HRH The Prince of Wales announced as new patron of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

27 April 2021, 00:01 | Updated: 27 April 2021, 13:04

HRH The Prince of Wales announced as new patron of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
HRH The Prince of Wales announced as new patron of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Picture: PA

By Rosie Pentreath

The Prince of Wales will begin his association with the orchestra ahead of its 75th anniversary season.

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales has been announced as the new patron of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO).

The Prince of Wales, who is a passionate advocate and long-time patron of the arts, begins his association with the orchestra ahead of its 75th anniversary this autumn.

His Royal Highness is already a patron of several music and arts organisations, including the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (Classic FM’s Partner in Music Education), the Bach Choir, the Philharmonia Orchestra (Classic FM’s Orchestra on Tour), the Royal College of Music, and many others.

Read more: Full list of HRH The Prince of Wales’ music and arts patronages >

The Prince of Wales is a passionate advocate and long-time patron of the arts.
The Prince of Wales is a passionate advocate and long-time patron of the arts. Picture: PA

The Prince of Wales spoke about the urgent need to protect the arts, stressing their enormous importance to life in the UK and to the economy, when he appeared on Classic FM with Alan Titchmarsh in May 2020.

“I’ve spent a large proportion of my life trying to help them survive or raise money,” Prince Charles told Titchmarsh. “They are so utterly vital to this country and play such a huge part in culture and diplomacy.

“But at the moment, of course, they are completely silent and unable to operate, unable to work,” he reflected, highlighting the ‘desperate’ situation the coronavirus pandemic has created within the sector.

Read more: Prince of Wales says effect of coronavirus on UK arts is ‘a desperate thing’ >

His Royal Highness joins the RPO at an exciting time for orchestra. As part of its 75th anniversary in the autumn, the orchestra will welcome its new music director, Vasily Petrenko to the podium.

James Williams, managing director at the RPO, says: “The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is honoured to welcome as its patron The Prince of Wales, a longstanding champion of the arts in this country.

“The era of COVID-19 has presented a seismic challenge for the arts community but, as lockdown slowly eases, it is time to look forward. At the RPO, we have been hard at work for some months, shaping a bold strategy for our concert, community engagement, inclusion and education programmes to enrich communities when it matters most; we aim to help people and businesses to rebuild after the long, dark months of lockdown.”

Read more: Vasily Petrenko: ‘To understand classical music you need no language – it’s a direct link from heart to heart’ >

Williams adds: “With the announcement of The Prince of Wales as our Patron and the appointment of Vasily Petrenko as our new music director, the RPO is well placed to lead the resurgence and spread the joy of orchestral music in a post-COVID world.”

The RPO’s 75th anniversary will champion the crucial role the arts play in enhancing British culture, society and the economy. Its vision for the season embraces a wide repertoire that enables it to reach a broad audience, with extensive regional touring and a residences programme planned to ensure that live orchestral music is accessible to all.

With the support of The Prince of Wales, the RPO hopes to continue representing British arts around the world – unifying people of different languages, cultures and politics through the universal language of music.

The orchestra, which shares its passion for education with the Prince of Wales, will also continue to champion community outreach and music education with its RPO Resound programme.

Visit www.rpo.co.uk to find out more.