Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Opened on 27th August 1849, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall has long been an acclaimed and integral part of the cultural life of Liverpool, and was described as "the best in Europe" by Sir Thomas Beecham before being dramatically destroyed by fire in 1933.
The new Philharmonic Hall, designed by architect Herbert Rowse and built on the same site, was officially opened on Monday, 19 June 1939. The following day, Sir Thomas Beecham conducted the Hall’s inaugural concert with the then Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, in a programme of music by Elgar, Weber, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Grieg, designed to show off the acoustic of the new Hall.
75 years on from the fire, the present Hall continues its established reputation as one of the UK’s premier arts and entertainment venues, as both a concert hall and cinema.
The art deco splendour of Liverpool Philharmonic Hall was restored in 1995 following a £10.3 million refurbishment; parts of the foyer are said to be based on decoration in the tomb of Tutankhamen.
In March 2013 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic submitted a planning application and listed building consent to Liverpool City Council (LCC) for a proposed £12 million refurbishment of the Hall: find out more about the Capital Refurbishment.
Here and Now
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall presents on average 250 events each year, of which approximately 70 are concerts by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and sells over 250,000 tickets annually.
The venue has an illustrious tradition of bringing the top names from rock, jazz, classical, folk and roots, classical and contemporary music to Liverpool. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Buddy Holly all appeared at the Hall during their careers.
More recent appearances have included Morrissey, Lou Reed, Sigur RÓs, Tony Bennett, Nitin Sawhney, Blondie, Ry Cooder, the Sugababes, Femi Kuti, and Jamie Cullum; Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; and the European Union Youth Orchestra. Comedy acts have included Jackie Mason, Dylan Moran, Jimmy Carr and Dara O’Briain, while the annual marathon performances by Ken Dodd are a firm fixture in the Liverpool comedy diary.
Classic and blockbuster films and premieres - most recently Terence Davies’ critically-acclaimed Of Time and the City - are shown on the unique Walturdaw rising cinema screen with Merseyside's only resident theatre organist, Dave Nicholas, and the Hall hosts a year-round programme of visits to rehearsals by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, attended by groups of all ages, graduation congregations and community events.
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall’s innovative approach to music programming and the development of a string of creative partnerships with festivals, broadcasters and promoters have resulted in the inaugural Fresh Festival in 2008, the co-hosting of the BBC Electric Proms with London and acclaimed collaborations between the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and international artists such as Wayne Shorter, Marcel Khalife, Elvis Costello and Toumani Diabaté.
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall celebrated its 70th birthday on 19 June 2009 with a Best Performing Venue trophy won at The Mersey Partnership Annual Tourism Awards. The Hall won the same award in 2006.
www.liverpool.com made a clean sweep of England’s annual tourism awards 2008, winning Best Website in The Mersey Partnership, England’s North West and England for Excellence National Tourism Awards.
Liverpool Philharmonic Archive Access Arrangements
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s archive is available to the public and is held at Liverpool Record Office, Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool L2 8EW. Further information about access arrangements and contact details can be found on the Liverpool Record Office website.