Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert ticketsSee Royal Philharmonic Orchestra live in concert
The Orchestra and its founder Sir Thomas Beecham, regarded by many as one of Britain's greatest conductors and classical music's more flamboyant characters, are indelibly associated. In 1946, Beecham set about creating a world-class ensemble from the finest musicians in the country. Beecham envisioned an orchestra that would bring the greatest music ever composed to every corner of the United Kingdom. Since Sir Thomas' death in 1961, the Orchestra's musical direction and development have been guided by a series of distinguished maestros including Rudolf Kempe, Antal Dorati, André Previn and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Today, under the inspired leadership and gifted musicianship of Daniele Gatti (Music Director since 1996), the Orchestra continues to expand its international reputation whilst maintaining a deep commitment to its self-appointed role as Britain's national orchestra.
The Orchestra is London-based and uses its schedule in the capital as the springboard for a comprehensive regional touring programme including a residency at Royal and Derngate Theatres in Northampton and a series of concerts at Fairfield in Croydon (where it is Orchestra in Association). The Orchestra also plays to tens of thousands of people across the country in open-air concerts throughout the summer months.
Over the years, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has become a byword for exceptional quality and versatility as the sheer diversity of its activities, stretching from the unashamedly populist Hooked On Classics series through the stalwarts of the European concert repertoire to long-standing associations with contemporary and living composers, bears testament. Sir Thomas Beecham once said "Good music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and quits the memory with difficulty." Today, as then, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra seeks unfailingly to prove the truth of his words.