The history of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is inextricably linked to its founder, Sir Thomas Beecham, one of Britain’s greatest conductors and classical music’smore colourful figures. When in 1946 Beecham set out to create a world-class ensemble from the finest players in the country, he 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 has 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 while maintaining a deep commitment to its self-appointed role as Britain’s national orchestra.
The RPO’s performances and recordings receive rapturous acclaim from the public and the press around the world, which has praised the Orchestra for the “quality of its playing, which [is] incisive, insightful and extremely beautiful.” (The Guardian)
Over the years, the RPO has enjoyed long-standing partnerships with important contemporary and living composers, and with the finest film composers of our time, from Brian Easdale’s score for The Red Shoes (1948) to Maurice Jarre’s music for A Passage To India (1984)—both of them Oscar® winners.