Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Originally the brainchild of Sir Thomas Beecham as an amalgamation of some of the world's best classical musicians, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has long been established as a high benchmark for great classical music players noted not just for the excellence of the playing but their willingness to expand the horizons of classical music to encompass other styles. The RPO emerged from the London Philharmonic Society, which Beecham had founded in 1932 but after falling out with some of the members, he gained the approval of King George V to launch the RPO and perform at all the Society's events. The new orchestra made their debut at Davis Hall in Croydon and under Beecham's tutelage they went on to cut many records and perform at prestigious events, like the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Beecham's death in 1961 plunged the orchestra into financial crisis, but it received a public subsidy to regain its reputation for setting new standards of orchestral playing under a series of outstanding conductors, including Rudolf Kempe, Andre Previn, Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and, from 2009, Charles Dutoit. In 2004 it acquired a regular home at London's Cadogan Hall and also played regular concerts at the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall, performing music by a wide range of composers, notably including Beethoven, Holst, Schubert, Berlioz and Delius. In addition they expanded their material to encompass film music, recording scores for 'The Red Shoes', 'Bridge On the River Kwai', 'Richard III' and 'The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes', and even dabbled in rock music, appearing in mixed media concerts with The Nice. Offshoots from the RPO include the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Pop Orchestra.

Related Artists

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.