Today, 23 December 2019, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and developer Quintain announce a major partnership that will see the Orchestra move its headquarters to Wembley Park from May 2020.
This follows on from the RPO’s appointment of Vasily Petrenko as its new Musical Director and builds on recent news that the Orchestra is expanding its live performance programmes in London, including at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as its commitment to the UK regions. For the RPO, the move is the realisation of its long-held ambition to embed the Orchestra in a diverse community, in line with its mission to be a truly inclusive and contemporary international orchestra for the modern age.
The RPO’s role as a key arts anchor tenant represents a major milestone in the transformation of Wembley Park, the 85-acre area around the national stadium, creating a new cultural neighbourhood for NW London, with music at its heart. The partnership was brokered by Futurecity, cultural advisor to Quintain, who helped both parties develop a shared vision to establish a creative hub bringing together education, community outreach, performance, digital projects and administration in a single location.
The RPO will contribute significantly to the regeneration of the area, building on what is already a long-standing relationship with the London Borough of Brent. Over the last 15 years, the RPO has worked with more than 9,000 young people in the Borough through projects such as The World Orchestra Project (2012) (supported by the Mayor’s Music Education Fund), Trans-cultural ConneXXions and the three-year ‘7-Up’ schools’ project. On arrival at Wembley Park, the RPO will launch a new programme of schools’ engagement across Brent as part of London Borough of Culture 2020, supported by the John Lyon’s Charity.
Wembley Park is also the Principal Partner for Brent London Borough of Culture 2020, and will support and host a number of key projects for the programme throughout the year, including the opening ceremony, RISE, which takes place on Olympic Way on 18 January.
James Williams, Managing Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra says: “This partnership sets a new benchmark for orchestral music in Britain, creating the exciting opportunity for the RPO genuinely to enrich a community through a combination of performance, community engagement and education activity. Wembley Park is the perfect choice for such a bold project, one which allows us to approach the RPO’s 75th anniversary with a creative agenda that is innovative and forward-looking.”
James Saunders, chief executive of Quintain, the developer behind the transformation of Wembley Park says: “We’re delighted to welcome the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to Wembley Park. As a major cultural force with an international reputation and fantastic connections in the Borough of Brent, RPO will play a key role in furthering the cultural ambitions and programme of Wembley Park.”
Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries says: “I’m delighted that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is moving its head office to Wembley Park. It’s an exciting new chapter for the internationally-renowned orchestra and a huge boost for Brent as it prepares to start its year as London Borough of Culture.”