The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra (RPCO) was formed in 1987 and has built up an international reputation in its own right. Performing in the major concert halls and concert venues in the UK and around the world, from China and the Far East to North and South America, the RPCO is known for its versatile programming of classical, light classical and popular music. The RPCO is regularly seen working with renowned artists in the worlds of classical music, pop music and West End musicals and appears at many of the UK’s most celebrated summer music festivals.
The 2013–2014 season included many appearances at the Royal Albert Hall, amongst which were the UK premiere of Pixar in Concert and five performances of Bernstein’s soundtrack to West Side Story, synchronised with the screening of the original classic film, which also received critical acclaim for sell-out performances in 2012 (‘the RPCO, crisply conducted by Jayce Ogren, brought verve and boppish swing to the score… Little wonder that the audience burst into applause after so many of the key scenes.’ The Times). In the current season, the RPCO again takes to the Royal Albert Hall stage, performing with influential Russian popstar Valeriya and in a concert of the music from Final Fantasy, which sold out within two hours of going on sale. The RPCO was delighted to return to many summer music festivals this year, appearing at Hampton Court Palace, Canary Wharf and Rochester Castle, amongst others. International touring commitments included invitations to perform as far afield as Bahrain, Russia and China, as well as in several major cities across Europe. Other high profile projects included an invitation to perform with Dame Shirley Bassey for a Charity Gala held at Windsor Castle in the presence of HRH The Duke of York, and an appearance at the Sundance Festival in Holland with reggae stars John Holt, Luciano and members of UB40. 2013 saw further engagements and collaborations across the UK, including four performances with Boston Ballet at the London Coliseum, an Elgar celebration concert in his home town of Malvern on the composer’s birthday and live performances to the screening of two iconic films at the Royal Albert Hall: Singin’ in the Rain and Fantasia.
The RPCO has a worldwide reputation for working with internationally renowned artists, ranging from opera luminaries, such as Andrea Bocelli, José Carreras, Lesley Garrett, Bryn Terfel, Renée Fleming, Kiri Te Kanawa and the late Luciano Pavarotti, to popular culture icons, including Burt Bacharach, Tina Turner, Henry Mancini, Liza Minnelli, Barry Manilow, Sting and Stevie Wonder, to name a few.
Further highlights of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra’s recent seasons have included two sellout performances at the London Coliseum with pop/opera quartet Il Divo, performances with Neil Sedaka in October 2012 and Broadway stars Idina Menzel and Marvin Hamlisch at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2011, and two dance performances of Mozart and Mahler with Scottish Ballet at Sadler’s Wells in November 2011.
One of the RPCO’s biggest touring engagements in recent seasons was to accompany Sting on part of his world tour of Symphonicity, giving performances across North America and Europe to wide critical acclaim. The RPCO also performed the music of John Williams for the production of Star Wars: A Musical Journey. A huge success, this production toured across the USA and Europe over a six-month period. In addition to these two major touring projects, the Orchestra has a flourishing international schedule, performing in Mexico, South Korea, Russia, China, Barbados and Brazil.
The RPCO’s many recordings include Mancini Rocks the Pops and Elmer Bernstein by Elmer Bernstein. It has featured on two best-selling recordings with Lesley Garrett, including the hugely successful album Soprano in Red.