Following its role in the Coronation Service last Saturday, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) is excited to announce details of its 2023/4 season of UK concerts. 

With reports that 2.5 billion people worldwide tuned into the coronation on television or online*, the positive reaction to the coronation music aligns with signs of resurgent interest in orchestral music across the UK. RPO research conducted in November 2022 revealed that 76% of people are keen to experience an orchestral concert in the next year – with 31% of people who are not familiar with orchestral world looking to explore the genre for the first time. During its 2022/23 Season of concerts the RPO noticed a marked increase in new and diverse audiences attending performances, which supports the research and paints a positive picture for the future of orchestral music. 

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2023/4 season of concerts presents an opportunity for people to continue an enriching journey of musical discovery. The season will present orchestral music in its broadest sense – maximising the range of entry points into the genre. This is part of the RPO’s mission to ensure that orchestral performances can be fully inclusive and appeal to the broadest possible audience. Each of the RPO’s resident venues will feature in the season:

  • Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall: At the Royal Festival Hall the Orchestra and Music Director Vasily Petrenko will present ‘Icons Rediscovered’ a series of concerts that will offer fresh interpretations of iconic masterpieces. The five concerts will focus on two icons of Romantic music – the Russian Sergei Rachmaninov and the Englishman Sir Edward Elgar, alongside works by two of their lesser-known contemporaries – Mieczysław Weinberg and Dame Ethel Smyth, as well as living composer Lera Auerbach, whose music complements and contrasts with these earlier icons.
  • Royal Albert Hall: As Associate Orchestra of the Royal Albert Hall, the RPO will present a series of large scale, dramatic concerts befitting one of the most iconic music venues in the world – a venue that demands big performances. As part of the ‘Icons Rediscovered’ series the Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko will perform Verdi’s epic Requiem, an evening of Wagner and a semi- staged performance of Tchaikovsky’s one act lyric opera Iolanta as well as concerts featuring music from Star Wars, Broadway musicals and a Superheroes themed film music gala.
  • Cadogan Hall: The RPO will mark its 20th season as Resident Orchestra at Cadogan Hall by continuing in its mission to provide a platform for the world’s brightest up-and-coming musical stars, with debut performances from conductors including Olivia Clarke, Emilia Hoving, Leslie Suganandarajah and Nil Venditti. The Orchestra’s 2023/24 Artist -in-Residence will be cellist Zlatomir Fung who will perform three concerts that highlight the versatility of the cello.
  • St Paul’s Cathedral: The Orchestra’s biennial concert with composer/conductor John Rutter (who arranged a number of the works performed at the coronation) at St Paul’s Cathedral is always a ‘must attend’ event and in November the programme will comprise works by Rutter, including his Requiem, sung by The Bach Choir. 
  • UK Regional Venues: Building on its position as the UK’s national orchestra, the RPO will continue its mission to give more people local access to the live orchestral experience with performances across the country, including Northampton, Nottingham, Guildford and Sunderland. 

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was proud and honoured to play a key role in the Coronation Service for His Majesty King Charles III and this new season of orchestral concerts will continue to shine a spotlight on Britain’s orchestral heritage and celebrate a monarch who is a tireless champion of the arts, and particularly music, in the UK. 

James Williams, Managing Director at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra said: “It was an honour to be a music adviser supporting His Majesty’s staff in the preparation of the musical elements of the Coronation Service and the RPO’s musicians were delighted to form a major part of The Coronation Orchestra. The Coronation Service was an important moment for orchestral and choral music in this country, a celebration of British composers spanning more than 350 years, including premieres of a dozen new compositions. We are excited to be continuing this celebration of British music in our new season of concerts and to be furthering our values of inclusion and diversity, that were so evident in the music chosen for the Coronation. Our new season offers a broad range of styles and repertoire and we look forward to welcoming audiences old and new.”

Reflecting on the new ‘Icons Rediscovered’ theme for the season, Vasily Petrenko, Music Director at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra commented: “An icon is an image, and unchanging ideal – perfection, in other words, to be imitated and admired. But what happens when an icon becomes so familiar that we start to take them for granted? Then it’s time to look – and listen – afresh. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and I are setting out to do just that. We want to take that music down from its pedestal, and rediscover the burning inspiration, the living emotion and the human personality behind even the most iconic of masterpieces. Join us on the journey.”


For more information and to join the RPO on a journey of discovery visit: