Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales

Music Director: Vasily Petrenko

As the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2021, its mission to enrich lives through orchestral experiences that are uncompromising in their excellence and inclusive in their appeal, places the RPO at the forefront of music-making in the UK. Performing approximately 200 concerts each season and with a worldwide audience of more than half-a-million people, the Orchestra embraces a broad repertoire that enables it to reach the most diverse audience of any British symphony orchestra. Whilst artistic integrity remains paramount, the RPO is unafraid to push boundaries and is equally at home recording video game, film and television soundtracks and working with pop stars, as it is performing the great symphonic repertoire. 

The RPO collaborates with the most inspiring artists and is thrilled to welcome its new Music Director, Vasily Petrenko. His appointment stands as a major landmark in the Orchestra’s history and together they will pursue a strategy to broaden the audience for orchestral music while enhancing the RPO's reputation as one of the world’s most versatile and in demand ensembles. Vasily Petrenko joins a roster of titled conductors that includes Pinchas Zukerman (Principal Guest Conductor), Alexander Shelley (Principal Associate Conductor) and Grzegorz Nowak (Permanent Associate Conductor).

The RPO aims to place orchestral music at the heart of contemporary society, collaborating with creative partners to foster a deeper engagement with communities to ensure that live orchestral music is accessible to as inclusive and diverse an audience as possible. To achieve this, in 1993 the Orchestra launched RPO Resound, which has grown to become the most innovative and respected orchestral community and education programme in the UK and internationally. The programme delivers bespoke, pioneering education, community and talent development projects to a wide range of participant groups, including homeless people, children, young people and stroke survivors, always with the overarching objective to leave a lasting legacy.  

Registered Charity No. 244533 


‘...with poised contributions from across the orchestra, including silky, dextrous solos by the concertmaster Duncan Riddell and Katherine Lacy’s bubbly, characterful clarinet, everything felt just right. [Vasily] Petrenko incisively peeled away the bombast and uncovered the delicacy as well as the drama of the music.’ The Times, June 2019

‘Outstanding playing from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: I have not heard them on such form in years.’ The Arts Desk, BBC Proms 2019

‘The RPO was on rousing form… [and] left a stirring and exalting impression, as this music should.’ Classical Source, BBC Proms 2019

‘[Alexander] Shelley and the RPO were on great form here, with Shelley setting quick tempi and the RPO responding with accuracy and tight ensemble. The woodwind section deserve particular praise, with considerable solo work required, not least from bassoonist Helen Storey, with that heartrending plea in the Largo, as well as flautist Emer McDonough’s plaintive second movement solo.’ Bachtrack, November 2019

‘[The concert] was a wonderfully engaging affair, notable for the beauty of the orchestral sound.’ The Guardian

‘[The Firebird Suite] …was both delicately beguiling and packed a punch, proving in the process why this orchestra still matters.’ The Telegraph

‘The string and wind sections played off each other spectacularly, with careful attention to detail and tone. This was to be expected from the Royal Philharmonic, one of the best and most prestigious symphonic orchestras in the world.’ The Daily Californian

‘…punchy orchestral playing in an exciting performance.’ The Telegraph

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