(c) Richard Termine

The last leg of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's tour to the USA along the East Coast topped off an ambitious project that involved months of planning, with the logistics of nagivating changing pandemic restrictions to move 80 players from the UK to California, to Orlando and finally New York. With the final concert in Carnegie Hall, we had completed the first major tour to the USA by any international orchestra since February 2020.

Read on to see photos and reactions from our concerts in New York, New Jersey and Virginia.

Virginia and New Jersey

It was bitterly cold when when the Orchestra arrived in Virginia for the concert in Fairfax's Center for the Arts.

Arriving at East Coast Richard Ion

Sub Principal Clarinet Sonia Sielaff (c) Richard Ion

Elen rehearsing Richard Ion

Second violin Elen Rideal in rehearsal (c) Richard Ion

We had clear skies for our afternoon concert in New Jersey's State Theatre!

State Theatre New Jersey c Josh Cirtina

(c) Josh Cirtina

State Theatre New Jersey c Matt Gee

 Rehearsing Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No.1 with Kian Soltani (c) Matt Gee

New York

It was a historic moment for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as they returned to Carnegie Hall for the first time in 25 years, performing an all-British programme of music by Britten, Elgar and Holst with Music director Vasily Petrenko. The concert was given in honour of Lilia Bloom.

Our players enjoyed taking the opportunity to see the sights around the Big Apple.

Sali Rockefeller Center

Repping the RPO brand at the top of the Rockefeller Center (c) Sali-Wyn Ryan

Rockefeller Center c Richard ion

Richard Ion, Fraser Gordon, Sali-Wyn Ryan, Jernej Albreht and James Gilbert (c) Richard Ion

Fraser Sonia Central Park

Fraser Gordon and Sonia Sielaff in Central Park

It was time to start rehearsing!

Kevin Morgan backstage warming up

Principal Tuba Kevin Morgan warming up backstage

Carnegie Hall rehearsal Josh Cirtina

Rehearsing in Carnegie Hall (c) Josh Cirtina

Richard Harwood Kian Soltani rehearsal cellos

 Kian Soltani Elgar Cello Concerto

Kian Soltani performed Elgar's Cello Concerto (c) Richard Termine

A landmark arrived on Monday evening, however, when the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London became the first international orchestra to appear at the hall since the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique on Feb. 24, 2020...

“The cellist Kian Soltani, the soloist in the Elgar, played with buttery understatement and intimacy, and considerable wit in the Lento. It speaks to his collegiality that his encore included five of the orchestra’s cellists in his arrangement of an excerpt from Shostakovich’s film score for “The Gadfly.
New York Times

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The concert concluded with Gustav Holst's symphonic tour de force The Planets with the Musica Sacra Chorus.

Petrenko Carnegie Hall Richard Termine

(c) Richard Termine

“The Planets, after intermission, was an unalloyed joy – I was grinning so widely at times that I wondered if I were compromising the seal on my mask! The clarity of texture that marked the Britten was evident here, too, in remarkable detail; I heard inner lines that I have never heard before. The RPO took full advantage of Carnegie Hall to display Holst’s orchestrations as a riot of colour.”

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Petrenko RPO applause Carnegie Hall

(c) Richard Termine

“The excellent players in the RPO can make all the requisite polished sounds, but what was most impressive was how the orchestra, under Petrenko, managed the blend and balances between instruments and groups. It’s one thing for a composer to score a line for high strings and flutes, quite another for an orchestra to play it in such a way that these are on the fine line of inseparability that produces a sense of marvel and wonder in the mind and heart.”
New York Classical

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 Our players couldn't miss the opportunity for a photo in the historic Big Apple venue!


Euphonium, tuba and trombones


The cellos

Second Violins

The second violins


The violas


The woodwind

Thank you to all who joined us along the way for what proved to be a very special tour for the Orchestra in our 75th anniversary season.

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