An Impressive Start to the RPO’s Sibelius/Prokofiev Series


This performance by Alexander Shelley and the RPO was the first in a series of four concerts at Cadogan Hall entitled, Symphonic Soundscapes: The Music of Prokofiev and Sibelius. In the well written and informative programme notes Shelley said he wanted to “delve into the inspirations, styles and nuances of these two eminent composers, each with their own incredible journey towards symphonic and orchestral greatness”. Shelley has a very engaging stage manner and he introduced the series and the works to be performed at the concert from the stage.

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Callum Smart makes stunning debut with the RPO


No hangovers yesterday in Cheltenham, the night after the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's gala concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Sixty players asserted themselves in Beethoven's overture to Fidelio under the strict, determined direction of conductor Matthew Halls, making his RPO debut.

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From Tigress-like attack to elusive poetry


There were two major causes for celebration in this Royal Philharmonic Orchestra gala at the Royal Albert Hall. Marking the anniversary of its first concert in Croydon 70 years ago this month, the RPO was back where it made its London debut (in October 1946) under Thomas Beecham. Despite having endured a sometimes chequered history in our orchestrally crowded capital, the RPO’s survival instincts are strong and it was good to see it drawing a capacity crowd – helped no doubt by three Big Names on the programme.

Concert: RPO/ Dutoit at the Albert Hall


The pianist Martha Argerich never stopped teasing the music, phrasing with a litheness and curiosity that quickly cast a spell over the audience

What’s the secret to ageing well? The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, marking its 70th anniversary, had its birthday bash at the Albert Hall and invited a trio who should have some answers. There was its artistic director, Charles Dutoit, who turns 80 next month (but was sporting an impressive trail of ink-black hair); the elusive Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, 75; and the violinist Pinchas Zukerman, the spring chicken of the bunch at 68.

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