The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the oldest continuing professional symphony orchestra and the second oldest concert-giving organisation in the UK.

Beginnings

The origins of the Orchestra’s concert series date back to the formation of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, which administers it, by a group of Liverpool music lovers in 1840. Liverpool Philharmonic has remained at the heart of Liverpool’s cultural life ever since.

Here and Now

As well as the Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic includes the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, the contemporary music group Ensemble 10/10, the Chamber Music Series, Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company, and an extensive learning programme. We also run two venues: the Grade II* listed Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, one of the UK’s premier arts and entertainment venues, presenting a wide-ranging programme featuring many international artists; and our new venue, Music Room providing a small, informal and flexible space to get closer to live music from our musicians, ensembles, local and international artists.

The Orchestra gives over sixty concerts each season in its home, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Recent seasons have included world premiere performances, works by Liverpool composers and collaborations with international artists from rock, pop and roots including Sir Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, and The Lightning Seeds.

Conductors

Vasily Petrenko was appointed Principal Conductor of the Orchestra in September 2006 and in September 2009 became Chief Conductor. He joins a distinguished line of musicians who have led the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra during its illustrious history including Max Bruch, Sir Charles Hallé, Sir Henry Wood, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Sir John Pritchard, Sir Charles Groves, Walter Weller, David Atherton, Marek Janowski, Libor Pešek KBE, Peter Altrichter and Gerard Schwarz.

Far and Wide

Liverpool Philharmonic has long been a unique ambassador for Liverpool through an extensive touring schedule. The Orchestra made its first international tour to Germany and Switzerland in 1966 with its then Principal Conductor, Sir Charles Groves, and now tours widely throughout the UK and internationally. Browse the Orchestra on Tour page to find out about current and future tour dates.

Learning

Liverpool Philharmonic has been working with schools and the community through its orchestral programme since the 1940s, when Sir Malcolm Sargent first introduced a concert series for schools. Today, our Learning programme offers a range of inspirational lifelong learning opportunities to enjoy and take part in live music making of the highest quality.

Honours

In 1957, the Liverpool Philharmonic Society and Orchestra, as they were called then, acquired the title ‘Royal’. A year later, Her Majesty the Queen became Patron – a role she has retained ever since. In 1989 the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and Orchestra received an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University and in 1991 were one the first organisations to be granted the Freedom of the City of Liverpool. A further honour of Meritorious Service was granted by the City of Liverpool in 1997.

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