Happy birthday! Today is exactly 175 years since the founding of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. To celebrate, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Britain’s oldest orchestra, by the way!) and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir are giving our annual performance of Handel’s Messiah at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. The concert will be conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann.
A star studded line up had been assembled for this very special occasion.
Nathalie Stutzmann conductor
Susan Gritton soprano
Gaia Petrone alto
John Mark Ainsley tenor
Brindley Sherratt bass
& Brendan Ball solo trumpet!
Incidentally, we had more than the usual two trumpeters on stage as tenor John Mark Ainsley and bass Brindley Sharrett also play the divine instrument. In fact Brindley, who began playing cornet in a Manchester Salvation Army band, went on to study trumpet at the Royal Academy of music with William Houghton and John Wilbraham before turning his attention to singing. Prior to that he studied trumpet at Salford Technical College (now university) with former RLPO 2nd trumpet Des Worthington. Amusingly, Brindley remarked that when he was able to play the trumpet part in ‘The Trumpet Shall Sound’ he couldn’t sing the bass part and now that he can sing the bass part he can’t play the trumpet solo!
The first occasion the trumpets play in The Messiah is no.17 ‘Glory To God’. This is to be played ‘lontano’ so we normally play it off stage at The Phil. Nathalie Stutzman only wanted the first two phrases played in this manner so we had to process rather rapidly down hill to the next music stand, visible to the left, then make a rather rapid exit off the stage altogether until the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ an hour later! ‘For extra theatre’, she said.
Throughout 2015, our friends at Classic FM will be broadcasting an exclusive, The Full Works concert, every Friday at 8pm with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko and international guest conductors and soloists.
Well, hopefully the standing ovation at the end of the performance will ensure many, many more years of music making for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir. Also, hopefully the cheers for Nathalie Stutzmann from choir, orchestra and audience will ensure that she returns many times too.
The RLPO now have a few days doing concerts as part of our Classic fm series and then we go straight into preparation for our forthcoming tour of Japan. We leave for Japan on January 20th…