Challenging perceptions, championing innovation and taking a rich variety of

classical music to the widest range of audiences

  • The BBC Philharmonic once again joins forces with the Hallé to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s birth with a shared, complete symphonic cycle: Toward the Unknown Region
  • BBC 100: For the BBC’s 2022 centenary celebrations, the BBC Philharmonic’s concert on 12 February forms part of a weekend celebrating the role of the BBC Orchestras and Choirs
  • Two UK premieresAziza Sadikova’s Marionnettes 12 February (BBC commission) and Ella Milch-Sheriff’s The Eternal Stranger 5 March (BBC co-commission with Leipzig Gewandhaus and Teatro Massimo in Palermo)
  • BBC Philharmonic Chief Conductor Omer Meir Wellber leads three programmes and the orchestra also welcomes Mark WigglesworthJohn Wilson and Sir Andrew Davis with debuts for conductors Anja Bilhmaier and Gemma New
  • Continuing its ambition to bring exciting musical experiences to the widest range of listeners – every concert at Bridgewater Hall will give audiences the opportunity to access digital programme notes via smartphones, using its trailblazing web-app BBC Notes

The BBC Philharmonic is known for its distinctive energy and character and its Spring season (February – June) continues to build that reputation. 

With exciting audience experiences at the heart – the orchestra is making its concerts as accessible and connected as possible by introducing free digital offerings for every concert goer – exploring the stories behind the sounds. BBC Notes allows users to access detailed programme notes, timed with the music, giving insights into what you are hearing and seeing on stage as it happens.

Building upon their acclaimed collaborations, the BBC Philharmonic join forces with the Hallé for Toward the Unknown Region celebrating the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s birth. The two orchestras come together to present a rare complete cycle of Vaughan Williams’s symphonies, showcasing the extraordinary achievement of a musical visionary. The cycle begins with the BBC Philharmonic performing Symphonies Nos 3 and 5 conducted by Mark Wigglesworth on 26 February. Full listings below.

To mark 100 years of the BBC in 2022, the BBC Philharmonic is part of a weekend in February showcasing the BBC Orchestras and Choirs – most of which have their origins in the first pioneering decade of the BBC. Their founding mission was to bring classical music to the widest possible audience on the radio, which they continue to offer to this day. On 12 February, Chief Conductor Omer Meir Wellber marks the occasion with music from Hindemith, Schumann, Tippett and the UK premiere of a BBC commission from Aziza Sadikova

Stephen Hough, the orchestra’s 2021-22 Artist in Residence, joins Omer Meir Wellber on 5 March for a concert that welcomes Israeli actor Eli Danker for a UK premiere from Ella Milch-Sheriff

Tickets start from £5.50 and every BBC Philharmonic Bridgewater Hall concert will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and available via BBC Sounds – keeping connected to audiences whether in person, online or on the radio.

Toward the Unknown Region 

The BBC Philharmonic and the Hallé celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ birth with a complete symphonic cycle. Listings below.

BBC Philharmonic

Saturday 26 February, 7.30pm

Vaughan Williams Pastoral Symphony (Symphony No. 3)

Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge

Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 5 in D major

Alessandro Fisher tenor

Mark Wigglesworth conductor

BBC Philharmonic

Saturday 19 March, 7.30pm

Vaughan Williams Toward the Unknown Region

Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 4 in F minor

Vaughan Williams Job: A Masque for Dancing

Hallé Choir

Sir Andrew Davis conductor

BBC Philharmonic

Saturday 9 April, 7.30pm

Vaughan Williams Sinfonia antartica (Symphony No. 7)

Vaughan Williams A London Symphony (Symphony No. 2)

Sarah Fox soprano

Ladies of the Manchester Chamber Choir

John Wilson conductor

Thursday 21 April, 7.30pm

Vaughan Williams Symphony No.9

Holst The Planets

Sopranos and altos of the Hallé Choir

John Wilson conductor


Saturday 30 April, 7.30pm

Vaughan Williams Symphony No.6

Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony (Symphony No.1)

Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha soprano

Roderick Williams baritone

Hallé Choir

Hallé Youth Choir

Sir Mark Elder conductor


Thursday 12 May, 7.30pm

Stravinsky Concerto for piano and wind instruments

R. Strauss Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

Elena Langer Figaro gets a Divorce

Vaughan Williams Symphony No.8

Steven Osborne piano

Sir Mark Elder conductor