Barry Griffiths: A tribute from Andrew Klee


Following the passing of former Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Leader Barry Griffiths, Andrew Klee (RPO First Violin) shares his memories a former colleague and friend:

It was with much sadness that I heard the news of Barry Griffiths’ death. Barry was appointed as Leader of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1976 and it was Barry who then gave me a position in his section.

Barry was obviously a first class violinist and I remember his performances of the Elgar Concerto being among the finest, with his glorious sweet sound lending itself particularly well to those favourites of the British concert hall, The Lark Ascending and Méditation from Thaïs.

Tribute to Barry Griffiths, former Leader of the RPO


The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was extremely saddened to learn of the recent passing of its former Leader, Barry Griffiths. Barry held the position with the Orchestra from 1976 to 1989, beginning under the baton of Antal Doráti and continuing with a glorious career, guiding the Orchestra through a more than a decade of distinguished performances, tours and recordings with a host of legendary conductors and soloists, including André Previn, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yehudi Menuhin, Nigel Kennedy, Yuri Temirkanov, Luciano Pavarotti and many more.

The RPO family will fondly remember Barry and we extend our thoughts and condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.

Interactive Online Workshops with Pimlico Toy Library


By Ben Wolstenholme (RPO double bass)

Last Wednesday, 15 July, turned out to be a rather unusual but significant day for me. Myself and two fellow members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Sali-Wyn Ryan and Gerald Kirby - came together to perform, live, in the crypt of St. James’ Church, Clerkenwell. One might be perplexed at the suggestion of this being ‘odd’, the RPO has certainly performed in stranger settings. This, however, was the first piece of live music to an audience I’d made with other musicians since the country was first forced to close its doors in March. Furthermore, an audience? Indoors? Yes - brought to us by everyone’s recent favourite method of connection: Zoom!

The RPO’s Music Director Designate Vasily Petrenko and chief conductors from across the UK orchestral sector have initiated an open letter to Government



New research by the RPO has revealed that, for millions of people, music has played an important role in helping them to cope with weeks of home isolation. It has kept spirits up, supported mental health and wellbeing. Many people have discovered new genres of music during lockdown and many young people have devoted in time to learn a musical instrument. Whilst music venues closed their doors as part of the national effort to save lives, soaring streaming figures and the explosion of online performances during lockdown all underline the demand for music at a time of crisis. Music has enriched lives at a critical time; it has helped people to get through the darkest of days - and at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, we believe it has a crucial role to play to help us to rebuild our country and our lives.

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