Interactive Online Workshops with Pimlico Toy Library

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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

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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.

Latest News

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    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announces HRH The Prince of Wales as new patron ahead of 75th Anniversary Season
  • Monday 26 April 2021
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the Southbank Centre as they welcome audiences back with Summer Reunion programme
  • Tuesday 20 April 2021
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Latest Media Articles

  • Tuesday 27 April 2021
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announces HRH The Prince of Wales as new patron ahead of 75th Anniversary Season
  • Monday 26 April 2021
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the Southbank Centre as they welcome audiences back with Summer Reunion programme
  • Tuesday 20 April 2021
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announces its first concert season since start of the pandemic