Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announces HRH The Prince of Wales as new patron ahead of 75th Anniversary Season

An image of Vasily Petrenko and the RPO

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is delighted to announce that The Prince of Wales has accepted an invitation to become the Orchestra’s Patron.

The Prince of Wales has a life-long association with the Arts. During the pandemic His Royal Highness spoke about the importance of protecting the Arts, stressing their enormous importance to life in the UK and to the economy.

HRH has become the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Patron at a key moment in its evolution: the Orchestra will celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary this autumn and welcomes its new Music Director Vasily Petrenko; moreover, as the country emerges from a third national lockdown, the RPO will be to the fore helping our communities to heal from an unprecedented pandemic.

The RPO’s mission to enrich lives through orchestral experiences that are uncompromising in their excellence and inclusive in their appeal, places it at the forefront of music-making in the UK. The RPO’s vision for the crucial role the Arts play in enhancing British culture, society and the economy will be expressed in three principal ways during the RPOs 75th Anniversary Season:

Inclusion: The RPO aims to place orchestral music at the heart of contemporary society. It embraces a wide repertoire that enables it to reach a broad audience. The RPO’s extensive regional touring and residences programme helps to ensure that live orchestral music is accessible to all.

Global ambassador: In the aftermath of Brexit, the Arts continue to be one of the UK’s key exports to the world, culturally and economically. The BPI recently stated that the value of British music exports could double to £1bn by 2030 , and a survey for the RPO revealed that 41% of the British public rated the economic importance of British music, up from 30% since the outbreak of COVID . With the support of The Prince of Wales, the RPO will continue to represent the best of British Arts around the world – unifying people of different languages, cultures and politics through the universal language of music.

Education: The Prince of Wales and the RPO share a passion for education, social mobility and giving opportunities to young people. The Orchestra’s community and education programme RPO Resound has, since its launch in 1993, grown to become the most innovative and respected orchestral outreach programme in the UK and internationally. The continued roll-out of RPO Resound projects comes at a time of resurgent interest in orchestral music among young people during the pandemic. National research for the RPO revealed that 38% of children had learned a musical instrument at home during lockdown – and for the under 30s, 35% of respondents felt listening to orchestral music during lockdown had significantly helped their wellbeing and mental health.


 James Williams, Managing Director at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra commented:

“The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is honoured to welcome as its Patron The Prince of Wales, a longstanding champion of the Arts in this country. The era of COVID-19 has presented a seismic challenge for the Arts community but, as lockdown slowly eases, it is time to look forward. At the RPO, we have been hard at work for some months, shaping a bold strategy for our concert, community engagement, inclusion and education programmes to enrich communities when it matters most; we aim to help people and businesses to rebuild after the long, dark months of lockdown. With the announcement of The Prince of Wales as our Patron and the appointment of Vasily Petrenko as our new Music Director, the RPO is well placed to lead the resurgence and spread the joy of orchestral music in a post-COVID world.”


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