For more than seven decades the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been at the forefront of music making in the United Kingdom. The orchestra’s regular performances at its London home Cadogan Hall are complemented by a distinguished series at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, a popular series at the Royal Albert Hall, and frequent visits to its seven principal residencies across the UK. With a wider reach than any other UK large ensemble, the RPO has truly become Britain’s national orchestra.

International touring is also vital to the orchestra’s work, taking it to many prestigious destinations worldwide. Across its busy schedule, the RPO works with artists of the highest caliber, including Principal Guest Conductor Pinchas Zukerman, Principal Associate Conductor Alexander Shelley, and Permanent Associate Conductor Grzegorz Nowak. The orchestra looks forward to appointing its next Artistic Director and Principal Conductor shortly. 

In 2018, RPO Resound, the orchestra’s community and education program, marks its twenty-fifth anniversary. Throughout its history it has thrived on taking music into the heart of the regions that the orchestra serves, working with a variety of participants in a range of settings including working with young people, the homeless, and recovering stroke patients.

In 2017 the RPO teamed up with the concert-enhancing app, EnCue by Octava, becoming the first orchestra in Europe to offer its audiences real-time program notes delivered to their mobile or tablet devices for select performances. The Orchestra has become increasingly active on social media platforms, inviting audiences to engage informally on Facebook and Twitter (@rpoonline) and to enjoy behind-the-scenes insights on the RPO website (, YouTube (RPOOnline), and Instagram (@RPOOnline).

Although the RPO embraces twenty-first-century opportunities, including appearances with pop stars and in video game, film, and television soundtracks, its artistic priority remains paramount: the making of great music at the highest level for the widest possible audience. As the RPO proudly looks to its future, its versatility and high standards mark it as one of today’s most open-minded, forward-thinking symphony orchestras.

(January 2018)

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