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RLPO unveils 2023/24 season programme at Philharmonic Hall

Sir Simon Rattle is set to return to Liverpool as part of the RLPO’s busy new season programme which also includes a host of world premieres and stellar performances to "excite, challenge, move and entertain".

The world-famous conductor and Merseyside Youth Orchestra (MYO) alumnus will conduct a special concert on February 25 where around 160 former members of the MYO and Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will join the current young players of the Liverpool Philharmonic.

The 2023/24 season, Domingo Hindoyan’s third as RLPO chief conductor, will also welcome back soloists including cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Huyton’s superstar pianist Paul Lewis, Nobuyuki Tsujii, Víkingur Ólafsson, Simon Trpčeski and soprano Sonya Yoncheva.

Violinists Simone Lamsma and Johan Dalene, who have both impressed over the past two seasons, also return – this time as Artist in Residence and Young Artist in Residence respectively.

Meanwhile the season also features the world premiere of Eleanor Alberga’s Piano Concerto, performed by 2021 Leeds International Piano Competition winner Alim Beisembayev, and commissioned especially for him as the prize winner of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society Contemporary Prize.

Above: Alim Beisembeyev. Photo by Nabin Maharjan. Top: Sir Simon Rattle. Photo by Oliver Helbig.

Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choirs will perform the world premiere of Joanna Marsh’s Plastic Theatre, with text by Katie Schaag. The work has been commissioned by Liverpool Philharmonic in a consortium with other youth choirs from Denmark, Norway, Peru, Australia and USA.

Ensemble 10:10 will also present a number of world premieres including principal horn Timothy Jackson’s Traffic Jams and Anagrams, a new work from Rushworth Competition Prize winner Christopher Cook and works from Michael Betteridge and Stephen Pratt.

Ahead of the new season, on September 8 the orchestra and Domingo Hindoyan will return to the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall where they will perform the UK premiere of Gabriela Ortiz’ Clara, and Nobu Tsujii will play Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto.

They will follow that by joining Echo and the Bunnymen on tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its seminal album Ocean Rain, including a date at the Liverpool Arena on September 16.

The new season at Philharmonic Hall opens on September 21 with an evening of American music, and the RLPO and Hindoyan will be joined by Paul Lewis who will play Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Copland’s Piano Concerto.

Above: Sheku Kanneh-Mason returns to Hope Street. Photo by Mark McNulty.

Other notable works in the new season programme include Bruckner’s Seven Symphony, Brahms’ Double Concerto, Shostakovich’s Symphony No 11 – the Year 1905 (conducted by Vasily Petrenko), and a range of pieces by British composers, showcased by principal guest conductor Andrew Manze.

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir will also play a central role in the forthcoming season, joining the orchestra for performances of Beethoven’s Mass in C, Faure’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Poulenc’s Gloria.

The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine comes to Philharmonic Hall on November 3 as part of a national tour.

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason presents her second season of Spirit of Christmas concerts in December.

In March Liverpool will host Classic FM’s Hall of Fame concert, presented by Aled Jones and featuring some of works that topped this year’s list including Handel’s coronation anthem Zadok the Priest, the Vaughan Williams’ favourite The Lark Ascending, and choral works performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir.

And in May the orchestra will return to Japan for a tour of the country.

Above: Chief conductor Domingo Hindoyan

Chief conductor Domingo Hindoyan said: “This season ties together musical threads and themes that have been taking shape over the past two years and I’m particularly looking forward to continuing our exploration of Bruckner, with the Seventh Symphony, Mahler’s great Fifth Symphony, Brahms’ Fourth, Shostakovich’s Fifth, and opera and song continue to run throughout the season.

“We will continue to champion new music, with the world premiere of Eleanor Alberga’s piano concerto, performed by rising star Alim Beisembayev. And I’m thrilled to welcome two exceptional soloists to join as our Artist in Residence and Young Artist in Residence – Simone Lamsma and Johan Dalene respectively.”

And Royal Liverpool Philharmonic chief executive Michael Eakin added: “It’s wonderful to be launching our new 2023/24 season, our third with chief conductor Domingo Hindoyan, during such a culturally significant week for Liverpool. It's really justifying its status as the UK's only UNESCO City of Music.

“As the largest music organisation in the city, we are central to that cultural offering all year round, and I am incredibly proud of our work both on and off the stage in reaching right across Liverpool’s diverse communities and in welcoming artists and audiences from all over the world.”

Booking opens for members and groups on May 15 and general booking on June 12.

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