The BBC Philharmonic is a broadcasting orchestra based in Salford. It performs at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, tours the North of England and welcomes audiences in its recording studio at MediaCityUK.
As one of the BBC’s six performing groups the BBC Philharmonic gives over 100 concerts a year, nearly all of which are broadcast on BBC Radio 3, the BBC’s home of classical music. It also appears annually at the BBC Proms. The orchestra stars in the BBC’s latest Ten Pieces film for secondary schools, part of the BBC Music plan to bring classical music to a generation of young people across the UK.
The BBC Philharmonic champions British composers and works with world-class artists from a range of genres and styles. Last season saw the return of BBC Philharmonic Presents, a series of collaborations across BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 live, 6 Music and the Asian Network, showcasing the versatility of this orchestra and its adventurous, creative spirit.
The orchestra is supported by Salford City Council, enabling active links to be built in the local area through a busy Learning and Outreach programme working in schools and the community.
The BBC Philharmonic supports and nurtures emerging talent from across the North-West, working closely with Salford City Council and other partners including the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Salford University and Greater Manchester Music Hub (GMMH) to provide unique opportunities for musicians of all ages to work with the orchestra. Consequently, thousands of children and adults meet the BBC Philharmonic in a variety of academic and community settings each year as part of the orchestra’s burgeoning Learning and Outreach programme.
The BBC Philharmonic’s family of conductors is led by its Chief Conductor Juanjo Mena. His exploration of Beethoven’s work in the past season gained excellent reviews and this season he leads the orchestra’s celebration of the music, influence and inspirations of Leonard Bernstein.
Following his acclaimed Sibelius symphony cycle with the orchestra in 2013, Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds returned last year to perform and record all the Nielsen symphonies to mark the Danish composer’s 150th birthday.
This season former BBC Young Musician of the Year Mark Simpson became the orchestra’s Composer in Association, reinforcing the BBC Philharmonic’s commitment to nurturing brilliant musical talent across the North of England. The appointment, which runs until 2019, makes him one of the youngest-ever composers to be given a formal role with a major British orchestra and will see him compose three new scores, as well as joining the orchestra in high-profile partnership projects.
As an internationally renowned orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic regularly travels to Europe and Asia. In 2011 the tour of Japan was cut short by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami; in 2013
they returned to complete the dates which were cancelled. The BBC Philharmonic has made over 250 recordings with Chandos Records and sold around 900,000 albums. In 2014 the BBC Philharmonic was the recipient of Gramophone magazine’s Concerto Award, along with the remarkable pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and conductor Gianandrea Noseda.