January 20 was changeover day. After a splendid series of concerts with Mark Wigglesworth on the east coast and down into Florida we said goodbye to several of our colleagues and headed west for the second half of the tour. Pinchas Zukerman was taking over the helm with a new programme, but before we embarked on those final seven concerts in as many days there was the travel day (with a 5 hour+ flight one is reminded just how big the USA is) and the rare luxury of a free day to enjoy; a chance to relax and recharge the batteries a bit.
I'm writing this on the way to West Palm Beach for the final concert of the first leg of our epic 3-week US tour. This tour is particularly exciting for me as it is my first long US tour as a member of the RPO first violin section, and I’ve had a brilliant time so far, performing in some great places and spending time with the lovely people of the RPO. The rehearsals at Henry Wood Hall at the beginning of January seem so long ago and it is really amazing just how much the orchestra has managed to pack into the tour so far!
Sali-Wyn Ryan talks to Andy Sippings on the eve of his retirement, after almost four decades with the Orchestra.
It’s very easy to overuse the word ‘legend’ to describe somebody these days, or indeed to announce something as being ‘the end of an era’. Both terms are fully applicable right now, as I chat to our wonderful RPO violist, Andy Sippings on the eve of his retirement. Andy deserves a firm place in the RPO Hall of Fame, not only for his contribution as a musician within the viola section but also for several years of extraordinary participation at governance level. Not only did Andy serve as Chair of the orchestra for fifteen years; he also acted as Managing Director and was instrumental in steering the RPO through some incredibly tough and financially challenging times.
Prom 68: ‘Wagner Night’ was the RPO’s offering in the 2019 BBC Proms series. One of a number of proms commemorating 150 years since the birth of the founder/conductor of the proms, Sir Henry Wood. The programme was a collection of music that Sir Henry would have typically chosen for his concerts: the first half of two overtures and some incidental music, followed by the main event in the second half – highlights from Wagner’s colossal concluding opera from the Ring Cycle, Götterdammerung.