Past Events

Take a look at some of the events that our Friends have enjoyed in the past. You can find all our forthcoming events here.

Bedford Friends' Trip to Royal Festival Hall

29 June 2014

Bedford Friends of the Philharmonia are warmly invited on a trip to visit another of the Orchestra's residencies, Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall.

This trip includes a pre-concert two-course meal with wine at The Archduke Restaurant in Waterloo, which will be followed by the Orchestra's performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 8, led by Esa-Pekka Salonen, to close the 2013/14 concert season in London.

Open Rehearsal - Salonen/Latry/Batiashvili

26 June 2014

Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Philharmonia in a rehearsal of Saariaho's Maan varjot (Earth's Shadows) featuring organist Olivier Latry, as well as Sibelius' Violin Concerto (with soloist Lisa Batiashvili) and also Sibelius' Symphony No. 2.

Open Rehearsal - Järvi/Gerstein

12 June 2014

Paavo Järvi conducts the Philharmonia in a rehearsal of Glinka's Overture from Ruslan and Ludmilla, Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 (featuring soloist Kirill Gerstein) and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5.

Please note that this rehearsal may be shortened.

London Friends' Dinner 2014

12 June 2014

On Thursday 12 June, Friends of the Philharmonia are invited to join players for a pre-concert meal at The Archduke restaurant in Waterloo.

The dinner will be followed by the evening performance of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, led by Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi.

Leicester Friends Lunch

11 June 2014

We will once again be inviting our Friends to an end of season two-course lunch at Le Bistrot Pierre in Leicester.

Open Rehearsal - Dohnányi/Westbroek

5 June 2014

Christoph von Dohnányi is joined by soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek in a rehearsal of Strauss' Four Last Songs and Bruckner's Symphony No. 9.

Players in the Friends Bar

5 June 2014

Join fellow Friends of the Philharmonia pre-concert from 6.45pm in the Friends Bar at the Royal Festival Hall where members of the Orchestra will be present to meet you.

Talk and Chamber Concert at the Tower of London

28 May 2014

Having recently formed an exciting new relationship with Historic Royal Palaces, we are pleased to invite Friends to a Talk and Chamber Concert at the Tower of London as a joint event with HRP members.
The evening will begin with a drinks reception, prior to a talk from a resident Yeoman Warder about the history of the Tower of London through the ages. There will then be a recital of British woodwind repertoire performed by Philharmonia musicians, followed by a canapé reception when guests will have the opportunity to meet the musicians, as well as the Yeomen Warder on duty.

Open Rehearsal - Sokhiev/Angelich

22 May 2014

Tugan Sokhiev conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in a rehearsal of Fauré's Suite from Pelléas et Mélisande and Ravel's Piano Concerto in G (featuring soloist Nicholas Angelich), as well as Debussy's La mer and Stravinsky's Suite from The Firebird (1919).

Open Rehearsal - Hrůša/Mørk

15 May 2014

Jakub Hrůša is joined by cellist Truls Mørk in a rehearsal of Dvořák's Cello Concerto as well as Suk's Asrael Symphony.

Open Rehearsal - Afkham/Khachatryan

8 May 2014

David Afkham conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra in a rehearsal of Lindberg's Chorale, Berg's Violin Concerto (with soloist Sergey Khachatryan), and Schubert's Symphony No. 9, The Great.

Open Rehearsal - Ashkenazy/Yoo

2 May 2014

Vladimir Ashkenazy was joined by violinist Esther Yoo in a rehearsal of Sibelius' Finlandia and Violin Concerto, as well as Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5.

Open Rehearsal - Hrůša/Vondráček et al

13 April 2014

Jakub Hrůša conducted the Philharmonia in a rehearsal of Suk's Scherzo Fantastique and Dvořák's Piano Concerto (featuring soloist Lukáš Vondráček), as well as Janáček's Glagolitic Mass featuring Bristol Choral Society and soloists Gun-Brit Barkmin, Monica Groop, Peter Berger, Mischa Schelomianski and Thomas Trotter.

Open Rehearsal - Hrůša/Steinbacher

10 April 2014

Jakub Hrůša conducted the Orchestra in a rehearsal of Janáček's Overture, Jealousy and his Sinfonietta, as well as Dvořák's Violin Concerto in A minor (featuring soloist Arabella Steinbacher) and Suk's Praga.

Players in the Friends Bar

10 April 2014

Friends of the Philharmonia were joined by members of the Orchestra, pre-concert in the Friends bar at the Royal Festival Hall.

Open Rehearsal - Gourlay/Petrov

5 April 2014

Andrew Gourlay conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra in a rehearsal of Dvorak's Cello Concerto, with soloist Michael Petrov, and Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2.

Open Rehearsal - Gardner/Donose

3 April 2014

Edward Gardner was joined by mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose in a rehearsal of Wagner's Overture from Rienzi, Berlioz's La Mort de Cléopâtre and Elgar's Symphony No. 1.


Leicester Friends Film Screening

2 April 2014

Following our popular film event last season, we were pleased to invite Leicester Friends to our second Philharmonia film screening, which took place in the Garden Suite at De Montfort Hall and featured an episode of The Phil, a documentary about the Orchestra which was filmed in 1997.

Following the screening, refreshments were provided for guests prior to our evening concert, which featured a programme of Wagner, Berlioz and Elgar repertoire led by Edward Gardner and also featuring mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose.

Open Rehearsal - Maazel

20 March 2014

Maestro Maazel conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra in a rehearsal of Strauss' orchestral blockbusters Also sprach Zarathustra and Ein Alpensinfonie.


Open Rehearsal - Cleobury / Llewellyn / Ruutel / Johnson / Neven / Choir of King's College, Cambridge

12 March 2014

A rehearsal of Handel's Zadok The Priest, Mozart's Symphony No. 40 and Beethoven's Mass in C, which featured the voices of Elizabeth Llewellyn, Kai Ruutel, Ben Johnson, Henk Neven and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, conducted by Steven Cleobury.

Principal Friends Sponsored Concert Reception

9 March 2014

Principal Friends were warmly welcomed to enjoy a pre-concert cream tea reception in thanks for their ongoing support of the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Open Rehearsal - Dohnányi/Helmchen

27 February 2014

Christoph von Dohnányi conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra in a rehearsal of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 (featuring soloist Martin Helmchen), as well as Strauss' Ein Heldenleben.

Leicester Friends Trip to London

23 February 2014

Leicester Friends and their guests were warmly invited to join us on a trip to Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall for a performance of Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3 Werther, Op. 60 and Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem, conducted by Andris Nelsons as part of his Brahms Cycle with the Philharmonia this season.

Open Rehearsal - Nelsons/Tetzlaff

20 February 2014

Andris Nelsons was joined by violinist Christian Tetzlaff in a rehearsal of Brahms' Academic Festival Overture, Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 2.

Principal Friends’ Organ Tour

15 February 2014

Following the full refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall organ, a project which has taken 8 years and £2.3 million to complete, we were pleased to offer Principal Friends the opportunity to get behind-the-scenes and view this wonderful 7,866 pipe instrument in a guided tour, following a reception and talk by Organ Curator William McVicker in the J.P. Morgan Pavilion, Level 3, Blue Side of Royal Festival Hall. This unique instrument is one of the most important organs in Britain and with it, the Royal Festival Hall is the only major London concert hall with the ability to use its resident instrument year-round for the wide orchestral repertoire that requires it. This Harrison & Harrison organ will be re-inaugurated in a performance during the Pull Out All The Stops Festival on Tuesday 18 March 2014, 60 years after the organ’s initial completion.

Open Rehearsal - Collon/Kuusisto

6 February 2014

Nicholas Collon conducted the orchestra in a rehearsal of Britten's Four Sea Interludes, Peter Grimes, Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto (featuring soloist Pekka Kuusisto), and Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 6.


Open Rehearsal - Collon/Graffin

5 February 2014

Nicholas Collon conducted the Philharmonia in a rehearsal of Britten's Four Sea Interludes and Violin Concerto (featuring soloist Philippe Graffin), as well as Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 6.

Open Rehearsal - Jordan/Denoke

30 January 2014

Phillipe Jordan conducted the Philharmonia in a rehearsal of Wagner's Overture from Tannhauser, and a selection of Strauss songs, featuring soprano Angela Denoke.

London Friends Sponsored Concert Christmas Reception

12 December 2013

Friends were invited to join members of the Orchestra for a pre-concert reception with mulled wine and mince pies, prior to the annual Friends sponsored concert at Royal Festival Hall.

Leicester Friends Sponsored Concert Reception

24 November 2013

This was a chance for our supporters to meet fellow Friends and members of the Orchestra for a pre-concert reception with sandwiches and refreshments prior to the annual Friends sponsored concert at De Montfort Hall.

London Friends’ Concert and Reception at Windsor Festival

27 September 2013

This year, we were delighted to offer our Friends the opportunity to join us for the Philharmonia Orchestra’s annual Windsor Festival performance at Windsor Castle’s Waterloo Chamber on Friday 27 September. Under the baton of Nicholas Collon and featuring the winner of the 2013 Windsor String Competition, Benjamin Baker, the orchestra performed a programme of Beethoven, Brahms and Dvořák. Additionally, there was a pre-concert champagne reception with Philharmonia musicians in the Castle Suite of Macdonald Windsor Hotel.

Annual Summer Concert at Carlton Barn

9 August 2013

The Bedford Friends were delighted to return to Carlton Barn for an evening of latin american music set in the beautiful Bedfordshire countryside.

The concert was led by Adrián Varela (1st Violin), who played alongside Laurent Ben Slimane (Principal Bass Clarinet), Christopher Cowie (Principal Oboe) and Richard Birchall (Cello).

We extend our warm thanks to John and Jane Tusting, for so generously hosting this event year on year.

Leicester Friends' Trip to the Three Choirs Festival

29 July 2013

The Leicester Friends enjoyed a coach trip to Gloucester Cathedral to see the Philharmonia, conducted by Edward Gardner and featuring mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly, perform works by Wagner and Verdi, whose bicentenary celebrations are taking place throughout 2013.

Leicester Friends' trip to Birmingham

15 June 2013

Leicester Friends enjoyed a trip to Symphony Hall, Birmingham to see the Philharmonia perform Elgar’s Violin Concerto with James Ehnes and Holst’s The Planets, featuring the Ladies of the City of Birmingham Choir. The Philharmonia was led by its Conductor Laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy.

London Friends' Dinner 2013

13 June 2013

On Thursday 13 June, Friends of the Philharmonia were invited to join players for a meal at The Archduke restaurant in Waterloo.

The dinner was followed by a wonderful programme of Borenstein, Elgar, and Walton at Royal Festival Hall with conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy and violinist James Ehnes. 

Woburn Abbey Gala Concert and Dinner

5 June 2013

Friends were invited to join us for a Gala Concert and Dinner in the beatiful surroundings of the Sculpture Gallery of Woburn Abbey. The evening was a great success raising essential funds for The Bedford Hospitals Charity and the Philharmonia Orchestra

The evening began with perfromance from a Cello quartet formed of Philharmonia players, who performed a diverse programme including Viral, a piece composed by our very own cellist, Richard Birchall. Guests enjoyed a reception of wine and canapés prior to a three course dinner and charity auction.

Chamber Concert at West London Synagogue

23 May 2013

In May we were delighted to once again join forces with the West London Synagogue for an evening chamber concert in the glorious setting of the Synagogue’s Victorian sanctuary. It was a real treat to see some of the Philharmonia Orchestra’s rising stars, including Katy Wooley, perform alongside some of our oldest members in such a beautiful and intimate setting. We really enjoyed meeting so many of you for the first time, as did our musicians – even in spite of a very early flight the next day!

Bedford Friends Trip to Leicester

26 April 2013

The Bedford Friends took a trip to Leicester for the Philharmonia Orchestra’s final performance in the 2012/13 concert season at De Montfort Hall, featuring conductor Kazuki Yamada and internationally acclaimed violinist Vadim Repin. The programme included the following pieces:

LISZT Les Preludes

BRUCH Violin Concerto No. 1

BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique

An Evening Of Art And Music

25 February 2013

We are very lucky to have a wonderful relationship with such a celebrated institution as The Royal Academy of Arts and were thrilled to invite our Friends to a private viewing of Édouard Manet at Burlington House in February. The stunning Philharmonia Chamber Ensemble concert, compared by the charismatic Philharmonia No. 4 Violin, Nathaniel Anderson-Frank and featuring works by Debussy and Ravel, gave the evening a distinctly Parisian flavour.


Leicester Friends Archive Film Screening

15 October 2012

We welcomed Friends and their guests to a rare archive screening of two pivotal performances by the Philharmonia Orchestra: Stravinsky conducting his own work The Firebird in 1965, alongside a performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto with French cellist Paul Tortelier. The screening lasted approximately one hour and was followed by tea and sandwiches prior to the evening's Philharmonia performance.

An Evening of Music and Design at the V & A Museum

13 July 2012

We were delighted to invite Friends of the Philharmonia and Members of the V&A Museum to a chamber concert performed by the Philharmonia Chamber Ensemble followed by an informal drinks reception and private viewing of the Museum's exhibition British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age, celebrating the best of British post-war art and design from the 1948 ‘Austerity Games' to the summer of 2012. Over 300 British design objects highlight significant moments in the history of British design and how the country continues to nurture artistic talent and be a world leader in creativity and design.

Summer Chamber Concert at The Mansion House, Shuttleworth

11 June 2012

Friends were invited to an exclusive evening performance presented by the Philharmonia Orchestra Chamber Ensemble in the Ballroom of the historic Mansion House, Shuttleworth. Guests joined us for a musical programme led by Philharmonia Orchestra Joint Concert Master, Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay, including:

Mozart Divertimento in D major KV 136
Korngold String Quartet No. 2
Schubert String Quartet No. 14 in D minor 'Death and the Maiden'

Talk and Light Lunch

17 February 2012

The Friends of the Philharmonia joined us to hear Concert Master Zsolt-Thihamér Visontay talk about leading the Philharmonia and his evening debut as director and soloist. This event was held over an informal light lunch.

Download a transcription of the interview with Zsolt.

Friends Trip to see Duke Bluebeard's Castle

21 October 2011

The Leicester Friends made their way to Birmingham to see the spectacular semi-staged production of Béla Bartók's operatic masterpiece, Duke Bluebeard's Castle, performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra with Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen and Sir John Tomlinson as Duke Bluebeard.

Allianz Cultural Foundation's International Conductors' Academy

13 October 2011

Three of the world's most promising young conductors on the verge of their international careers were interviewed by Philharmonia percussionist David Corkhill. This concert was sponsored by the Allianz Cultural Foundation.

The conductors of the Allianz Cultural Foundation's International Conductors' Academy were interviewed by Principal Percussionist David Corkhill. The Friends of the Philharmonia joined Arturo Alvarado, Darrell Ang and Yordan Kamdzhalov before their evening performance with the Philharmonia.