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Guide to The Hallé

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Binge-listening: a bumper Beethoven Weekender at the Barbican

Lars Vogt and the Royal Northern Sinfonia © Mark Allan | Barbican
Nine symphonies, five orchestras, two days: an immersive weekend as part of the Barbican's Beethoven 250 coverage featuring some of the UK's finest orchestras. 

A tale of two halves as Jess Gillam makes her Hallé debut

Jess Gillam © Kaupo Kikkas

Intense lyricism bridges the gap between John Adams and Rachmaninov, but debutant Kazuki Yamada struggles to link the two. 

Riotous American repertoire from the Hallé

Cristian Măcelaru © Adriane White
Cristian Măcelaru conducts The Hallé in music by Copland, Bernstein and Gershwin, plus his own arrangement of Jake Heggie's Moby Dick.

A strikingly individual Mahler First from The Hallé and Alexander Joel

Kristóf Baráti © Marco Borggreve
Alexander Joel conducts The Hallé in Mahler's First Symphony and Korngold's “Hollywood” Violin Concerto. 

Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette in Manchester

Ludovic Morlot, the Hallé and soloists in Manchester © The Hallé.
Ludovic Morlot conducts Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with The Hallé.
Biographie

The Hallé has a reputation for artistic excellence, ranking it amongst the world’s top symphonic ensembles. Now in its 160th season, the Hallé continues to seek ways to enhance and refresh what it undertakes, with aspirations to provide leadership through performance standards, education, understanding and training.

Founded by Sir Charles Hallé in Manchester, the Hallé gave its first concert in the city’s Free Trade Hall on 30 January 1858. Following the death of Sir Charles, the orchestra continued to develop under the guidance of such distinguished figures as Dr Hans Richter, Sir Hamilton Harty and Sir John Barbirolli. Mark Elder CBE became Music Director in 2000. He was knighted by the Queen in 2008 for services to music and appointed a Companion of Honour in 2017. In November 2011, he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society.

The Hallé has received many awards, notably from the Royal Philharmonic Society and the South Bank Awards, for its work in the concert hall and celebrated collaborations with other orchestras and Manchester organisations. As well as taking to the stage for around 70 concerts a year at The Bridgewater Hall, its Manchester home, the Hallé places great pride in giving over 40 concerts annually throughout the rest of Britain. Its distinguished history of acclaimed performances also includes televised concerts, frequent radio broadcasts and international tours.

Since the Hallé launched its own CD label in 2003, a number of its recordings have won prestigious awards including five Gramophone Awards and a Diapason d’Or. A further Gramophone Award was given for one of an ongoing series of recordings made for the acclaimed contemporary music label, NMC. In 2013, the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder’s recording of Elgar’s The Apostles was honoured with both the ‘Choral Award’ and ‘Recording of the Year’ (BBC Music Magazine) as well as the ‘Choral Award’ (Gramophone).

Hallé St Peter’s provides a home for the Hallé’s rehearsals and recordings, its choirs and Youth Orchestra, as well as a space for education workshops and small performances. Opened by the Hallé’s Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex in 2013, it is a restored church in the Ancoats area of Manchester. From the end of 2017 to summer 2019, Hallé St Peter’s will be closed for expansion, creating additional rehearsal spaces as well as a café.

Over a quarter of a million people heard the Hallé live last season, of whom more than 71,000 were inspired by the Hallé’s pioneering education programme. It exists to create a wider enjoyment and understanding of music throughout the whole community and generates around 65 projects each year. The Hallé is a registered charity.

Click here to find out more on the Hallé's website. You can also follow the Hallé on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram

Sir Mark Elder © Benjamin Ealovega
Sir Mark Elder
© Benjamin Ealovega
Sir Mark Elder © Benjamin Ealovega
Sir Mark Elder
© Benjamin Ealovega
Sir Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000. He was Music Director of English National Opera (1979-1993), Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1992-1995) and Music Director of Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, USA (1989-1994). He has held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. He has worked with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Munich Philharmonic and London Symphony. He is a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and works regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared annually at the Proms for many years, including in 1987 and 2006, the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms and from 2003 with the Hallé. He works regularly in the most prominent international opera houses, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera New York, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Other guest engagements have taken him to the Bayreuth Festival (where he was the first English conductor to conduct a new production), Munich, Amsterdam, Zürich, Geneva, Berlin, and the Bregenz Festival. Sir Mark Elder has made many recordings with orchestras including the Hallé, London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, the OAE, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and ENO, in repertoire ranging from Verdi, Strauss and Wagner to contemporary music. In 2003 the Hallé launched its own CD label and releases have met with universal critical acclaim including Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine Awards. TV appearances include a two-part film on the life and music of Verdi for BBC TV and a similar project on Donizetti for German television. He co-presented BBC TV’s four-part series Symphony and fronted BBC2’s TV series Maestro at the Opera. He presented a series of programmes on BBC4 during the 2015 Proms in which he talked about eight symphonies ranging from Beethoven to James MacMillan. In April 2011, he took up the position of Artistic Director of Opera Rara, for whom recording projects have included Donizetti’s Dom Sebastien, Imelda di Lambertazzi, Linda di Chamounix, Maria di Rohan and a multi-award winning release of Les Martyrs. Recent and forthcoming concert engagements, as well as his commitment to the Hallé, include the Chicago Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra Washington, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Tonhalle- Orchester Zurich, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Vienna Symphony. Operatic engagements include Tannhäuser and La bohème (Opéra National de Paris), Benvenuto Cellini (Netherlands Opera), Meistersinger (San Francisco Opera), Billy Budd, Falstaff and La Traviata (Glyndebourne), several productions for Covent Garden and concert performances of Lohengrin with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Sir Mark Elder was appointed a Companion of Honour in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours, was knighted in 2008 and awarded the CBE in 1989. He won an Olivier Award in 1991 for his outstanding work at ENO and in May 2006 he was named Conductor of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society. He was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2011.