Contact Card

Hallé Orchestra

Music Director:
Mark Elder CBE

Edward Gardner

Associate Composer:
Colin Matthews

The Hallé Concerts Society
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester, M1 5HA

Telephone: 0161 237 7000
Fax: 0161 237 7029



Gramophone Magazine


Halle Orchestra

Hallé Orchestra

The Hallé Orchestra is Britain's longest established professional symphony orchestra. It was founded in Manchester in 1858 by the pianist and conductor Charles Hallé and gave its first concert at the city's Free Trade Hall on 30 January 1858. The Orchestra is now proud to be resident in its new home in Manchester, The Bridgewater Hall. Throughout the Orchestra's history there have been only eight Principal Conductors including Sir Charles Hallé, Dr Hans Richter, Michael Balling, Sir Hamilton Harty, Sir John Barbirolli, James Loughran, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Kent Nagano, who was appointed as Music Director and Principal Conductor in September 1991. Kent Nagano's appointment was followed in 1993 by those of Thomas Adés as Composer-in-Association and George Benjamin as Principal Guest Artist.

Today the Hallé is regarded as one of Britain's most distinguished music ensembles. Approximately half of its concerts are played in Manchester, with a national touring programme taking the Orchestra around the United Kingdom. The Orchestra enjoys an enviable international reputation, having undertaken tours to the USA, Central and South America, the West Indies, Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In 1994 the Orchestra enjoyed a critically acclaimed residency at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, followed by a return visit to Spain, and in June 1996 the Orchestra undertook a highly successful tour to Japan and Hong Kong. In 1998 the Orchestra will make its first visit to Salzburg as part of the Salzburg Festival.

The Orchestra has an extensive recording repertoire including symphonies by Brahms and Shostakovich, conducted by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and many notable recordings with Sir john Barbirolli and James Loughran, which have been re-issued on compact disc. In July 1993 the Orchestra recorded John Adam's El Dorado, its first recording with Kent Nagano, released in November 1996 on Nonesuch. The Orchestra and Kent Nagano have since recorded violin concertos by Prokofiev and Shostakovich with Vadim Repin as soloist (nominated for a Gramophone Award), Benjamin Britten's The Rescue of Penelope (the world première recording) and Phaedra and the world première of the original four-act version of Britten's Billy Budd. All three recordings are on the Erato label. Forthcoming releases include, and the world première of the original version of Mahler's Das klagende Lied, conducted by Kent Nagano, for Erato, and a second John Adam's disc has also recently been recorded for Nonesuch, featuring Lollapalooza and the Hallé commission Slonimsky's Earbox.

The Hallé recently made a critically-acclaimed return to the 1997 BBC Henry Wood Proms under Kent Nagano, performing the European première of Sofia Gubaidulina's Viola Concerto with Yuri Bashmet.

The Hallé's Award Winning Education Programme was established in 1989 and has now grown to the point where it generates over 40 projects a year. The aim of Hallé Education is to firmly establish the Hallé Orchestra as a valuable and highly responsive resource for all members of the community in and around Manchester, principally by placing musicians into the wider community to compose and perform music alongside project participants. Over the last seven years the quality of Hallé Education's work has been recognised by several prestigious awards, including a Royal Anniversary Challenge Gold Medal for its Gamelan project, a Sainsbury's Art Education award for Powerful Percussion, a PRS Composers in Education Award for Bridging the Gap and, more recently, a Regional national training award for its training programme for Hallé musicians which is generously sponsored by Esmée Fairbairn Charitable Trust. Major projects during 1997 included the second series of Hallé for Youth schools' concerts sponsored by Nynex CableComms, The Soldier's Tale sponsored by Marks and Spencer and Bridging the Gap sponsored by Barclaycard. Projects for 1998 include Northern Quarter, a joint venture with Band on the Wall, Apparitions, a schools project based on the music of Ligeti and The Firebird, a schools project linked with the Hallé for Youth schools' concerts.

The business community has been at the forefront of the Hallé's development since its first concerts in 1858, and today over 70 companies actively support the Orchestra, both in Manchester and throughout the UK. Most notable amongst these is Brother International Europe Ltd which is now entering its eighth year as Principal Sponsor of the Hallé. Manchester Airport continues to be a major sponsor of the Orchestra both at home and abroad, and Delta Airlines, the Official Airline of the Hallé, and United Utilities have also joined as a major sponsors. The Hallé's prestigious corporate membership scheme, The 1858 Club, has now been incorporated into an unique collaborative venture with the Bridgewater hall, BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata. Income generated by the scheme is used to further enhance the artistic work of the Orchestra.






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