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!

Managing Director James Williams: 'Necessity is the mother of invention'

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‘Unprecedented’; ‘unknown’; ‘uncertainty’ – all words that have dominated the press and media over the past few months and reflect the new ‘normal’ in which we are now living our lives. Schools and offices have been closed, high streets deserted and our freedoms curtailed in order to control the spread of COVID-19, a virus that has caused loss and pain to many families across the UK and the world.

The music world has been playing its part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by closing concert halls doors in mid-March to prevent public gatherings. Creativity and innovation, both characteristics that define the UK’s world-renowned culture sector, flourished as many of the UK’s performing arts organisations including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra transformed overnight their live artistic programmes onto digital platforms, enabling audiences to maintain contact with their favourite cultural organisation, more often than not for free. Closer to home, it’s been wonderful to learn more about the individual lives and personalities of the RPO’s musicians on our digital platform #RPOatHome and to see individuals’ creativity flourishing, which by definition is harder to achieve when performing together as an 80-piece orchestra.

Lockdown Inspires Children to Learn a Musical Instrument

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Music has been a lifeline for millions of people during isolation. Whilst the popularity of online concerts and streaming sites has been well documented, for the country’s children, the isolation era has also been a time to learn and develop skills in playing musical instruments.

New research out today from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) reveals that 38% of children have been learning a musical instrument at home this year – and 17% of children can play more than one. Significantly, 66% of parents say their children have felt more enthused doing more music practice since lockdown started – whereas only 8% of children have been playing less.

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

Latest News

  • Monday 7 September 2020
    RPO welcomed to Wembley Park with Pop-up Performances
  • Monday 24 August 2020
    Announcing the Spotlight Series at Cadogan Hall
  • Wednesday 19 August 2020
    Going Classical: report shows 18-25 year olds accounted for a third (34%) of Classical streamers worldwide in the last 12 months

Latest Media Articles

  • Monday 7 September 2020
    RPO welcomed to Wembley Park with Pop-up Performances
  • Monday 24 August 2020
    Announcing the Spotlight Series at Cadogan Hall
  • Wednesday 19 August 2020
    Going Classical: report shows 18-25 year olds accounted for a third (34%) of Classical streamers worldwide in the last 12 months