The BBC Philharmonic is a broadcasting orchestra based in Salford. It performs at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, tours the North of England, and welcomes audiences in its recording studio at MediaCityUK.
As one of the BBC's six performing groups the BBC Philharmonic gives over a hundred concerts a year, nearly all of which are broadcast on BBC Radio 3, the BBC's home of classical music. It also appears annually at the BBC Proms.
Adventurous and Creative
The BBC Philharmonic champions British composers and works with world class artists from a range of genres and styles. 2014 has seen the return of BBC Philharmonic Presents, a series of collaborations across BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 live, 6 Music and the Asian Network, showcasing the versatility of this orchestra and its adventurous, creative spirit.
The orchestra is supported by Salford City Council, enabling active links to be built in the local area through a busy learning and outreach programme working in schools and the community.
The BBC Philharmonic supports and nurtures emerging talent from across the North West working closely with Salford City Council and other partners including the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Salford University and Greater Manchester Music Hub (GMMH) to provide unique opportunities for musicians of all ages to work with the orchestra.
As a consequence, thousands of children and adults meet the BBC Philharmonic in a variety of academic and community settings each year as part of the orchestra's burgeoning Learning and Outreach programme.
The BBC Philharmonic's family of conductors is led by Juanjo Mena, Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic. His love of large-scale choral works and the music of his home country Spain have produced unforgettable performances in the concert hall and on disc. This season will see him explore Beethoven's rich and varied work.
Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds recorded a Sibelius symphony cycle with the orchestra in 2013 to much critical acclaim, and he will perform and record all the Nielsen symphonies to mark the composer's 150th birthday in June 2015. The distinguished Austrian HK ‘Nali' Gruber is Composer/Conductor and led the orchestra in a residency at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 2013. The orchestra's former principal conductors Gianandrea Noseda and Yan Pascal Tortelier also return regularly.
As an internationally-renowned orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic regularly travels to Europe and Asia. In 2011 the tour of Japan was cut short by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami; last year they returned to complete the dates which were cancelled.
The BBC Philharmonic has made over 250 recordings with Chandos Records and sold around 900,000 albums. In September 2014, the BBC Philharmonic was the recipient of the Gramophone magazine's Concerto Award, along with the remarkable pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and conductor Gianandrea Noseda. In its review of the CD, the Gramophone writes: "Throughout, Bavouzet displays a light touch and laudable levels of physical stamina, with a firm grasp of the very different personalities of each piece. Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic perform like soulmates for the duration"
Juanjo Mena is one of Spain's most highly regarded conductors. He is currently Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, and he works regularly with all the major orchestras in his home country.
He has been Artistic Director of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Chief Guest Conductor of the Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa and Principal Guest Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
He has worked with many prestigious orchestras such as the Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Dresden Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since his American debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2004 he has conducted most of the leading orchestras in the United States, including Chicago, Boston, Houston, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
His operatic work includes The Flying Dutchman, Salome, Elektra, Ariadne auf Naxos, Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Erwartung and productions including Eugene Onegin in Genoa, The Marriage of Figaro in Lausanne and Billy Budd in Bilbao.
His future highlights include debuts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the Nash Ensemble, and returns to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oslo, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the Orchestre National de France.
He recently led the BBC Philharmonic on tours of Europe and Spain, including performances in Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Madrid, and performs with them every year at the BBC Proms in London.
He has made several recordings with the BBC Philharmonic, including a disc of works by Manuel de Falla, which was a BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Month, Gabriel Pierné, which was a Gramophone Editor's Choice, and recent releases of music by Montsalvatge, Weber and Turina which have gained excellent reviews from the specialist music press.
Sarah Chang is recognised as one of the world's great violinists. Since her debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 8 she has performed with the greatest orchestras, conductors and accompanists internationally in a career spanning more than two decades.
Ms. Chang tours extensively throughout the year. Recent and future highlights include performances with the BBC Scottish Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Houston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, Ravinia Festival and Aspen Music Festival.
In the coming months Ms. Chang will perform with the orchestras of Melbourne, Adelaide, West Australia and Queensland, as well as the Auckland Philharmonia, Malaysian Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony and City of Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Chang's most recent recording for EMI Classics, performances of Brahms and Bruch violin concertos with Kurt Masur and the Dresdner Philharmonic was received to excellent critical and popular acclaim and was her 20th album for the label. Her 2007 recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons attracted international commendation, with BBC Music Magazine stating: "She has never made a finer recording." She has also recorded Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.1 and Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 live with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.
In 2006, Ms. Chang was honored as one of 20 Top Women in Newsweek Magazine's "Women and Leadership, 20 Powerful Women Take Charge" issue. In March 2008, Ms. Chang was honored as a Young Global Leader for 2008 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for her professional achievements, commitment to society and potential in shaping the future of the world.
In 2005, Yale University dedicated a chair in Sprague Hall in Sarah Chang's name and in 2012 Harvard University gave her the 'Distinguished Leadership in the Arts Award'. For the June 2004 Olympic games, she was given the honor of running with the Olympic Torch in New York, and that same month, became the youngest person ever to receive the Hollywood Bowl's Hall of Fame award. She is a past recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, Gramophone's "Young Artist of the Year" award, Germany's "Echo" Schallplattenpreis, "Newcomer of the Year" honors at the International Classical Music Awards in London, and Korea's "Nan Pa" award. Ms. Chang has been named the US Embassy's Artistic Ambassador from 2011.