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Its music director, from the beginning of the 2021-22 season, will be Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko.
The orchestra was formed in 1946 by conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, whose vision was to build an ensemble of the country’s finest musicians.
Since Beecham’s death, the RPO has had seven chief conductors including André Previn and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Other star musicians enjoying a close relationship with the orchestra include composer Peter Maxwell Davies, violinist Yehudi Menuhin and conductor Leopold Stokowski.
The RPO performs regularly at Cadogan Hall and the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, and has a busy schedule of UK concerts, international tours and studio recordings.
Its recordings of film soundtracks of pop albums including If I Can Dream, a compilation album of hits by Elvis Presley released by RCA Records and Legacy Recordings, have been revolutionary in the classical world.
The album debuted at number one, its success ushering other record labels to jump on a trend and repackage hit tracks with classical orchestrations.
Did you know?
The RPO will celebrate its 75th anniversary in the autumn of 2021.