John Storgårds

With a home in Salford and worldwide recognition, the BBC Philharmonic started life as the 2ZY Orchestra in Manchester in 1922. Ever since, its distinctive energy and character has helped to make the Greater Manchester region both a destination and a hub for world-class talent in orchestral music.

Along with around 35 free concerts a year at its MediaCityUK studio in Salford and a series of concerts at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, the orchestra broadcasts concerts from venues across the North of England, annually at the BBC Proms and from its international tours. Its performances are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and available on BBC Sounds. The orchestra also records regularly for the Chandos label and since its first release in 1991 the orchestra has created a catalogue of over 300 discs and digital downloads.

The BBC Philharmonic is passionate about taking music off the page and into the ears, hearts and lives of listeners of all ages and musical backgrounds. From award-winning Early Ears interactive performances, to Schools’ Concerts, Higher Education work with the Royal Northern College of Music, community initiatives and creating teacher resources for the BBC’s acclaimed Ten Pieces, the orchestra is constantly finding new ways to welcome everyone into its community and culture.

The BBC Philharmonic’s Chief Conductor is John Storgårds, with whom the orchestra has held a long and successful association, he joined as Principal Guest Conductor in 2012 and held the position of Chief Guest Conductor between 2017 and 2022. The orchestra enjoys working with a range of artists, conductors and composers, with a growing family that includes both familiar faces and exciting new talent. French conductor Ludovic Morlot is the orchestra’s Associate Artist and in May 2021 young British composer and rising star Tom Coult was announced as Composer in Association.

Known for its range of creative partnerships, the orchestra recently celebrated 50 years of BBC Radio Manchester with a special broadcast of Manchester’s finest music and worked with BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council on Rediscovered Composers to bring the music of previously neglected composers to greater recognition. Building upon acclaimed collaborations with the Hallé, in February 2022 the two orchestras launched a joint project to present a complete cycle of Vaughan Williams’ symphonies and mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Championing new music, the BBC Philharmonic has recently given world premieres of works by Tom Coult, David Matthews, Emily Howard, Outi Tarkiainen, Anna Thorvolsdottir, Erland Cooper, Anna Appleby and Robert Laidlow with the scope of the orchestra’s output extending far beyond standard repertoire. Over the past few years, it has provided music for BBC World Service’s award-winning U.Me: The Musical narrated by Stephen Fry and reimagined songs from artists including Oasis, Soft Cell and the Arctic Monkeys for its Great Northern Playlist that broadcast on 10 local BBC Radio stations. In 2020 the BBC Philharmonic entered the UK Top 40 charts with Four Notes: Paul’s Tune and, in February 2022 it released The Musical Story of the Gingerbread Man – a unique musical re-telling of the classic children’s tale narrated by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Nihal Arthanayake.

Through all its activities, the BBC Philharmonic is bringing life-changing music experiences to audiences across Greater Manchester, the North of England, the UK and the world.
Twitter @bbcphilharmonic

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra