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The Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra

NPO in concertThe Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra is a non-professional full sized symphony orchestra which attracts players from a wide surrounding area. Many of its players are music teachers, whilst the remainder is made up of those doing a wide variety of jobs, as well as retired people and students. Their common link is that they enjoy the opportunity to play together, participating in challenging and demanding music, requiring a high standard of playing. Members are selected by audition.

Despite being non-professional, the orchestra seeks to achieve the highest standards possible. To that end, the orchestra has played over the years under many professional guest conductors, as well as working with TV personalities who have compered the Family Concerts. Furthermore, it has worked alongside many highly talented soloists including Guy Johnston, Joanna McGregor, Philip Fowke, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Piers Lane , So-Ock Kim, Terrence Wilson and Alexander Baillie.

The orchestra usually gives five concerts per year, in the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham Albert Hall and Southwell Minster. A wide variety of music is played, including light and popular items in the successful annual Family Concerts, to the more serious and adventurous pieces at other times of the year.

The orchestra was founded in 1974 by Malcolm Nabarro as the Nottingham Sinfonietta, with the aim (then as it is now) of providing a platform for local musicians to perform orchestral music to the highest standards they could achieve. By 1985 the orchestra had grown significantly in size and it was then felt that it should be renamed to reflect what it had become – the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1989, Paul Murphy took up the baton as Music Director, and in 1997 he was replaced by Jacques Harry Cohen. Most recently, Mark Heron was appointed as the orchestra's fourth Music Director, taking up his role in 2007.

A recurring compliment that is given is that the orchestra seems more like a professional one rather than one comprising enthusiastic amateurs. Indeed, several professional conductors have said that this orchestra is one of the best non-professional orchestras in the country.

For further information about the orchestra and for all queries, please visit our Contacts page

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