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More music for less! RPO friends’ newsletter - December 2013



Hello, we hope you are well and have been enjoying plenty of marvellous music-making from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) so far this autumn. The Orchestra has been rather busy lately with various concerts and other projects, including a momentous performance of Rutter’s Requiem at St Paul’s Cathedral and a special fundraising event for RPO resound (the Orchestra’s community and education department) at Windsor Castle. In this edition of fortissimo – the RPO friends’ newsletter – we bring you all the latest news from the Orchestra, including details of BRAND NEW spring 2014 concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall, highlights of recent tours and education projects, details of BRAND NEW RPO CDs... and more!


Spring 2014 at the Royal Albert Hall The RPO will entertain audiences with another fabulous collection of The Great Classics and Stars and Showstoppers concerts, performed within the resplendent surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall. Highlights include:

THE DREAM OF GERONTIUS – Wednesday 19th March, 7.30pm A very special performance of Elgar’s monumental masterpiece, considered by many to be the composer’s greatest work. Conducted here by Hilary Davan Wetton and in celebration of his 70th birthday, the full forces of the Orchestra combine with a choir of over 300 voices!

TCHAIKOVSKY GALA – Saturday 10th May, 7.30pm A jubilant celebration of Tchaikovsky’s finest works, which pays tribute to the Russian master of music and features an explosive indoor firework finale! The RPO’s Principal Associate Conductor Grzegorz Nowak conducts this splendid programme, whilst pianist Peter Donohoe takes to the stage.

SYMPHONIC ROCK and FILM MUSIC GALA are back! Celebrate 10 years of Symphonic Rock (Thursday 1st May, 7.30pm) with thrilling anthems and chart-topping hits, performed with a symphonic twist. Featuring a tribute to the music of Coldplay. Film Music Gala (Thursday 5th June, 7.30pm) also makes a welcome return, with highlights from all your favourite film scores. With a special tribute to the late Elmer Bernstein. Tickets are £55–£8 (before discounts). For full concert details, please see the enclosed flyers. We look forward to seeing you there!

RPO friends’ benefits - 50% off tickets to RPO ‘own-promotion’ concerts in London (up to two tickets per concert) - Priority ticket allocation and dedicated booking line - FREE passes to RPO ‘own-promotion’ rehearsals in London (two per rehearsal; please book in advance) - FREE pre-concert coffee bar* at the Royal Albert Hall – Now in the West Arena Foyer bar (level -1) - 15% off selected house wine, champagne, tea, coffee and cake at Cadogan Hall* - Discounted RPO CDs For more information about all benefits, including booking rehearsal passes, please contact us. * Please show your RPO friends’ card to claim your free tea/coffee and/or bar discounts. RPO friends save 50% on tickets. Phone 020 7608 8855 (M–F, 10–6), email or visit

Player Profile Andrew Fletcher French Horn What is the best thing about being a member of the RPO? The opportunity to travel has to be one of the best things. I love tours to Spain: generally the halls are excellent, and so is the tapas/ Rioja in the nearby bars! What inspired you to become a musician? I took up the French horn when I was ten and absolutely loved playing in the various bands and orchestras, which was something my parents always encouraged. Where is your favourite place to perform? I always enjoy playing in the Alte Oper in Frankfurt where, in 2005, the RPO’s French horn section performed Schumann’s Konzertstück in F major with the full Orchestra. What has been the most valuable piece of advice you have been given in relation to music, and who was it from? Often the most useful advice comes from fellow orchestral musicians, such as where the best places are to eat and drink on tour. My favourite restaurant: Casa Paco in Madrid! If you could learn to play another instrument, which would it be and why? Electric guitar – must be a midlife crisis. Also the Bassoon – ditto!

BRAND NEW Cadogan Hall Concerts The RPO is delighted to present its new season at Cadogan Hall, an elegant and intimate concert venue and home of the Orchestra. Enjoy exciting collaborations with a host of internationally renowned artists and conductors throughout the season, including Pinchas Zukerman, Grzegorz Nowak, Freddy Kempf and more. Spring/summer 2014 highlights include:

FREDDY KEMPF CONDUCTS & PERFORMS BEETHOVEN – Tuesday 25th February, 7.30pm Freddy Kempf (pictured) performs and conducts in this special concert, featuring Beethoven’s Fidelio Overture, Triple Concerto and Symphony No.7. An absolute must for Beethoven devotees, fans of the inimitable pianist, as well as anyone who simply enjoys top-class music.

GRZEGORZ NOWAK CONDUCTS MENDELSSOHN, SIBELIUS & BRAHMS – Wednesday 7th May, 7.30pm A concert brimming with lyrical, colourful music, with sublime interpretations of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, Brahms’ Symphony No.4 by our Principal Associate Conductor (pictured).

PINCHAS ZUKERMAN’S SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL – Thursday 26th June – Wednesday 2nd July The illustrious violinist and the RPO’s Principal Guest Conductor (pictured) joins the Orchestra for three exceptional concerts, featuring some of the greatest works from the classical repertoire, handpicked for each programme. From Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Elgar’s ‘Enigma’ Variations, to a concert devoted entirely to Mozart’s final three symphonies, there is something here for all musical tastes. Tickets are £40–£15 (before discounts). Please see the enclosed brochure for full details of these concerts and more. We hope to see you at Cadogan Hall soon!

RPO friends save 50% on tickets. Phone 020 7608 8855 (M–F, 10–6), email or visit

RPO resound Hannah Taylor (Community and Education Officer) gives us the latest news from RPO resound, our community and education department. “RPO resound continues to have an inspirational 20th anniversary year. We have continued our longstanding partnerships with Newham Council’s Every Child a Musician programme, Braintree Youth Project Charity and Cambridgeshire Music. We met with Greenhill Aphasia Group again (pictured) – a voluntary support group for people with Aphasia, a post-stroke condition, who can find it difficult to understand and express speech – to run a successful creative workshop. We were also lucky enough to collaborate for the first time with Brookfields School, a special needs school for children aged between 2-19 years old. Northamptonshire is always a regular destination for us, and we have delivered no less than six projects there in the last six months, including visits to four separate schools and a project held in a secure adolescent mental health unit at St Andrew’s Healthcare. “Looking forward, we’re approaching some very interesting creative activity in conjunction with Westminster Music Library called ‘Behind the Lines’. It is a year-long project, inspired by the centenary of the First World War, which we will be running across the borough of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Educational leaders and world-class musicians from the RPO will lead a series of interactive workshops and creative projects for families, adults and schoolchildren. For further details, please do visit the website, which will be updated throughout the year with composer resource packs, blogs, video diaries, photos and events.”

RPO at Windsor Castle On 5th November, our Development Director Huw Davies and RPO resound hosted a special fundraising event at Windsor Castle in honour of RPO resound’s 20th anniversary, to help ensure that their myriad community and education projects continue to be free to all participants. The reception, concert and dinner were hosted by the RPO’s patron HRH The Duke of York, whose support enabled us to host this important event within such incredible surroundings. Guests, some of whom had travelled from America and Russia, were treated to a specially commissioned video, narrated by Stephen Fry, which gave an overview of RPO resound’s incredible work, as well as an hour-long concert of classical favourites from the Orchestra, conducted by Barry Wordsworth and featuring Chloë Hanslip, who gave a riveting performance of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.

News and Moves Players’ news The RPO’s current Chairman of 15 years, Andy Sippings (viola), is stepping down from the Orchestra’s board of directors. We thank him for all his hard work and commitment to help run the Orchestra; his incredible support will be greatly missed. Congratulations to former Vice Chairman, Adam Wright (sub-principal trumpet) who has been elected as our new Chairman, and also to our newly elected Vice Chairman, Benjamin Cunningham (double bass), and to new board members Fraser Gordon (principal contrabassoon) and Liz Varlow (viola). We look forward to welcoming John Roberts (principal oboe) in January and to Sam Jacobs (co-principal horn) in February. We will be very sorry to say our goodbyes to Leila Ward (cor anglais) in December and to Julian Coward (flute) in January.

Office news We bid sad farewells to Sam Goldscheider (Concerts Assistant), Kathleen Rule (Marketing Assistant) and Daniel King (Regional Marketing Co-ordinator), but warmly welcomed Thomas Hansell, Henry Bertram and Alice Rumsey to assume their respective positions. Plus Natasha Allery as our new Marketing Intern.

RPO friends save 50% on tickets. Phone 020 7608 8855 (M–F, 10–6), email or visit

On Tour with the RPO During September, the Orchestra enjoyed a very successful tour to Montreux with our Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Maestro Charles Dutoit (pictured), plus a visit to Bucharest for the Enescu Festival with conductors Andrew Litton and Cristian Mandeal, featuring an awe-inspiring performance of Mahler’s Symphony No.3. In January, the Orchestra will embark on a month-long tour of the USA with conductor and violinist Pinchas Zukerman and Cellist Amanda Forsyth.

Brand New RPO CDs SYMPHONIC COLDPLAY Chris Egan conducts a CD of Coldplay's favourite hit songs, performed with a classical twist, including Trouble, Paradise, Fix You, Yellow... and more.

NATASHA PAREMSKI PLAYS TCHAIKOVSKY & RACHMANINOV Talented young pianist Natasha Paremski plays Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 and Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in a glorious recording conducted by Fabien Gabel.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD 4 David Firman conducts music from A Passage To India, Never On Sunday, Rear Window, A Fistful Of Dollars, Wuthering Heights... and more. All of these CDs are just £8 for RPO friends (R.R.P. £10). To order, please call 020 7608 8837. For a full list of RPO CDs, please visit

Make Your Friend an RPO Friend This Christmas Make your friend an RPO friend this Christmas and obtain a FREE RPO CD of your choice*. Share the fantastic 50% discount with your friends, making an RPO membership the gift that really does keep on giving! To order in time for Christmas delivery, please call us on 020 7608 8855 by Friday 13th December. *Subject to availability and excluding double and triple box sets.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this edition of fortissimo. If you would like to speak to us about the Orchestra, book tickets using your exclusive 50% discount, or if you have any other queries at all, then please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing you at an RPO concert soon! With best wishes,

Jo Thomson (Friends’ & Groups’ Manager) and the rest of the RPO Marketing team! Chris Evans

Alice Rumsey

Henry Bertram

Natasha Allery

Director of Press & Marketing

Regional Marketing Co-ordinator

Marketing Assistant

Marketing Intern

RPO friends save 50% on tickets. Phone 020 7608 8855 (M–F, 10–6), email or visit

Fortissimo - December 2013  

The December 2013 edition of the RPO Friends' newsletter, with details of our upcoming spring concerts.

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