Royal Philharmonic Orchestra facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsRoyal Philarmonic Orchestra (RPO)
The RPO at Cadogan Hall, its home since 2004
|Concert hall||Cadogan Hall|
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), based in London, is a British Orchestra that was formed by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1946. In its early days, the orchestra secured profitable recording contracts and important engagements including the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the concerts of the Royal Philharmonic Society. After Beecham's death in 1961 the orchestra's fortunes declined steeply; it battled for survival until the mid-1960s, when its future was secured after an Arts Council report recommended that it should receive public subsidy; a further crisis arose in the same era when it seemed that the orchestra's right to call itself "Royal" could be withdrawn.
Since Beecham's death, the RPO has had seven chief conductors, including Rudolf Kempe, Antal Doráti, André Previn and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Others closely associated with the orchestra have included Sir Charles Groves, Sir Charles Mackerras, Peter Maxwell Davies, Yehudi Menuhin and Leopold Stokowski.
In 2004, the orchestra acquired its first permanent London base, at the new Cadogan Hall in Chelsea. The RPO also gives concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and venues around the UK and other countries. From its earliest days, the orchestra has been active in the recording studios, making film soundtracks and numerous gramophone recordings; many of the LP recordings conducted by Beecham and others have been reissued on compact disc. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) is a British orchestra based in London. It travels around to give concerts in many places.
The RPO was started just after World War II, in 1946, by the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Beecham did not start to get his players together until three weeks before the first concert which took place in Croydon on September 15, 1946. Beecham was principal conductor until his death in 1961.
Beecham controlled all the organization of the orchestra. After Beecham’s death, the orchestra was made into a self-governing group, like the other London orchestras. They went through some difficult years. In 1963 the Royal Philharmonic Society decided they would stop asking the RPO to play for their concerts, and in Glyndebourne, where the RPO had played for the opera since 1948, the London Philharmonic Orchestra became the resident orchestra instead. Sir Malcolm Sargent helped the orchestra to put on its own concerts at a cinema in north London.
The orchestra had made an agreement with the Royal Philharmonic Society about the concerts it would play. This meant it could call itself “Royal”. In the 1960s the work they were doing no longer allowed them to call themselves “Royal”, so in 1966 the Queen officially gave them the title “Royal”.
The orchestra made many recordings with Sir Thomas Beecham. In 1964 Igor Stravinsky recorded his opera "The Rake's Progress" with the RPO. From 1964 to 1979 they recorded many Gilbert and Sullivan operas with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.
The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra is part of the same organization. They spend their time playing lighter classical music. The RPO have also worked with pop music groups and has given its own series of children’s concerts. In 2007 they announced a series of free educational workshops for the local community.
- Thomas Beecham (1946-1961)
- Rudolf Kempe (1962-1975)
- Antal Doráti (1975-1978)
- Walter Weller (1980-1985)
- André Previn (1985-1992)
- Vladimir Ashkenazy (1987-1994)
- Yuri Temirkanov (1992-1998)
- Daniele Gatti (1996-2009)
- Charles Dutoit (2009-present)
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Cadogan Hall, the RPO's home since 2004
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.