Artist Playlists

About Hallé

One of the UK’s oldest orchestras, the Manchester-based Hallé Orchestra has enjoyed preeminence under various conductors, notably John Barbirolli, under whose baton it became an ensemble of international repute. Founded in 1857 by Charles Hallé as a temporary endeavor, the orchestra became permanent the following year, giving concerts at the Free Trade Hall. Under Hans Richter, its conductor from 1899 until 1911, the Hallé premiered Elgar’s In the South (1904) and Symphony No. 1 (1908). After World War I, it enjoyed another golden era under Hamilton Harty (principal conductor 1920–33), who took pride in raising the Hallé’s quality of playing to a level comparable to the Berlin Philharmonic’s. As well as giving the British premieres of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony (1930) and Shostakovich’s First (1932), the orchestra gave the world premiere of Lambert’s The Rio Grande (1929) with Harty taking its virtuoso piano part. During World War II, the orchestra lost many players, but regained stability under Barbirolli (principal conductor 1943↼70) who developed a highly expressive performance style for works by Elgar and Mahler at a time when those composers were poorly regarded. With Barbirolli, the orchestra also premiered Vaughan Williams’ “Sinfonia Antartica” (1953) and Symphony No. 8 (1956). The orchestra gained its state-of-the-art concert hall, The Bridgewater, in 1996. Since 2000, principal conductor Mark Elder has largely built upon Barbirolli’s enduring legacy.

Manchester, England

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