The Bridgewater Hall is Manchester’s international music venue. This grand concert hall, opened in 1996, is home to the Hallé Orchestra and showcases over 250 performances a year, mostly of choral, orchestral and chamber music. The Bridgewater Hall is a venue which had been in the works for decades as a replacement for the nearby Free Trade Hall which suffered from poor acoustics. The Hall was eventually built next to the Rochdale Canal and opened in December 1996. The Hall’s sparkling waterfront setting matches the grandeur of its main auditorium, which can seat 2,341 people. The auditorium boasts a £1.2 million pipe organ, which was at the time the largest instrument to be installed in the UK for over 100 years. While the Bridgewater Hall is known for its classical leanings, it occasionally puts on concerts by bigger names from the worlds of pop and rock. Household names to have graced the Bridgewater Hall include Belle and Sebastian, Alt-J and Echo and the Bunnymen. Boasting excellent acoustics and stunning surroundings, the Bridgewater Hall is probably the classiest place to catch a live concert in Manchester.