BBC Philharmonic Biography (BBC)
The BBC Philharmonic is based at MediaCityUK in Salford and performs an annual season of concerts at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, as well as regular concerts in Hanley, Leeds, Kendal and other venues across the north of England. As one of the BBC’s six performing groups the majority of the orchestra’s concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
The BBC Philharmonic is supported by Salford City Council, enabling the orchestra to build active links in the local area through a busy learning and community programme.
Juanjo Mena is Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic. Hailing from the Basque region of Spain he has brought his passion for large-scale choral works and the music of his home country to the orchestra since taking up the post in 2011 and his performances have received rave reviews: “Juanjo Mena conducted his BBC Philharmonic cohorts as if the orchestra was his dance partner, jigging and gliding like the life and soul of the party” The Artsdesk (Prom 17: Beethoven Symphony No.7, 25 July 2013). “Mena’s handling of the work’s grand arc from dawn to dusk was majestic” The Guardian (An Alpine Symphony, 23 Jan 2014, The Bridgewater Hall).
John Storgårds is Principal Guest Conductor and has brought a programme of Scandinavian works to the orchestra’s repertoire; they have recorded the complete Sibelius symphony cycle for Chandos Records, to be released in Spring 2014. The distinguished Austrian composer HK ‘Nali’ Gruber is Composer/Conductor and led the orchestra in a highly prestigious residency at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 2013. Former Chief Conductor Gianandrea Noseda is now Conductor Laureate, spending up to four weeks each season with the orchestra.
The BBC Philharmonic has its roots in the city of Manchester, since it’s foundation in 1934 as the BBC Northern Orchestra. In 1982, soon after moving to the BBC’s new building on Oxford Road in Manchester, it changed its name to the BBC Philharmonic. In 2011 the BBC moved many of its major departments to a new centre at Salford Quays. The BBC Philharmonic was the first to move to the new site, where it has a state-of-the-art acoustically-engineered orchestral studio.
To celebrate the move, the orchestra held a 17-day festival, BBC Philharmonic Presents, which created a series of unique collaborations broadcast across the range of the BBC’s national radio stations. In 2012 the series was expanded to venues across the north of England, bringing orchestral music to an even wider audience. Collaborations have included dubstep artists Nero for BBC Radios 1 & 1Xtra, Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review for Radio 5 live, Sunday Worship for Radio 4, Richard Hawley in Sheffield for BBC Radio 6 Music, the Guy Barker Jazz Orchestra in Blackpool for Radio 3 and traditional Pakistani musicians for Asian Network in Bradford.
As an internationally-renowned orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic regularly tours in Europe and Asia. In 2011 the orchestra’s tour of Japan was cut short when the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami hit the country; last year they returned to complete the tour dates that were cancelled. In 2014 the orchestra will be undertaking tours in Europe (Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary) and Spain.
The BBC Philharmonic has made over 200 recordings with Chandos Records and sold around 900,000 albums. Recent releases have received excellent reviews: “There is a whole spectrum of influences at work on Casella, but they are subsumed into a personal, dynamic style that the BBC Philharmonic conveys with sinew and spirit.” (The Telegraph, Casella: Orchestral Works CHAN 10768) and “…a concentrated musicianship where energy and refinement blend in ideal proportions.” (Gramophone Magazine, Falla CHAN 10694).
- Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Overture to Hiawatha (extract)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06rs0kw.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06rs0kw.jpg2018-11-21T12:00:00.000ZOn 19 May 1924, the Royal Albert Hall in London saw the birth of a theatrical phenomenon.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p06s7zcf
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Overture to Hiawatha (extract)
- Wolfgang Mozart: Overture to The Magic Flutehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06rrz52.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06rrz52.jpg2018-11-19T12:00:00.000ZA BBC broadcast of Mozart's famous opera marked the start of a new way of listening.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p06s02gf
Wolfgang Mozart: Overture to The Magic Flute
- Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascendinghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06rs1lb.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06rs1lb.jpg2018-11-15T06:00:00.000Z14 June 1921. The Queen’s Hall, London. This midsummer’s evening saw the first performance of a work that would prove one of the century's most popular classical works.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p06rry32
Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
- Saturn, the Bringer of Old Agehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06m8vtz.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06m8vtz.jpg2018-09-26T08:00:00.000ZFrom The Planets by Holst. This is a clip from a performance by the BBC Philharmonic with conductor Andrew Davis. Image of Saturn © NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p06m8tfy
Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
- Mountain ranges spark originality and a sense of spacehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06lshqy.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06lshqy.jpg2018-09-21T11:58:00.000ZViolinist Jennifer Pike on her walks in the Tatra Mountains, and the music of Karlowicz.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p06lsdgv
Mountain ranges spark originality and a sense of space
- Tansy Davies: What Did We See? (orchestral suite from 'Between Worlds') (Prom 15) - excerpthttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06g869q.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06g869q.jpg2018-09-04T18:30:00.000ZThe world premiere of Tansy Davies’s 9/11-inspired 'What Did We See?', from her orchestral suite 'Between Worlds'.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p06g88f2
Tansy Davies: What Did We See? (orchestral suite from 'Between Worlds') (Prom 15) - excerpt
- Beethoven: 'Prisoners' Chorus' from Fidelio (excerpt) (2017)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p059njlf.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p059njlf.jpg2017-08-29T20:30:00.000ZPerformed by Orfeón Donostiarra with the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Juanjo Mena.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p059n90b
Beethoven: 'Prisoners' Chorus' from Fidelio (excerpt) (2017)
- Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6 in B minor, 'Pathétique' (2017)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p057qjw4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p057qjw4.jpg2017-07-27T18:30:00.000ZIn his 6th, Tchaikovsky reimagines what the symphony can be, daring to face death with uncertainty. This excerpt includes the emphatic false end of the 3rd movement.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p059xg7s
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6 in B minor, 'Pathétique' (2017)
- Ex-Easter Island Head talk collaborations with the BBC Philharmonic & Laura Cannellhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04s9jw4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04s9jw4.jpg2017-02-08T17:46:00.000ZElizabeth Alker finds out about their performance at Sounds Of The Other City festival.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04s9jwy
Ex-Easter Island Head talk collaborations with the BBC Philharmonic & Laura Cannell
- Introducing The Red Brick Sessionshttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04c1b75.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04c1b75.jpg2016-10-14T15:54:00.000ZBringing new music and technology to Peel Hall in Salford.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04c1bb6
Introducing The Red Brick Sessions
- The 1975 with the BBC Philharmonic - What Makes You Beautifulhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p049lsyc.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p049lsyc.jpg2016-09-30T20:38:00.000ZThe 1975 with the BBC Philharmonic cover One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful".https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p049lsfm
The 1975 with the BBC Philharmonic - What Makes You Beautiful
- The 1975 with the BBC Philharmonic - Sorryhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p049lsh7.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p049lsh7.jpg2016-09-30T20:34:00.000ZThe 1975 with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra cover Justin Bieber's "Sorry".https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p049ls7m
The 1975 with the BBC Philharmonic - Sorry
- The 1975 with the BBC Philharmonic - Somebody Elsehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04kh9dj.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04kh9dj.jpg2016-09-30T20:28:00.000ZThe 1975 and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra play Somebody Else live in Blackpool.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p049ls23
The 1975 with the BBC Philharmonic - Somebody Else
- What do the following sound like together: celeste, viola, trombone, guitar, ukulele, cello, maracas, egg, piano?https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p044rl75.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p044rl75.jpg2016-08-15T12:09:00.000ZThe BBC Philharmonic Management team give a unique performance of the Toreador Song.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p044rqj2
What do the following sound like together: celeste, viola, trombone, guitar, ukulele, cello, maracas, egg, piano?
- BBC Philharmonic –Review of 2015-16https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03wbj40.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03wbj40.jpg2016-05-26T13:56:00.000ZA look back at the achievements of the BBC Philharmonic during 2015-16https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03wbjkp
BBC Philharmonic –Review of 2015-16
BBC Philharmonic Tracks
Upcoming BBC Events
BBC Philharmonic 2018-19 Season: Sibelius/Tippett/Stravinsky
Sibelius, Tchaikovsky & Stravinsky
BBC Philharmonic: Preview+: Preview + 2 May
BBC Philharmonic 2018-19 Season: James MacMillan/Britten/Tippett
Sounds From the Other City
Past BBC Events
BBC Philharmonic 2018-19 Season: Bax/Walton/Vaughan Williams
BBC Philharmonic Learning: Journey Through Music - 13 April
BBC Philharmonic Studio Concerts: Holst, Ireland, Walton & Bax
BBC Philharmonic 2018-19 Season: Thomas Adès/Prokofiev/Schubert
BBC Philharmonic: Preview+: Preview + 6 April
Performances & Interviews from Similar Artists
Edward Elgar: Land of Hope and Glory
Edgard Varèse: Amériques
George Butterworth: The Banks of Green Willow
Hubert Parry: Jerusalem (orchestrated by Edward Elgar)
Gustav Holst: The Planets
Art imitates life for Judith Weir
A musical invocation of the forest god
BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican: Classical for Starters
Darius Milhaud: Scaramouche - Extract(Last Night of the Proms)
Roxanna Panufnik: Songs of Darkness, Dreams of Light - Extract (Last Night of the Proms)