Cadogan Hall Chelsea might not be the most well-known building in the UK but if you happen to be one of the Chelsea elite the chances are you’ll be familiar with it. This dazzling hall was erected in 1907 by the same man who designed the Napier Museum in Kerala, India. The name of this forward-thinking architect was Robert Fellows Chisholm.
Since 2001 Cadogan Hall has been the principle venue of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This grade II listed building is a former Christian Science church but due to a dwindling congregation and general disrepair, the hall was sold in 1996 to Harrods’ owner Mohamed Al Fayed. In 2000 Al Fayed sold the venue to the Cadogan Estates, which have been Chelsea’s largest landowners since the 18th century. Cadogan Estates are owned by Earl Cadogan. The importance of the Cadogan name to this upmarket area of London is demonstrated by the nearby naming of Cadogan Square and Cadogan Place.
The hall, which is built in the Byzantine style, was refurbished in 2004 at a cost of £7.5 million. It now hosts events of a diverse nature all year round. As well as being home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the venue has been used as a recording spot, which is something that can only really happen if a building’s acoustic properties are extremely good.
In 2009 the art rock group, Marillion recorded a live performance, which was released two years later as the album ‘Live from the Cadogan’. John Elliot Gardiner and the English Baroque soloists played some of Mozart’s works at Cadogan Hall, which were also recorded and made commercially available afterwards.
Diversity is a key player at the Cadogan and in early October you have the opportunity to see the poet Pam Ayers reading poetry from her new book. In complete contrast you might want to see the cricket commentators, Blowers and Baxter and their humorous ‘Test Match Special’ show. This side-splitting show includes Harold Blofeld and Peter Baxter telling anecdotes about legendary players from the last 40 years.
If you happen to be in the Chelsea vicinity, it sounds like the Cadogan Hall may be well worth a visit.