Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Photo: Ben Wright

On Tuesday 21 September 2021 the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra celebrated 75 years at the forefront of music-making with a momentous concert at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The special evening marked Vasily Petrenko's first live concert in his new position as our new Music Director, as we were joined by a star-studded line up featuring Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Sir Bryn Terfel and the Philharmonia Chorus.

The specially curated Anniversary programme included masterpieces written by three of the greatest English composers, Delius, Elgar and Walton, all of whom are synonymous with the RPO and our founder Sir Thomas Beecham.

Thank you to everyone who joined us at this incredible evening. For those unable to attend, or if you simply wish to relive the occasion, check out all the photos and reactions below:


 An image of the RPO at the Royal Albert Hall

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The specially curated Anniversary programme included masterpieces written by three of the greatest English composers, Delius, Elgar and Walton, all of whom are synonymous with the RPO and our founder Sir Thomas Beecham.


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"This evening was a celebration in other ways too. Here was a giant orchestra sitting together on the Royal Albert Hall platform, sharing desks. Here was the Philharmonia Chorus, more than 100 singers, standing side by side, making as much noise as they possibly could. All of it was welcomed by a pretty much packed-out audience. I doubt any of us will take this “normal” set-up for granted again after 18 months of social distancing. The RPO became the RAH's official Associate Orchestra a few months before the pandemic struck; now it can finally begin to make the most of it."

The Arts Desk

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 There I am, happily back to being squished on stage! Fabulous concert @rpoonline last night, a truly memorable celebration for our 75th! Incredible performances by @ShekuKM and always an honour to be on stage with @Bryn_Terfel Bravo everybody! ? pic.twitter.com/NMqOHIoArA


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 "The multi-hued score glittered with bombast and swagger under the conductor Vasily Petrenko. Heavy extra brass pealed from above"
The Times ★★★★

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason's Instagram post

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All photos: © Ben Wright

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the support of RPO President, Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet and LG SIGNATURE.


As a part of our 75th Anniversary Season, we welcome Vasily Petrenko as our Music Director and look ahead to our Great British Music London season at the Royal Albert Hall and Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall.

Celebrating the themes of freedom, hope and adventure within the music of some of the nation’s greatest composers, and ushering in a new era for the RPO.

Great British Music season


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