Halle Concerts Society

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About us

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The Hallé has innovation in its DNA. Sir Charles Hallé, who founded the orchestra in Manchester in 1858, was a true pioneer: his fundamental belief that music should be for everyone remains central to the orchestra’s vision today. Other musical legends continued to develop his ground-breaking work – Hans Richter, Hamilton Harty, John Barbirolli – and, inspired by the current Music Director, Sir Mark Elder, the orchestra has entered a new golden age.

‘Elder’s orchestra was in full flight, throbbing with a passion both dark and lustrous, and a precision of phrasing that told us, if we needed telling, that the Hallé is one of the world’s best orchestras.’

The Times, 2022

At the heart of the Hallé are its players, led by their newly-appointed and charismatic Leader Roberto Ruisi. Hailing from over 14 different countries, they are extraordinary, multi-skilled individuals in their own right – soloists, chamber musicians, educators and more – yet, when united in concert, they create the unique and world-famous Hallé sound.

The Hallé’s recent past has seen the launch of its own record label, filmed concerts released online, the repertoire expanded with brand-new commissions and numerous awards, including a 2022 South Bank Sky Arts Award. Since the pandemic, and encouraged by an enhanced social media presence, the Hallé has seen a dramatic increase in younger audiences. The 2022/23 season, Sir Mark Elder’s penultimate one as Hallé Music Director, includes such orchestral and choral showpieces as Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben and Verdi’s Requiem before it culminates in a week-long celebration of Elgar’s three greatest oratorios.

Originally based in Manchester’s Free Trade Hall, the Hallé has been resident at the specially built Bridgewater Hall, one of the world’s great concert venues, since it was opened in 1996. Here it performs around 70 concerts a year to over 120,000 people. In addition, it also holds residencies in major cities across the North West, performs regularly at prestigious international festivals such as Edinburgh and the BBC Proms, and tours overseas, reaching another 70,000 listeners, both here and abroad.

Yet the Hallé is much more than just a world-beating symphony orchestra. Its collective spirit can be felt in the variety of communities it embraces and the diversity of the ensembles and smaller groups it nurtures. Hallé Connect, the banner that unites all its schools and community work, is the biggest initiative of its kind in the world. Each week, the ever-expanding family of ensembles welcomes through its doors over 700 people, aged eight and upwards. Education and outreach projects inspire and engage around 75,000 people a year, bringing music in its broadest sense to many who have never before visited a concert hall.

Opened in the resurgent area of Ancoats in 2013 and now expanded to include the triple RIBA Award-winning Oglesby Centre, Hallé St Peter’s provides a home for the orchestra’s rehearsals and recordings as well as Hallé Connect. It also hosts an incredibly popular lunchtime Chamber Music Series that attracted capacity audiences last season.

The Hallé is a registered charity.

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