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Leeds Arts Events & Venues - Covid-19 Update (13 May 2020)

To manage the impact of Covid-19 in Leeds and ensure the safety and well-being of our audiences and all Leeds City Council staff, we must continue to stay at home as much as possible in order to control the virus and save lives. 

Our events through to the end of July have either been cancelled by the promoter or postponed to a later date.

The following events have either been cancelled by the promoter or postponed to a later date:
*Please scroll down below this message if you decide to use the ‘book here’ options to access the booking page.

Royal Northern Sinfonia (21 March)
Orchestra of Opera North (28 March)
The Hallé (4 April)
Room on the Broom & The Highway Rat (11 April)
Manchester Collective: Voice of the Whale (23 April)
Robert Webb (24 April)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (25 April)
Free lunchtime talks: Before Grenfell Tower (6 May)
Manchester Camerata (16 May)
Bryony Gordon (28 May)
St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (30 May)
Black Dyke Brass Festival (21 June)
Manchester Collective: Enescu Octet (25 June)
Pandora Sykes (22 July)

*Please scroll down below this message if you decide to use the ‘book here’ options to access the booking page.
Milton Jones: Milton Impossible new date: 19 February 2021 book here
Fascinating Aida new date: 21 October 2020 book here
Exile of the African Warrior new date: 28 February 2021 book here
Inspiration Choir: West End and Broadway new date: 11 April 2021, 4pm book here
Nightmares on Wax new date: 20 September 2020, doors 7pm book here
Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales (previously 16, 17 & 18 April): awaiting new dates
Russell Watson new date: 29 September 2020 at 7.30pm book here
The Unbelievable Chris Kamara Show (previously 14 May): awaiting new date
ZOG (previously 22, 23 & 24 May): awaiting new dates
Ross Noble new date: 13 January 2021 book here (limited availability)
The Water Diviner’s Tale / Opera North new date: 10 &11 June 2021 book here
Brian Wilson: Good Vibrations new date: 8 July 2021 book here
Julia Holter / Opera North (previously 24 June): awaiting new date, please check Opera North’s website
Jimmy Carr previously 2 & 19 June 2020) new dates: 1 & 4 April 2021 book here
Leeds International Beer Festival (previously 3-6 September): awaiting new dates
Leeds Conductors Competition Gala Final new date: 19 June 2021 book here

Support Leeds Town Hall

The loss of ticket sales for cancelled events during these unprecedented times is very concerning, particularly as we look to the future and the redevelopment plans for Leeds Town Hall. With this in mind, we ask if you would consider making a donation to help sustain Leeds Town Hall – perhaps the most iconic and best loved building in the city, and one of such historic value to the people of Leeds and beyond. If preferred, ticket holders can choose to add credit to their account to use on a future performance. Refunds (minus the booking fee) are also available.

If you have bought tickets to any of our events a member of our Box Office team will be in touch with you shortly. If you have any queries please contact: and allow our team to either respond via email or call you back. If that’s not possible, please call the team on 0113 376 0318 (Mon-Fri between 10am and 5pm). Please be prepared for a short wait as our Box Office team are now working remotely. Voicemail messages will be collected on a regular basis and someone will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Please be assured that you will be contacted either by email, telephone or post. We won’t forget you.

Until it is safe to welcome audiences back to our events we will continue to share content with you on our website and social media channels, where we’ll also keep you informed of any changes and their implications as soon as we can.

Our sincere thanks for your understanding and continued support during these difficult times.
Keep safe and well.

With kind regards
Leeds Arts Events & Venues Team

  • News
  • Interview-With-British-Conductor-George-Jackson

Interview with British conductor George Jackson posted 25 Nov 2019

Interview with British conductor George Jackson

Conducting our live narration to Peter and the Wolf and the soundtrack to accompany a screening of the film The Snowman, George Jackson takes to the stage at Leeds Town Hall with the Orchestra of Opera North on Sunday 22 December. 

He told us about his childhood memories of Howard Blake's much-loved music, and let us in on what’s in store at this wonderfully festive concert. 

Book tickets to see George conduct the Orchestra of Opera North here

Hello George, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. What are you looking forward to the most about conducting Peter and the Wolf and The Snowman

Aside from the fact that both pieces of music are amazing, what I most look forward to is the audience, and the special atmosphere that a children’s concert brings. All the rules go out the window, which is a refreshing way of welcoming newcomers to a live orchestra. I am expecting shouting, laughing, crying, screaming, and maybe even a bit of singing along (the mums and dads too!). I myself have very distant memories of being about four years old and hearing an orchestra play live for the first time (it was Britten’s ‘Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra’), and I’m telling you: to hear an orchestra live for the first time is an overwhelming experience, and one that can only ever happen once! It’s an enormous privilege to be part of that defining moment in a young person’s life.

What can the audience expect from this concert? 

At the heart of both pieces is a really good story, so the audience can expect to go on a relaxing narrative journey. What makes things even more exciting is the way in which both composers use the orchestra to illuminate each story. This heightens the emotions in a manner that is incomparable to anything else, and is a thousand times more intense than reading a book or watching the film!

Which part of the Peter and the Wolf score is your favourite, and why?

I think the most incredible part of Peter and the Wolf is how Prokofiev captures each animal and character with an instrument or a motif. So much so, that even in other orchestral music, you start to associate the cat with the clarinet, the duck with the oboe, and the bassoon with the grandfather!  But apart from that, I love the moment towards the end where Peter leads the procession of animals, and all the little melodies are played again to fit together. It’s such an incredible use of music combined with narrative, and I think it is an excellent way to demonstrate the dramatic potential for music to tell a story.


Could you explain why having an orchestra to accompany The Snowman makes it extra special?

We all know the music from The Snowman and sometimes, being too familiar with a certain piece of music can be a bad thing, because you forget to step back and appreciate it for what it truly is. The entire music from the film is so inventive, and lines up beautifully with what’s happening on screen. I am convinced that you could play the music from The Snowman as a stand-alone concert piece, but linking the music to the film in a visual way is a very unique experience. You can’t beat any experience of live music performed by real humans, and this is especially true when you have the expertise of the Orchestra of Opera North on stage.  

Tell us about any childhood memories you have of The Snowman, what does the film mean to you?

I spent a lot of my childhood visiting my grandma up in the Lake District, and The Snowman was one of her favourite films; she introduced it to me at a young age, and I remember watching it thousands of times on repeat. The film means a lot to me because, aside from the story’s magical wackiness, it’s actually an incredible way for a child to come to terms with loss and bereavement. There is a very strong philosophical message behind the film, and the music reflects a ‘circle of life’. The heart-breaking moment when the boy discovers that the snowman has melted leads us back to the initial piano music from the beginning of the story, which communicates through music the message that life goes on.


Lastly, what is your favourite festive activity?

As far as I’m concerned, it all kicks off on Christmas Eve: mulled wine on the stove, a Christmas ham on the kitchen table, and the heating on full blast! There are lots of little traditions, but my favourite time of year is actually the little bit of ‘no man’s land’ between Boxing Day and New Year: it’s a perfect time to catch up with friends and totally relax before the year begins again, and you can never get tired of turkey sandwiches for dinner every night!

Winner of the 2015 Aspen Conducting Prize, London-born conductor George Jackson came to attention after stepping in at short notice with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducting the Austrian premiere of Michael Jarrell’s Ombres. He conducts the Orchestra of Opera North in Peter and the Wolf & The Snowman on Sunday 22 December as part of Leeds International Concert Season