Piano Concerto No.21 in C major (3) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The RLPO is at the heart of Liverpool's cultural life. It has links with legendary conductors - and was the first UK orchestra to enter into a ground-breaking partnership with Classic FM.
The story of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and Orchestra begins with a group of amateur musicians who came together in the 1830s, united by their interest in choral music. They became formally established as the Liverpool Philharmonic Society in January 1840 with the object of promoting "the Science and Practice of Music".
The Philharmonic Society's first permanent venue was formally opened on 27 August 1849. Their first concert was performed by an orchestra of 96 and a choir of more than 200. The hall was not full for the first performance because of two factors - the high price of tickets, and the prevailing fear that the building would collapse.
A distinguished line of musicians have led the orchestra during its illustrious history including the composer of that ever-so-popular violin concerto, Max Bruch. At the height of his career he spent three seasons - 1880-1883 - as conductor of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society. It was here that he met his wife, Clara.
The RLPO's home is the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building. The hall was officially opened on 19 June 1939, and inaugurated the next day with a concert conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. A major refurbishment of the hall was carried out in 1995 at a cost of £10.3 million.
The orchestra's earliest recordings were made in 1943. The first was William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, and the second was Arthur Bliss's Piano Concerto in B-flat, with the pianist Solomon as soloist, conducted by Adrian Boult (pictured).
In 1957 the Liverpool Philharmonic Society and Orchestra were granted 'Royal' status and were authorised to include this word in their title. The following year the Queen became the patron of the orchestra. The Queen is pictured here at a performance by the RLPO at the Philharmonic Hall on 22 May 2008.
In 1958 the Society instigated a competition for young conductors. The first winner was the young Indian conductor, Zubin Mehta. He was subsequently appointed assistant conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Mehta soon rose to the rank of chief conductor when he was made Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 1960, a post he held until 1967.
The RLPO gives approximately 70 concerts from September to June in its home, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, as well as giving concerts in venues across the City, including its two Cathedrals. Photo: Mark McNulty © Liverpool Philharmonic
The RLPO plays a regular concert series at Preston Guild Hall and Blackburn King George’s Hall, and regularly plays in venues and concert halls across the UK and abroad. Here they are seen in action at Classic FM Live 2011 in London's Royal Albert Hall. Photo: Matt Crossick/PA
The RLPO has collaborated with an eclectic range of artists. In 1991, Sir Paul McCartney, in collaboration with Carl Davis, composed his Liverpool Oratorio to commemorate the RLPO's 150th anniversary. It was premiered at Liverpool Cathedral and featured Kiri Te Kanawa, Jerry Hadley, Sally Burgess and Willard White.
When Liverpool Airport was renamed the Liverpool John Lennon Airport in 2002, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono insisted that if the press were to have her picture she wanted to have it taken with the Brass Section of the RLPO.
The Society has been organising events for schools and the community since the 1940s, when Sir Malcolm Sargent introduced concerts for schools. By 2009 these were reaching some 45,000 people, including 22,000 children, each year, including 17,500 children attending a series of Schools' Concerts.More recently the Society has been involved in the national Find Your Talent and In Harmony schemes - pictured.
The charismatic young Russian, Vasily Petrenko, joined the RLPO in 2006 and is committed to stay with the Orchestra till 2015. Born in 1976, he is recognised as one of the exceptional musicians of his generation. As the conductor of the RLPO, he has drawn new and younger audiences to classical music.
In 1998, the RLPO became the first in Britain to own and run its own record label, known as RLPO Live. The company was created by the members of the orchestra, using the expertise of its own members to create recordings of live performances, with the performers, conductor and soloists being equal shareholders. Photo: Richard Johnson
In 2013, Classic FM's John Suchet joined a host of classical music lovers to perform with the RLPO in their SuperConcert! where they invite players of a Grade 4 standard and above to perform with the orchestral players. Photo: Mark McNulty © Liverpool Philharmonic