Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra 2018-2019 Season Announced

13th  season under the baton of Chief Conductor, Vasily Petrenko
• Artists in Residence – Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello, Anderson & Roe pianos, Mahan Esfahani harpsichord
• Britten’s War Requiem at Liverpool Cathedral performed with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and musicians from NDR Radiophilharmonie (Hannover) orchestra and the choristers from Liverpool Cathedral with the Knabenchor Hannover on the centenary anniversary of the end of WW1.
• Tenth Birthday of Liverpool Philharmonic’s In Harmony Liverpool programme.
• A strong roster of female conductors – Anu Tali, Elim Chan, Nathalie Stutzmann, Jessica Cottis and Holly Matheson – and female composers past and present including Claudia Montero, Nadia Boulanger, Germaine Tailleferre, Grace-Evangeline Mason,
Jennifer Higdon and Sofia Gubaidulina
• Premieres and commissions of new music from composers including Ian Bell, Evangeline-Grace Mason, Mark Anthony Turnage, Claudia Montero, Elena-Kats Chernin and Composer in Association, Gary Carpenter including a new work for children’s choirs with orchestra. 
• Leeds International Piano Competition winner to perform Season Opening Concert and second and third prizewinners to give lunchtime recitals to launch new relationship between Liverpool Philharmonic and ‘The Leeds’
• Guest artists include Ray Chen, Diana Damrau, James Ehnes, Boris Giltburg, Jennifer Johnston, Paul Lewis, Beatrice Rana, and Ksenija Sidorova

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2018-2019 season, the 13th under the baton of Chief Conductor, Vasily Petrenko, and the Orchestra’s 178th season since its founding in 1840, features compelling music from across the repertoire. The complete Brahms’ symphonies and his German Requiem will be performed, conducted and introduced by Vasily Petrenko, as well as some of his signature works including Rachmaninov’s Isle of the Dead and Piano Concerto No 2.  He’ll also conduct Principal Cello, Jonathan Aasgaard, in the haunting Cello Concerto by Mieczysław Weinberg, to mark his centenary year.

New initiatives this season include:

 A partnership with the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition.  A performance by the competition winner will feature in the Opening Night concert of the season (20 September) and two lunchtime recitals (17 and 19 September) in the Music Room will be performed by the second and third prize winners.

 ‘Relaxed’ (26 May) and ‘Dementia Friendly’(17 November and 5 June) concerts by the Orchestra and its ensembles.   The Relaxed Concert is designed for people with a range of needs, including communication difficulties, physical disabilities and learning disabilities. Resources to help prepare for the event, including music playlists, venue orientation sessions and video guides will be provided, with a range of facilities at the event, including easy-read materials, BSL interpretation and a quiet room.    The dementia-friendly concerts take place in the Music Room and last for one hour beginning at 12pm.

 In Harmony Liverpool 10th Birthday

2019 is the 10th year of Liverpool Philharmonic’s ground-breaking In Harmony programme, which uses orchestral music-making to improve the health, education and aspirations of children in Everton.  A concert performed by the Orchestra, benefitting the programme, will take place on 9 March, featuring Pacho Flores trumpet, a product of Venezuela’s El Sistema – the programme which inspired In Harmony. This concert is part of a three day celebration of In Harmony, taking place 9-11 March.

Liverpool Philharmonic’s Artists in Residence

Liverpool Philharmonic is delighted to announce Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello, cello, Anderson & Roe Anderson & Roe pianos, and Mahan Esfahani harpsichord as Artists in Residence for the 2018-2019 season.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason,winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition is currently topping the classical music charts and is in demand worldwide, becomes the first Young Artist in Residence at Liverpool Philharmonic.  He performs Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Orchestra (8 November), and again later in the month in recital with his sister Isata Kanneh-Mason (30 November). In March, he returns to work with our Youth Company musicians and to participate in our In Harmony Liverpool10th  Birthday Weekend.

 Anderson & Roe, piano duo, with Billboard chart-topping albums and Emmy-nominated music videos, are one of the world’s most revolutionary piano duos. Performing in concert with the Orchestra (4/5 Oct0ber), they’ll play Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos and give the world premiere of their new Dance Suite for two pianos from Bernstein’s West Side Story to mark Bernstein’s centenary. Special arrangements of popular classics will feature in their recital (25 September), and another set in the Music Room, this time pairing music with specially devised cocktails in the Music Room (28/29 September).

 Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani will feature in two new harpsichord concertos, a UK premiere of one by Elena Kats-Chernin (4 April), and a world premiere of Composer in Association, Gary Carpenter (with Ensemble 10/10 on 27 March), in recital at St Georges Hall Concert Room(24 March) and with the Orchestra performing J.C. Bach and Poulenc on 7 April.

 New Music

Continuing its lead  as one of the UK’s most prolific commissioners and performers of new music (140 premieres have been given in the last 10 years and 88 works commissioned), Liverpool Philharmonic will perform several commissions  this season, including: Iain Bell’s Aurora for coloratura soprano and orchestra (joint commission with BBC Proms), Gary Carpenter’s Ghost Songs (co-commission with Royal Scottish National Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi)  and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Symphonic Movements (UK premiere / Liverpool Philharmonic commission with Oregon Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra). 

 Premieres include: Claudia Montero’s Vientos del Sur (Winds of the South): Concerto for Piano Accordion and Orchestra , Stephen Davismoon’s Beyond Twilight, and Gary Carpenter’s Concerto for Harpsichord.

 Composer in Association

Gary Carpenter, Visiting Professor in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music and professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music, whose work has frequently been performed by the Orchestra, is our Composer in Association this season.  The Orchestra performs Willie Stock (8 November) and Ghost Songs (16 February).  Ensemble 10/10 perform Concerto for Harpsichord (27 March) and Da Capo (23 May).

Must See Artists and Rising Stars

Distinguished conductors appearing in the season include Andrew Manze who leads several programmes including Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem (performed in both Hannover and Liverpool Cathedral), with the combined forces of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, and the NDR Radiophilharmonie (Hannover) with the Choristers of Liverpool Cathedral and the Knabenchor Hannover, to mark the centenary of the end of World War  I (10 November).  This will be part of the City’s Brittle Heart series (

 He’ll also conduct the Orchestra in Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No 2 (10/11 January) with pianist Francesco Piemontesi, as well as a programme including Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No 9 (27 September), completing the critically-acclaimed series of the composer’s symphonies begun in 2016.  Liverpool Philharmonic welcomes back the Orchestra’s Conductor Emeritus Sir Andrew Davis who leads a concert of works by Mozart (Kyrie in D minor and Symphony No. 39) and Duruflé’s Requiem (8 June).

The Orchestra is proud to feature a strong roster of female conductors this season, including Anu Tali (4/5 October), Elim Chan (4 April), Nathalie Stutzmann (30 March), Jessica Cottis (28 February / 1 March) and Holly Matheson (9 March).

Debut conductors this season include Carlos Kalmar, Kahchun Wong, Michele Mariotti and Kerem Hasan.

Visiting soloists include pianists Simon Trpčeski, Beatrice Rana, Alexandra Dariescu and George Li, soprano Diana Damrau and mezzo-soprano Catriona Morison, and violinists Nemanja Radulović, Michael Barenboim, Kristóf Baráti  and Elena Urioste.

Chamber Music

Liverpool Philharmonic’s chamber series in the city’s St. George’s Hall Concert Room features performances by some of the world’s finest chamber ensembles and recital artists including  Anderson & Roe and Mahan Esfahani (as part of their residencies), pianist Simon Trpčeski in a programme of Macedonian traditional music, Gesualdo Six in a programme of Renaissance music for Christmas, pianist John Lill celebrating his 75th birthday,  the Katona Twins (guitars) 30th Anniversary concert, and a concert that marks the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, with poet Roger McGough reading poetry by the Birkenhead poet Wilfred Owen and others and music by Ravel and his wartime contemporaries.

Ensemble 10/10, Liverpool Philharmonic’s contemporary music ensemble, celebrating their 21st birthday, will perform 3 concerts.  Works by Gary Carpenter, Lepo Sumera, Mark Simpson, Hans Werner Henze, Grace-Evangeline Mason (winner of our third Christopher Brooks Composition Prize) and HK Gruber will be featured.

Music Room

The informal, intimate setting of Music Room is the setting for both Liverpool Philharmonic’s Close Up and Lunchtime Concerts series. Both feature performances by ensembles of musicians from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and a number of visiting artists  This season, visiting artists performing in the Close Up series include Julian Bliss (clarinet, 27 January), Alexandra Dariescu (piano, 4 March), and Andrew Dickinson (tenor, 7 May). 

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, under Chorus Master Ian Tracey has another busy and challenging season. Highlights include Britten’s War Requiem (10 November); Handel’s Messiah (5 January), Bach’s Mass in B minor (30 March); Mozart’s Kyrie in D minor and Duruflé’s RequiemRequiem (8 June), and Elgar’s The Music MakersThe Music Makers (4 July).

The Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir joins the Choir for their annual Spirit of Christmas celebration, presented by Classic FM’s John Suchet (16- 23 December), with Jennifer Johnston mezzo-soprano as guest soloist.  They will be joined by Liverpool Philharmonic Children’s Choirs for the world premiere of Ghost Songs by Gary Carpenter (16 February).

Films with Live Music and Concerts for all the family…

Screenings of films with live orchestral accompaniment are a huge favourite with audiences and this season, Liverpool Philharmonic presents On the Waterfront which showcases Leonard Bernstein’s iconic score (13 October), Psycho (31 October) – which is making a return to Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, by popular demand, and our family Christmas special, and Jurassic Park (29/30 December).  Other concerts with a film focus include Music from the Star Wars Saga (27 April), and Great Directors and their Composers: Stephen Spielberg and John Williams (14/15 June), conducted by Vasily Petrenko.

Liverpool Philharmonic’s Family Concerts last around an hour, with plenty of familiar music designed to   enthrall younger audiences.   Alongside the several concerts featuring the Orchestra (The Snowman and Sing-along with Santa, Science Fiction Classics, and Teddy Bears’ Picnic), we also present Beat This!!, a concert by the Orchestra’s percussion section and The Nutcracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu. Tchaikovsky’s wonderful music comes together with astonishing, state-of-the-art animation and digital effects to retell this seasonal classic like it’s never been told before.   Two concerts especially for under 5s will be presented in the Music Room, with plenty of space for prams and a baby- changing area.

On the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s 2018/19 season, Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko said:

‘I’m looking forward to our new season, with the opportunity to perform such a wide variety of repertoire, from Brahms’ complete symphonies to new works by our Composer in Association, Gary Carpenter. I’m delighted to work with artists new to Liverpool as well as returning friends. This diversity represents what is distinctive about Liverpool Philharmonic, and is something that I cherish.’


From 10am on Thursday 26 April, view full concert listings, a PDF of the 2018-2019 season brochure and short film of new season highlights at orchestra

 • Tickets for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2018-2019 season go on general sale on Tuesday 5 June.  

• The first concert of the 2018-2019 season is on Thursday 20 September, 7.30pm

• 2018-2019 season brochures, photographs and further information about the season from:

Jayne Garrity, Head of Communications, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
0151 210 3791 / 07967 364241,

National media enquiries:
Cécile Beauvillard Burman, PR Manager, Albion Media
020 3077 4941,

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