The RPO’s Music Director Designate Vasily Petrenko open letter to Government

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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

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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.

Tribute to Ian Balmain, former Principal Trumpet

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The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was deeply saddened to learn this week of the death of Ian Balmain, former principal trumpet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1997 – 2003.

Prior to joining the RPO, Ian held the principal trumpet position with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and later went on to assume the principal trumpet position with London’s Royal Opera House.  Recognised as one of the greatest trumpet players of his generation, it was Ian’s warm and unassuming personality combined with his outstanding musicianship that the RPO will remember him by.

Below are personal tributes by four of Ian’s colleagues during his time at the RPO. Our thoughts and condolences at this difficult time are with Ian’s two children Matthew and Lucy and his wider family.

Coronavirus Isolation Prompting a Quarter of Brits to Learn More About Classical Music

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  • Six in seven (85%) British households with extra time on their hands planning to broaden musical horizons, with a third of these saying they want to discover more Classical music
  • One in five (19%) people under 35 years of age planning on learning more about classical music, with this group twice as likely to have bought a musical instrument to learn
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra sees online traffic almost treble since the start of Coronavirus lockdown
  • Orchestra announces in association with the Southbank Centre its streamed performance in partnership with Google Arts & Culture and YouTube this Wednesday

Latest News

  • Wednesday 13 January 2021
    Lockdown Dramatically Accelerated Engagement With Orchestral Music New Report Finds
  • Tuesday 8 December 2020
    The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Brent Music Service create Anthem for Brent Borough of Culture 2020
  • Monday 7 December 2020
    BBC Young Chorister of the Year to sing in Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s online ‘A Christmas Celebration’ with John Rutter

Latest Media Articles

  • Wednesday 13 January 2021
    Lockdown Dramatically Accelerated Engagement With Orchestral Music New Report Finds
  • Monday 7 December 2020
    BBC Young Chorister of the Year to sing in Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s online ‘A Christmas Celebration’ with John Rutter
  • Tuesday 24 November 2020
    Tchaikovsky's Serenade available to view on YouTube