Those who have attended a concert at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall or Cadogan Hall will no doubt have been moved by the sweeping symposiums and glittering concertos of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which often accompanies the performances. From expert violinists and flautists to skilled trumpeters and harpists, this 80-strong group comprises extraordinarily talented musicians with some of the highest musical pedigrees in the business. Here we take a look at one of the world’s most respected philharmonic orchestras.
What is the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?
London is home to five philharmonic orchestras, of which the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has the most prolific and international reputation. As well as a busy schedule of shows, the orchestra has its own record label, and famously produces the Here Come The Classics series.
Meet the players
While most of the musicians in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are British, the group’s prestigious status draws talent from across the globe. There are members from Hungary, Switzerland, France, Lithuania, Italy and Norway. All who join are exemplary performers, and many have won awards and accolades to seal their reputation as the best in the business.
Nearly 75 years of history
The seeds of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra were sown by British conductor and musical maestro Sir Thomas Beecham. He decided in 1946, aged 67, to create a world-class ensemble of the country’s most skilled and talented musicians. And he succeeded. Since Beecham’s death 15 years later, the orchestra has had seven chief conductors, including the legendary Rudolf Kempe and Grammy award-winning Vladimir Ashkenazy. The current conductors include Israeli violinist Pinchas Zukerman and Polish maestro Grzegorz Nowak.
Where to enjoy the shows
Resident at Cadogan Hall, a stone’s throw from The Milestone Hotel & Residences, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s schedule includes an inviting array of concerts and shows in London. Despite regularly touring the UK and beyond, with recent international visits including the USA and the Far East, there’s always something to look forward to at its home venue as well as at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall.
What to see
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra undertakes a staggering variety of exciting projects. Whether it’s sound-tracking screenings of popular animated favourites such as The Snowman or playing lively tributes to popular musicals, accompanying spectacular opera galas or celebrated classical concerts, the orchestra’s scope is vast and wide.
Catch the orchestra every summer at the BBC Proms – the world’s most popular classical music festival, where the ensemble regularly accompanies performances. One of 2019’s most anticipated shows is The Planets: An HD Odyssey, where a huge screen flickers with spine-tingling images from outer space while the orchestra plays Holst’s soaring suite with breath-taking results.
Stay at The Milestone Hotel & Residences to enjoy the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s spectacular performances at the English capital’s finest music venues.
Image credits: orchestra portrait © Chris Christodoulou. All other images courtesy of The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.