Michael Eakin, Chief Executive, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra says:
“The past 18 months have been a reminder that music, more than ever, has the power to connect us all and so I am delighted to be able to share our plans for the new season. It’s an extremely exciting time for the Orchestra as we welcome our new Chief Conductor Domingo Hindoyan for his first season with us. It’s a programme with an amazing diversity of music and artists. It also reflects our strong commitment to present new work, with a 50/50 gender balance of composers across all new works for the Orchestra and ensembles. We can’t wait to welcome you.”
Concerts with new Chief Conductor Domingo Hindoyan
Domingo Hindoyan’s opening season as Chief Conductor will include performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No 9, Bruckner’s Symphony No 8, Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, and new works by Roberto Sierra and Edmund Finnis. He will be working with soloists including Isata Kanneh-Mason, Sonya Yoncheva, Pacho Flores, and Maria Duenas.
Hindoyan’s first concerts in Liverpool are a mixture of waltzes and Latin rhythms inspired by his native South America. Waltzes from Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and Ravel’s La Valse complement Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat Suite No. 2 and Granados’ Intermezzo from Goyescas. The concert also sees the first return of Young Artist in Residence, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, who performs Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto (Thursday 9 September, 7.30pm). A concert later in the week continues the dance theme (Sunday 12 September, 2.30pm).
There is only one way Hindoyan could truly launch the season, and that is with Beethoven’s mighty Symphony No. 9 ‘Choral’. Soprano Anita Hartig, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston and tenor Andrew Staples are the soloists as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir join forces with the Orchestra for a work that begins in tragedy but ends in triumph. The concert also sees the world premiere of Roberto Sierra’s Symphony No.6, a co-commission with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra (Thursday 14 and Saturday 16 October, 7.30pm).
The Latin American strand continues with a pair of concerts with fellow Venezuelan musicians’ trumpeter Pacho Flores and Venezuelan cuatro (small guitar) player Leónidas Rondón. Following his unforgettable Liverpool performance in January 2020, Flores performs the European premiere of a new concerto for trumpet by Paquito D’Rivera (Thursday 11 November, 7.30pm) and also plays his own composition Cantos y Revueltas: Fantasia concertante for Trumpet, Venezuelan Cuatro (Sunday 14 November, 2.30pm).
Hindoyan welcomes back Merseyside-born pianist Stephen Hough to perform Brahms’ volcanic Piano Concerto No. 1 before the Orchestra play Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 ‘Pathétique’ (Thursday 18 November 7.30pm & Sunday 21 November, 2.30pm).
An all-French programme signals the start of 2022 for Hindoyan, which opens with Messiaen’s Les Offrandes Oubliées. French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is the soloist in Ravel’s jazzy Piano Concerto in G major. The concert continues with music by Debussy and Roussel. (Thursday 20 January, 7.30pm & Sunday 23 January, 2.30pm).
One of the emotional peaks of the season will be when Hindoyan conducts Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8; one of the grandest works in the repertoire. Composed for an enormous orchestra, it is one of the Romantic period’s most overwhelming experiences (Thursday 27 January, 7.30pm no interval).
The Orchestra gives the UK premiere of Edmund Finnis’ Acts of Waves in a concert that also includes Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 ‘Inextinguishable,’ and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 performed by Kit Armstrong (Thursday 3 March, 7.30pm). Armstrong takes to the stage again with the same work in an all-Mozart programme later in the week (Sunday 6 March, 2.30pm).
Winner of the 2021 Menuhin Competition, María Dueñas joins the orchestra for Sibelius’ popular Violin Concerto as the centrepiece of a concert bookended by Nielsen’s Overture to his Pan and Syrinx and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 (Thursday 31 March, 7.30pm). The Nielsen is swapped out for the Overture of Beethoven’s Leonore No. 3 a few days later (Sunday 3 April, 2.30pm).
The Adagio from Mahler’s unsettling Symphony No. 10 is a fitting prelude to a concert performance of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. The psychological thriller is sung by Liverpool’s own soprano Jennifer Johnston and baritone Károly Szemerédy (Thursday 7 April, 7.30pm).
One of the world’s greatest opera singers, Soprano Sonya Yoncheva takes to the stage for two evenings of opera, performing Martucci’s La Canzone dei Ricordi. Husband Domingo Hindoyan conducts overtures to Wagner’s Lohengrin Act 1 and Verdi’s Luisa Miller to begin the concerts and closes them with Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 (Thursday 12 May, 7.30pm & Sunday 15 May 2.30pm).
Julian Bliss joins Liverpool Philharmonic for a varied concert in which he plays Copland’s Clarinet Concerto. The evening begins with Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes and also includes Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Haydn, the Overture to Weber’s Turandot, and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Weber (Thursday 19 May, 7.30pm).
Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with soloist Sergei Babayan is the centrepiece of a concert which opens with Mendelssohn’s Overture to Ruy Blas, an opera based on Victor Hugo’s tragic play. The drama continues in Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 (Thursday 26 May, 7.30pm & Saturday 28 May, 7.30pm).
Two other titled conductors complement Hindoyan’s first season, Conductor Laureate Vasily Petrenko returning in May and July 2022, and Principal Guest Conductor Andrew Manze who makes visits in October 2021, January and May 2022.
Artists in Residence
This season, Liverpool Philharmonic welcomes pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason as Young Artist in Residence and baritone Roderick Williams as Artist in Residence.
Following her performance at the season’s opening concert, Kanneh-Mason is joined by musicians from the Orchestra for a chamber concert in which she also plays Rachmaninov’s tempestuous Études-Tableaux (Friday 7 January, 7.30pm).
Williams performs An Italian Songbook, (Wednesday 15 September, 7.30pm) as well as Mahler’s Rückert Lieder (Thursday 10 March, 7.30pm). He sings the part of Christ in Bach’s St John’s Passion (Thursday 14 April, 7pm).
Female Composers and Conductors
Liverpool Philharmonic has achieved a 50/50 gender balance across the new works for Orchestra and ensembles presented this season, with the performance of 8 new works by female composers. These include the premieres of works by Victoria Borisova-Ollas’ Remember Me Giselle: Cello Concerto (Thursday 5 May, 7.30pm, UK premiere), Katherine Balch’s Like a broken clock (Thursday 30 June, 7.30pm, UK premiere) and Grace-Evangeline Mason’s In her Own Valley (Saturday 16 July, 7.30pm, world premiere). Amy Beach’s Symphony No 2 ‘Gaelic’ will also be performed.
Female guest conductors include Marta Gardolińska, Alexandra Dunn, Elena Schwarz, Rebecca Tong, Sarah Hicks, Ellie Slorach, Jeannette Sorrell, Nil Vendetti and Gemma New.
Distinguished conductors appearing in the season include Case Scaglione, Grant Llewellyn, Kevin John Edusei, Martin Yates, Kahchun Wong, Joshua Weilerstein, Maxim Emelyanychev, Mihhail Gerts, Richard Balcombe and Julian Rachlin.
Visiting soloists include Carolyn Sampson soprano, Jess Dandy mezzo-soprano, Lawrence Power viola, Cormac Henry flute, Catrin Finch harp, Simone Lamsma violin, Anastasia Kobekina cello, Inon Barnatan piano, Noa Wildschut violin, Truls Mørk cello, Nicolas Alstaedt cello, Pavel Kolesnikov piano, Mao Fujita piano, Ian Tracey organ, and Sergei Dogadin violin. The winner of the 2021 Leeds International Piano Competition will also perform with the Orchestra (to be announced September 2021).
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
Performing for the first time since March 2020, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir join the Orchestra for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Hindoyan. Later in the year they will sing in Handel’s The Messiah (Saturday 8 January, 7pm) and a new work specially commissioned for the choir, Grace Evangeline-Mason, Mahler’s Letters, conducted by Ellie Slorach (Sunday 8 May, 2.30pm). The choir will join John Suchet for the annual Spirit of Christmas concerts (17-23 December).
Chamber Music at St. George’s Hall Concert Room
Liverpool Philharmonic’s chamber series in the city’s St George’s Hall Concert Room features performances by some of the world’s finest chamber ensembles and recital artists including The King’s Singers and pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii.
The Orchestra’s contemporary music group will perform two concerts at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. The first includes works by Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, Lisa Illean, Edmund Finnis, John Adams and the world premiere of Alexander Papp’s The Myth of Bertie and Bella (Wednesday 6 October, 7.30pm) conducted by Robert Ames. Then La Maestra Conducting competition winner, Rebecca Tong, leads the strings of the orchestra in a programme featuring a UK premiere of Vivian Fung’s String Serenade (17 February, 7.30pm).
Ensemble 10/10 also give the first performance in their new home, The Tung Auditorium at the Yoko Ono Centre based in the University of Liverpool (21 April, 7.30pm).
The informal, intimate setting of the Music Room is the setting for both Liverpool Philharmonic’s Close Up and Lunchtime Concerts series. Both feature performances by ensembles of musicians from the Orchestra and a number of visiting artists including Angelina Dorlin-Barlow mezzo-soprano and Armand Rabot bass baritone. Runners up from the Leeds International Piano Competition will also perform recitals (21 and 22 September, both 1pm).
Cellist Gethyn Jones and the Ensemble of St Luke’s present Discover: Beethoven String Quartets, a belated celebration of the composer’s 250th year in 2020. Combining full performances with Jones’ informed and often humorous lectures, the group survey three Beethoven string quartets (Saturdays 12 March, 7 May, 18 June, 11am-1pm).
Relaxed and Dementia-Friendly Concerts
Introduced in the 2018-19 season, ‘Relaxed’ and ‘Dementia Friendly’ concerts are performed by the Orchestra and its ensembles. The dementia friendly concert is designed for people with additional needs, including communications difficulties, physical and learning disabilities. There will be resources to help audiences to prepare for the event including music playlists, a virtual venue tour, easy-read materials, BSL interpretation, and quiet spaces (Sunday 16 January, 2.30pm).
Claire Henry and strings from the Orchestra perform a programme of Italian favourites, with Henry acting as a guide throughout the dementia friendly concert experience. Various measures are taken to ensure the audience is as comfortable as possible, such as accessible facilities, keeping the lights on during the performance, and having a quiet space available throughout (Wednesday 2 February, 12.30pm).
Film with Live Music and Concerts for all the family
This season’s film with live music is The Great Escape. Starring Steve McQueen, it is a tale of action, adventure, and courage. Liverpool Philharmonic plays the classic score from Elmer Bernstein in his centenary year (Saturday 2 July, 7pm).
Family Concerts last around an hour with plenty of familiar music designed to enthral younger audiences. In 21/22 these include Spooktacular! (Saturday 30 October, 2.30pm), Santa’s countdown to Christmas (Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 December, 11.30am & 2.30pm) Symphonic Safari on Hope Street (Sunday 13 March, 2.30pm) and Summon the Superheroes! (Sunday 26 June, 2.30pm).
Liverpool Philharmonic’s Youth Ensembles performances this season include Liverpool Philharmonic Youth and Children’s Choirs (16 July, 7.30pm), Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (17 July, 2.30pm) and the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Session Orchestra (17 July, 8pm) concert in association with Tomorrow’s Warriors. A free to attend Viola Day (16 January, 10am to 4pm) includes a masterclass and technique workshop for instrumentalists at all levels.
From 1 September, in line with current government guidance, seating within the Hall and Music Room will return to normal configurations, with no social distancing in place.
COVID-19 Safety Measures at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall from 1 September
For entry to all events, ticketholders aged 18 and over (unless medically exempt), will need to demonstrate on arrival at the venue proof of COVID-19 status by providing:
We will continue to implement additional measures at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall including:
We ask all customers to be considerate and give fellow audience members their space in bars and public areas, as much as possible.
We will continue to be alert to changing conditions and government guidance with respect to Covid-19 and will modify our policies as necessary going forward.
For further press information please contact: