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Wednesday 30 May 2018

The Philharmonia celebrates the 40th anniversary of patronage from HRH The Prince of Wales with Gala at Buckingham Palace

The Philharmonia Orchestra celebrates 40th anniversary of patronage from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales with Gala at Buckingham Palace

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales hosted a Gala at Buckingham Palace yesterday evening, Tuesday 29 May, marking 40 years as Patron of the Philharmonia Orchestra, in his 70th birthday year.

The Gala represented the launch of the Philharmonia’s new four-year fundraising campaign, Future 75, which aims to raise £10m by 2022 to sustain the Orchestra’s ambitious artistic, education and digital programme, and which is centred on the Orchestra’s 75th anniversary in 2020.

Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Philharmonia’s Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor, conducted the full Orchestra in the Ballroom in the Palace.

The programme, which included Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni, Strauss Don Juan and movements from Stravinsky’s The Firebird, alluded to key moments in the Orchestra’s history. Salonen conducted two movements from Strauss’ Four Last Songs (with soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen), which was premiered by the Philharmonia at the Royal Albert Hall in 1950, conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler.

In a speech after the performance, HRH The Prince of Wales said: “I am extremely proud to have been Patron of the Philharmonia for 40 years, and I am enormously touched to mark my 70th birthday year with what is an excellent excuse for a birthday celebration. I am delighted to be playing a part in assisting the Orchestra in the long term.”

“I have nothing but the greatest admiration for the Orchestra's successes over all these years, not just... on stage, but also in its successful outreach programme... For example, the Philharmonia's Orchestra Unwrapped concerts have given over 40,000 children the opportunity of experiencing an orchestra live, many for the first time."

The Philharmonia’s Managing Director, Helen Sprott, and Saul Nathan, Chair of the Philharmonia Trust, said: “HRH The Prince of Wales has played an essential role in the life of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Over 40 years, he has been a consistent and enthusiastic patron, and the Orchestra would not be where it is today without his support. It was wonderful to be able to come together with guests from around the world to mark this anniversary, and we are extremely grateful to HRH The Prince of Wales for hosting this event at Buckingham Palace.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the founding donors of the Philharmonia’s Future 75 campaign, whose support has given the Orchestra and Trust a fantastic start to our major campaign.”