The RPO in Steinmetz Hall
The RPO in Steinmetz Hall (c) Dr Phillips Center

From Wednesday 19 to Wednesday 26 January the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra took up residence in Orlando's Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts as part of the celebrations surrounding the opening of the new Steinmetz Hall.

The RPO performed with an array of incredible artists including: Jennifer Hudson, The Royal Ballet, Leon Bridges and Lyle Lovett in a unique series of concerts that formed part of the Orchestra's tour around the USA.

Read on to see some snapshots from the RPO's week in Florida, with highlights from the residency in Orlando:

Wednesday 19 January: The Royal Ballet

Dancers from The Royal Ballet and their Principal Guest Conductor Barry Wordsworth performed a programme of Tchaikovsky with the Orchestra.

Royal Ballet Sarah Lamb and Ryoichi Hirano (c) Dr Phillips

Dancers Sarah Lamb and Ryoichi Hirano (c) Dr Phillips Center

Royal Ballet Curtain Call Barry Wordsworth

The curtain call with conductor Barry Wordsworth (c) Dr Phillips Center

RPO players and Royal Ballet dancers pose backstage

RPO players and Royal Ballet dancers pose backstage

Thursday 20 January: Leon Bridges

 Soul singer-songwriter Leon Bridges joined the Orchestra and conductor Edwin Outwater in the second night of the residency.

Leon Bridges (c) Richard Ion

Leon Bridges in rehearsal (c) Richard Ion

Leon Bridges (c) Dr Phillips Center

(c) Dr Phillips Center

Leon Bridges guest double bass

RPO and guest double basses

Saturday 22 January: Jennifer Hudson

Internationally-renowned singer and actress Jennifer Hudson wowed the audience in a packed-out Steinmetz Hall.

Jennifer Hudson (c) Richard Ion

(c) Richard Ion

Jennifer Hudson rehearsal with musicians

Jennifer and RPO musicians before the concert

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Tuesday 25 January: Lyle Lovett

Country singer and songwriter Lyle Lovett recieved a warm reception at the Dr Phillips Center.

Lyle Lovett (c) Richard Ion

Lyle in rehearsal (c) Richard Ion

Lyle Lovett (c) Esther Robinson

(c) Esther Robinson

Lyle Lovett c Backstage

Wednesday 26 January: Black, Brown and Beige

The RPO joined members of The Jazz Orchestra at Dr. Phillips Center, players from Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Bethune-Cookman University Concert Chorale and vocal soloists including Audra McDonald to peform Duke Ellington’s most significant work: Black, Brown and Beige.

"...on Wednesday night, the Dr. Phillips Center wrote a new chapter in the epilogue of Duke Ellington's life with their much-anticipated staging of Ellington's Black, Brown and Beige...

...Last night, nearly 80 years after that Carnegie Hall performance, it finally happened. In Orlando. With Audra McDonald. And jazz musicians from New York's Lincoln Center. And London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Daytona's incredibly talented Bethune-Cookman University Concert Chorale was there too, along with The Jazz Orchestra at Dr. Phillips Center. And it was as momentous and meaningful and beautiful as Ellington might ever have hoped.

The evening opened with extended selections from Ellington's Sacred Music, a collection of works that exquisitely contemplate the role of faith and love in the Black American experience. Carefully curated and sequenced, the varied segments kept audiences swept up in emotion and grandeur all night as soloists, instrumentalists, choral performances, and even a tap dancer (the indefatigable Leonardo Sandoval) took the stage."

Broadway World

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Beyond the concerts some of players spent some time enjoying the local activities... 

Axe throwing

Trombones Josh Cirtina, Matt Knight and Rupert Whitehead enjoy a spot of shuffleboarding...


Watching the Los Angeles Lakers vs Orlando Magic game...

Guest Principal Trumpet Jason Evans

...and Guest Principal Trumpet Jason Evans went sky diving!

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