Sir Thomas Beecham, founder of the RPO
Original cover of the first RPO concert programme
Throughout its history, the Orchestra has been directed by an illustrious list of distinguished conductors including Rudolf Kempe, Antal Doráti, André Previn, Vladimir Ashkenazy and, more recently, Daniele Gatti. Today the Orchestra continues to enjoy the leadership of high-ranking conductors, with Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Charles Dutoit supported by Pinchas Zukerman as Principal Guest Conductor, Grzegorz Nowak as Principal Associate Conductor and Daniele Gatti as Conductor Laureate.
Central to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s thriving concert schedule is its prestigious annual series at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. The Orchestra’s 2012-2013 series features Charles Dutoit, Pinchas Zukerman, Nicola Benedetti, Andrew Litton, Diego Matheuz, Kirill Karabits, Sir Willard White and The Bach Choir. At Cadogan Hall, the Orchestra’s London home in Chelsea, the intimate and luxurious surroundings provide the perfect concert atmosphere, with forthcoming performances featuring Grzegorz Nowak, Natasha Paremski and Jack Liebeck. Completing the Orchestra’s London programme of concerts, the iconic Royal Albert Hall provides the ideal setting for a varied series of monumental performances, ranging from large-scale choral and orchestral works to themed evenings of familiar repertoire. The Orchestra prides itself on a comprehensive regional touring programme, giving regular performances at venues across the UK and with established residencies in Croydon, Northampton, Lowestoft, Reading, Crawley, Ipswich, High Wycombe, Aylesbury and Dartford.
Internationally the Orchestra is in high demand, undertaking several major tours each season. Recent engagements have included a month-long tour to the USA and Canada, comprising of twenty-one concerts, as well as performances in China, Russia, Azerbaijan, Spain, Italy, Germany and Japan. The 2012-2013 season began with the third year of the Orchestra’s annual residency in Montreux, Switzerland, where it gave performances under Charles Dutoit and David Zinman with soloists including Louis Lortie, Daniil Trifonov and Arabella Steinbacher. Further engagements for the season include tours to Italy, Oman, Switzerland and Spain, and a major tour to Asia with Charles Dutoit and Yuja Wang.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s vibrant community and education programme, RPO res
ound, is one of the most diverse and celebrated programmes in the UK. Since its inception in 1993, specially trained musicians from the Orchestra, alongside accomplished project leaders, have delivered hundreds of pioneering projects where music is used as a powerful and inspirational tool. With an emphasis on broadening access to and engagement with world-class music-making, RPO resound is unique in the breadth and range of participant groups with which it works – from homeless shelters to hospices, youth clubs to prisons, and early years to higher education.
Frequently found in the recording studio, the Orchestra records extensively for film and television as well as for all the major commercial record companies.
What the critics say!
‘The RPO do sensuousness uncommonly well. The end result was rich yet delicate, with wonderfully liquid woodwind solos and an exquisite sheen on the strings.’ The Guardian
‘Hats off to the RPO who sounded reborn.’ The Independent
‘The strings are highly impressive ... the RPO offers muscular brass and first-class woodwinds. The rhythmic intricacies and sharp contrasts in mood and tempi were dextrously handled by Dutoit and the musicians delivered the music with fleet bravura.’ Chicago Classical Review