Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool


Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Liverpool Philharmonic Hall is a Grade II* listed concert hall located mid way along Hope Street in Liverpool, England.

The current hall was completed in 1939, designed by Herbert J Rowse. It was built on the site of the previous hall, providing the city with some of the best acoustics and facilities in Europe. The hall is owned by Liverpool City Council, leased to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, and operated (since 1st April 2004) by their wholly owned subsidiary, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall & Events Ltd.

The Hall stands on the site once occupied by the house of William Hope, a merchant after whom Hope Street is named.

Original hall

The original hall opened on August 271849, financed by the Liverpool Philharmonic Society. It was designed by John Cunningham. Acoustically the building was considered perfect by everyone in the region and Thomas Beecham considered it to be the best in Europe. A loose spark in the organ loft started a fire which destroyed the building, on July 51933.

Recent history

After a major capital refurbishment in the early 1990s, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society experienced major financial challenges associated with maintaining a regional symphony orchestra.The appointment of Michael Elliott as Chief Executive in 2001, and of Simon Glinn as Executive Director of Liverpool Philharmonic Hall & Events in 2003 has significantly altered the hall's operation to offer a diverse programme of high quality music of many genres that has made it one of the key regional venues.The venue has been rebranded as "Liverpool Philharmonic Hall" and it now plays a key role in a number of Liverpool's major cultural festivals, including the Liverpool Irish Festival, Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival, and Hope Street Feast.

Programme

The hall is the home, rehearsal and concert venue of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and its associates, the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Ensemble 10:10, the Rodewald Concert Society and several choirs. The orchestra performs around 60 concerts a year in the hall, and in between these the hall hosts a very diverse programme of rock, pop, jazz and roots concerts, community events, graduation ceremonies, and conferences.

In addition to its merits as a concert hall, the Philharmonic Hall also contains the last functioning Walturdaw rising cinema screen in the world, which is used for frequent screenings of classic films and for film premieres. As the art deco screen rises up from the stage for a film, it is often accompanied by organ music from Dave Nicholas, Merseyside's only resident cinema organist. The organ in the hall was installed for use with orchestral and choral performances, and so it can be referred to as the only classical organ being played regularly as a theatre organ.For the 2006/2007 season, the 'Classic Films' series is being sponsored by Turner Classic Movies.

The hall was the venue annually of Liverpool Institute for Boys Speech Day & Prize-giving held usually in December each year until closure of the Institute in 1985. The evening also featured the entire school as a choir in a series of well rehearsed musical pieces which included light opera as well as traditional & sacred pieces.

Today, the hall still hosts a number of Speech Days and Prize Givings for several schools in Merseyside.

From 2005 increasing use has been made of the Rodewald Suite, built in the 1990s to the rear of the main auditorium as a dining room, as a separate venue for small scale informal concerts of jazz, roots and acoustic sets from many of Liverpool's current rock and pop musicians.

In the summer of 2006 the hall purchased updated lighting and sound equipment in order to raise the standard of technical provision for events. As part of this a Nexo GEO-D line array PA system was installed.

External links

* [http://www.liverpoolphil.com/ Liverpool Philharmonic Hall website: What's On, Info and Tickets]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/content/panoramas/philharmonic_hall_360.shtml Panoramic views of the interior]
* [http://www.liverpooltheatreguide.com/philharmonic.htm What's On At The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool]
* [http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/LiverpoolTheatresIndex.htm Liverpool Theatre History]
* [http://rcs.merseyworld.com/ Rodewald Concert Society - Chamber Music on Merseyside]
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