‘The Leeds Philharmonic Society is the senior choir in the city by date of foundation and by virtue of its continued and very distinguished programme sustained annually since 1870.’

Simon Lindley

The Dream of Gerontius

Press review Leeds Town Hall, Saturday 1st June 2019: Cardinal John Henry Newman’s epic poem imagines the spiritual journey of Gerontius from deathbed to after-life. The text inspired Sir Edward Elgar to some of his most descriptive orchestral and vocal writing. Said Elgar at the time of the premiere at Birmingham Town Hall, on 3rd October 1900, ‘Gerontius

Dvorak’s Stabat Mater

Press review Leeds Town Hall, Saturday 16th March 2019: The 13th century Latin poem Stabat Mater (Sorrowful Mother) imagines the sorrow of Mary, Mother of the dying Jesus, during her vigil at the foot of his Cross. Of the many musical settings of the Stabat Mater, those by Rossini and Dvorak are constructed on the grandest scale.

Damnation at its most uplifting thanks to Berlioz and the Hallé

Press review Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Sunday 10th February 2019: Berlioz’s standing in Britain – long greater than in his native France – can only have been further bolstered by the Hallé’s uplifting account of The Damnation of Faust on Sunday evening. This extravagant ‘Dramatic Legend’ – performed here as part of the 150th-anniversary commemorations of the composer’s

The Damnation of Faust

Press review Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 10th February 2019: Freely adapted from Goethe, The Damnation of Faust insinuates, idles, roars, croons, swells, bores, hectors, fascinates and dazzles. Berlioz’s 1846 ‘légende dramatique’ is a gluttonous, garrulous, attention-seeking guest in any concert hall. Not quite an opera, it plays almost as cinema: zoom, pan, fade, jump-cut. For each sweet blade of

Black Dyke Band and The Phil

Press review Black Dyke Band and Leeds Philharmonic Chorus, Handel’s Messiah, Leeds Town Hall, Saturday 8th December 2018: A performance of Handel’s sacred oratorio with the orchestral accompaniment replaced by a brass band is probably anathema to purists. I have to say that, for me and I sensed many others, the Black Dyke Band’s lightness of touch

Airedale Symphony Orchestra with The Phil 2018

Press review Leeds Town Hall, Sunday 21st October 2018: A richly varied programme marked the centenary of the 1918 Armistice and the Airedale Symphony Orchestra’s own 120th anniversary. ASO conductor John Anderson opened with Sir Edward Elgar’s swaggering Cockaigne Overture ‘In London Town’. Subtle orchestral colours were illuminated in the final bars by the glorious sonorities of the

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