Association of British Orchestras

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

Contact details

BBC Bridge House MediaCityUK Salford
M50 2BH
Juanjo Mena Chief Conductor
John Storgards Chief Guest Conductor
Ben Gernon Principal Guest Conductor
Mark Simpson Composer in Association

The BBC Philharmonic is based at MediaCityUK in Salford and performs an annual season of concerts at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, as well as regular concerts in Hanley, Leeds, Kendal and other venues across the north of England. As one of the BBC’s six performing groups the orchestra records and performs concerts for BBC Radio 3. Most of the concerts that the orchestra performs each year will be broadcast on Radio 3. Juanjo Mena is Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic. Hailing from the Basque region of Spain he has brought his passion for large-scale choral works and the music of his home country to the orchestra since taking up the post in 2011. His performances of Bach and Bruckner in particular have received excellent reviews “Given the immediacy of Mena's conducting, it was impossible not to be caught up in it”, The Guardian (Bach Christmas Oratorio, The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester 2011.) John Storgårds is Principal Guest Conductor, and completed his first full season with the orchestra in June, when he conducted a Sibelius symphony cycle at The Bridgewater Hall. The distinguished Austrian composer HK ‘Nali’ Gruber is Composer/Conductor and recently led the orchestra in a highly prestigious residency at the Vienna Konzerthaus in March. Former Chief Conductor Gianandrea Noseda is now Conductor Laureate, spending up to four weeks each season with the orchestra. The BBC Philharmonic has its roots in the city of Manchester, since it’s foundation in 1934 as the BBC Northern Orchestra. In 1982, soon after moving to the BBC’s new building on Oxford Road in Manchester, it changed its name to the BBC Philharmonic. In 2011 the BBC moved many of its major departments to a new centre at Salford Quays. The BBC Philharmonic was the first to move to the new site, where it has a state-of-the-art acoustically-engineered orchestral studio. To celebrate the move, the orchestra held a 17-day festival, BBC Philharmonic Presents…, to demonstrate the versatility of both the orchestra and the new studio. The orchestra performed 12 concerts, with broadcasts on six of the BBC’s national radio stations, including a ground-breaking collaboration with dubstep artists Nero for BBC Radios 1 & 1Xtra, Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review for Radio 5 live and Sunday Worship for Radio 4.

Annual Conference

The next ABO conference will take place in Bristol,
hosted by Bristol Beacon, from 24-26 January 2024.