Welcome to the website of the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra.
The NPO was founded in 1974 as the Nottingham Sinfonietta: an invitation-only chamber orchestra that aimed to provide the opportunity for high-quality music-making to the most talented musicians in the region. Many of the founding members made their living from music, and this remains a prominent feature of today's Orchestra.
Over the years the NPO has grown in size and changed its name to the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra to reflect a change in focus to full size symphonic repertoire. Whilst occasionally returning to those chamber orchestra roots for specific projects, the core of the Orchestra’s repertoire today include the symphonies of Elgar, Mahler, Nielsen, Shostakovich and Sibelius and other iconic large orchestral works of the 20th Century such as Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Holst’s The Planets and Stravinsky’s Petrushka. The NPO’s extremely high standards of performance enable them to take on projects that would be beyond the reach of most non-professional orchestras. Recent seasons have included concert performances of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, part of Puccini’s La Boheme, and a complete cycle of Brahms symphonies performed in chronological order over 2 days.
Membership of the orchestra is based on an annual invitation and prospective new members are subject to a rehearsal audition for string players, and trial concert(s) for wind & brass positions.
Mark Heron has been Music Director of the NPO since 2007. As well as guest conducting internationally, he is Professor of Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester: one of the world’s premier conducting programmes. This has resulted in a growing partnership between the NPO and the RNCM which affords opportunities to student conductors and soloists to work with the Orchestra in masterclasses and concerts.
The NPO season is based in and around venues in Nottingham, principally the Royal Concert Hall, Albert Hall and Southwell Minster. The annual Family Concert in the RCH regularly attracts an audience of around 2,000 and has featured celebrity presenters such as Alan Titchmarsh, Robert Powell, Matt Baker, Anton Du Beke and Ken Bruce, among others.
Noted soloists to appear with the Orchestra include Joanna McGregor, Paul Tortelier, Philip Fowke, Alexandra Dariescu, Ben Goldscheider & Callum Smart. Chloe Hanslip was the soloist in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto for the 40th anniversary concert in March 2014.
Although members pay a nominal subscription, the NPO relies principally on ticket revenue and commercial sponsorship to fund their music-making activities. If you are interested in supporting the Orchestra please have a look at the sponsorship page.
The NPO is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity.