The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has been at the forefront of orchestral music in the UK for more than seven decades. Formed by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1946, it enjoys an international reputation for bringing worldwide audiences first-class performances, and now announcing the new Music Director and Principle Conductor, Maestro Vasily Petrenko who will start his tenure at the start of the 2021/22 season.
This announcement in July 2018, is a landmark in the Orchestra's history and concludes an 18 month search process, during which Maestro Petrenko quickly emerged as the RPO's first choice. The 2021/22 Season also marks the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's 75th Anniversary so there is plenty to celebrate.
Since 2004 the orchestra’s home at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea has served as a springboard for seven principal residencies as well as more than forty-five concerts a year at partnership venues across the country. The Orchestra’s regular performances in London at Cadogan Hall are complemented by a distinguished series at the Royal Festival Hall and another enormously popular series at the iconic Royal Albert Hall. With a wider reach than any other UK large ensemble, the RPO is truly Britain’s national orchestra.
Alongside its highly-regarded regular concert series, the RPO embraces twenty-first-century influences, incorporating modern artists and pop stars in some of their performances. The orchestra has also appeared on video game, film and television soundtracks. They have remained relevant while maintaining their integrity. Artistic priority remains paramount, with the RPO making great music at the highest level for the widest possible audience.
The Orchestra has had a remarkable roster of talented and world-famous principal conductors and continues to work with international artists of the highest calibre. Touring also remains vital to the Orchestra’s work, as does RPO Resound, the community-based education programme which marks its twenty-fifth anniversary this year. The RPO has embraced cutting-edge digital advances, and in 2017 it teamed up with the concert-enhancing app, EnCue by Octava, becoming the first orchestra in Europe to offer its audiences real-time programme notes delivered directly to their mobile or tablet devices.
As the RPO looks to the future, its versatility and exceptionally high standards make it one of the most open-minded and forward-thinking symphony orchestras in the world. It is a glittering example of what can be achieved with one foot in tradition and the other boldly stepping forward into the modern age.
Image Credits: All images courtesy of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.