York’s Carnegie Hall has played host to some of the finest musicians and composers in history: Tchaikovsky, Mahler and Judy Garland, to name just a few. It boasts three opulent performance halls as well as banquet spaces and museum. This season, you can catch an evening of comedy with John Legend, Jerry Seinfeld and Leslie Jones, support young talent at the Winners of the 2018 Sonatina and Sonata International Piano Competition, or experience something new at the Mongolian Nomadic Folk Music Concert.
2. Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Japan
The Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall is a relatively new venue, having opened in 1997, but in a short time has managed to cement its reputation as one of the world's best. The hall has an A-frame shape and is panelled with oak to provide its unique acoustic qualities. Take a break from the frenetic pace of Japan's capital by watching the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra or a performance by a bugaku – a traditional classical Japanese music group.
3. Concertgebouw, the Netherlands
The Concertgebouw is representative of the “shoebox” venue that was extremely popular in the 19th-century. The rectangular shape is said to enhance the listening experience of the concert-goer, giving music even more emotional resonance. This hall opened in 1888, and today hosts a diverse spectrum of immersive auditory events. You can also take guided tours of the venue to learn more about its history and renovations, or attend free lunchtime concerts.
4. Sydney Opera House, Australia
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most aesthetically distinctive music venues in the world, with its fin-shaped architecture and harbour-side location. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the building may look modern, but actually represents a coming together of traditional and contemporary ideas on a site that is sacred to the Gadigal people. Inside, you’ll find seven performance venues, which play host to everything from illusionist spectacles to musical theatre classics like Evita.
5. Mariinsky Theatre, Russia
The decadent Mariinsky Theatre has its roots in late 19th-century St Petersburg. The striking neoclassical building is one of Russia's most spectacular for opera and ballet – in fact, it was once known as the Kirov Ballet in the Soviet era. If you thought the exterior was impressive, wait until you head inside. The many balconies of the grand auditorium drip with ornate gold gilding, while the enormous yet intricately embroidered stage curtain is a masterpiece in its own right.
6. Boston Symphony Hall, USA
Originally built by Philanthropist Henry Lee Higginson, who wanted Boston to have its own permanent classical venue, this hall is now one of the world’s most prestigious. A striking example of Renaissance architecture, it features rounded domes and columns, making it distinctive in the city of Boston. Thanks to its superior acoustics, the hall hosts over 250 concerts every year. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is now in its 137th season, and has enchanted millions of listeners over the decades.
7. Konzerthaus Berlin, Germany
The Konzerthaus sits prettily in Gendarmenmarkt Square, and once played host to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself. The building distinctive for its decorative, neo-classical design, and while the interior is newer than the outside, it still takes this style as its inspiration. Expect an enormous, attention-commanding organ, white and gold detailing and, of course, plush seats. The hall is home to the Konzerthausorchester, who play a wide range of pieces from early and chamber music to contemporary compositions. Discover the Mittendrin series and take your seat amongst the orchestra themselves. Or, perhaps you’ll indulge your passion for coffee at the same time and attend one of the venue’s Wednesday Espresso Concerts.