The People's Palace at Mile End was originally built in 1886 and was one of the last of the great Victorian People's Palaces to be created. Designed by E. R. Robson and funded by a legacy of Barbara Beaumont, it was created to bring new and dynamic cultural opportunities to the people of East London. The First World War and a huge fire in 1931 caused real problems for this mission, but the People's Palace was rebuilt and reopened in 1936. Boasting one of the largest stages in London, the magnificent 770-seat Great Hall became home to a rich tapestry of orchestral concerts and became one of London's top venues.
Many leading opera and ballet companies and orchestras performed here, not least the Royal Carl Rosa Opera and Metropolitan Ballet companies, BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic and London Symphony orchestras, under the direction of luminaries such as Sir Adrian Boult, Sir Basil Cameron and Eduard van Beinum. Many key works first came to life in the Great Hall, not least the UK premieres of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring and Martinu's fourth symphony, while innumerable premieres of works by composers such as Eugene Goosens's second symphony.
In 2012, a £6.3 million restoration and refurbishment of the Great Hall saw it returned to its original beauty, but now with the addition of state-of-the-art technical equipment. Situated within the People's Palace is a specially-created suite for music making, complete with Practice and Teaching Rooms, Rehearsals Spaces and a Music Library.