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 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.

The Reopening of Abbey Road Studios by RPO Cellist Chantal Webster



I awoke on Thursday with a palpable feeling of excitement – WORK! Finally, I could pack my cello into its case with a sense of purpose. Having been under total musical lockdown for 82 days, the last couple of concerts where we had performed to dwindling audiences scared about the imminent onslaught of COVID-19 seemed a lifetime ago.

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