Acknowledged as one of the UK’s most prestigious orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) enjoys an international reputation for bringing audiences worldwide first-class performances and the highest possible standards of music-making across a diverse range of musical repertoire. This was the vision of the Orchestra’s flamboyant founder Sir Thomas Beecham, whose legacy is maintained today as the Orchestra thrives under the exceptional direction of its Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Maestro Charles Dutoit.
Since its formation in 1946, the Orchestra has been directed by some of the world’s finest conductors, most notably Rudolf Kempe, Antal Doráti, André Previn, Vladimir Ashkenazy and more recently Daniele Gatti. Other high-ranking conductors who regularly take the podium include Pinchas Zukerman as Principal Guest Conductor, Grzegorz Nowak as Principal Associate Conductor and Dirk Joeres as Permanent Guest Conductor. Daniele Gatti continues his association with the Orchestra as Conductor Laureate.
Within the UK, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is committed to offering an extensive regional touring programme, with established residencies in Croydon, Northampton, Lowestoft, Reading and Crawley. The Orchestra also gives regular performances at other venues throughout the UK, including forthcoming engagements in Ipswich, High Wycombe and Dartford. As an international orchestra, the RPO has toured more than thirty countries in the last five years. Recent tours have included performances in Japan, Egypt, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Azerbaijan and China. The 2011-2012 season begins with the second year of the Orchestra’s annual residency in Montreux, Switzerland under Charles Dutoit, with guest artists including Yefim Bronfman and Lisa Batiashvili. Autumn 2011 sees a tour to Spain with Pinchas Zukerman and concerts in Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein and Italy with Charles Dutoit and Yuja Wang. In January 2012 the Orchestra will embark on a month-long tour of the major cities of the USA with Charles Dutoit, Pinchas Zukerman and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and 2012 will also see concerts in Spain, Eastern Europe and Dublin with artists including Charles Dutoit, Pinchas Zukerman and Julia Fischer.
The Orchestra is also recognised for its artistic work through a vibrant and innovative community and education programme, titled RPO resound. Specially trained members of the Orchestra, alongside accomplished project leaders, provide comprehensive workshops where music is used as a powerful and inspirational force. RPO resound prides itself on working in a wide variety of settings, including projects connected with homeless people, youth clubs, the probation service and terminally ill children.
Frequently found in the recording studio, the Orchestra records extensively for film and television as well as for all the major commercial record companies. The Orchestra also owns its own record label and is proud to be the first UK orchestra to stream its entire series of concerts live from Cadogan Hall.