In 2016, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) is proud to be celebrating 70 years at the forefront of music-making. Unique within the UK and the international orchestral scene, the RPO embraces and thrives under a modern and versatile approach, which, over the past decade, has seen the Orchestra extend its reach to fourteen UK residencies; performing more concerts and to a wider breadth of audiences than any other orchestra in the country.
Inspired by a distinguished roster of artists, over the last 70 years, the Orchestra is privileged to have Charles Dutoit as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Pinchas Zukerman as Principal Associate Conductor, Alexander Shelley as the recently appointed Principal Associate Conductor and Grzegorz Nowak as Permanent Associate Conductor.
To mark the Orchestra’s platinum year, January sees the RPO visiting the USA for an extensive sixteen-concert tour. Soon after (Tuesday 22 March), Vasily Petrenko will debut with the Orchestra to conduct Mahler’s magnificent Symphony No.2, ‘Resurrection’, at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Other significant events include a tour of Spain and the special 70th anniversary release on Decca of English music with Pinchas Zukerman performing and conducting, and, in late June, the second Pinchas Zukerman Festival to be held at the Orchestra’s home, Cadogan Hall. NASA will then play a part as the RPO performs The Planets – An HD Odyssey across the UK at seven venues (to include Edinburgh, Bristol and the Royal Albert Hall in London). This exciting multimedia event features the latest astounding high-definition images beamed back by Voyager and the Mars Rover.
In August, Charles Dutoit and the Orchestra return to Montreux to also celebrate the Festival’s 70th anniversary. To mark this occasion and to pay tribute to Stravinsky, who resided in Montreux, Charles Dutoit will conduct his three ballets: The Rite of Spring, The Firebird and Petrushka.
In the week of the Orchestra’s founding date, on 19 September, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will host its 70th Anniversary Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, featuring prestigious artists Martha Argerich, Charles Dutoit and Pinchas Zukerman. This should be a thrilling event in a venue that has played an integral role in its success. The Orchestra is grateful to the Royal Albert Hall, who have donated the venue as one of their annual free charity exclusive lets.
RPO Resound, the Orchestra’s Community and Education programme, is an integral part of the Orchestra’s life and is now in its twenty-first year. Its projects have taken music into the heart of the regions where the musicians perform in a variety of settings, from working with the homeless and visiting children’s hospices to, most recently, visiting stroke clinics for its award-winning programme relating to the recovery of stroke patients, entitled STROKEstra. RPO Resound is still one of the most celebrated programmes of its kind in the UK and continues to lead the way in music and education.
Ian Maclay, Managing Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, says
'The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is renowned the world over for its versatility and ability to adapt to changing styles of music making and presentation.
'The RPO enters its eighth decade at the very forefront of the UK’s orchestral scene confident that it has the skill, resource and determination to meet the challenges ahead.'
Notes to editor
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s fourteen UK residencies are Cadogan Hall London, Fairfield Hall Croydon, The Wycombe Swan High Wycombe, The Orchard Theatre Dartford, The Royal & Derngate Northampton, The Bath Halls Scunthorpe, The Marina Theatre Lowestoft, Regent Theatre Ipswich, Cheltenham Town Hall, The Hexagon Reading, City Hall Hull, The Hawth Crawley, Corn Exchange Cambridge, Cliffs Pavilion Southend.