Welcome to the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra

Welcome to the website of the Brighton Philharmonic, Brighton & Hove’s professional orchestra, which performs an annual season of Sunday afternoon concerts at Brighton Dome along with a hugely popular New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala.

We hope that it answers all your questions about who we are and what we do.

For our next concert the Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society presents Worbey & Farrell in "Rhapsody" on Sun 1 March.

Here is a short video of them in action (taken with their kind permission from a longer video which can be viewed on their website: www.worbeyandfarrell.com)

Having made their debut with the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018 with Malcolm Arnold’s Piano Concerto and Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, the unsurpassable piano duo return to the Brighton Dome with a concert featuring their own astonishing "four hands on one piano" arrangements of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Addinsell’s iconic Warsaw Concerto, and much more.

“They have an astonishing ability to convey to their audience the joy and fun inherent in making music”  Barry Wordsworth - Conductor

“Impressive virtuosity and artistry. Truly unique and entertaining. I can think of no better way to draw new audiences to classical music”  Linda Merrick - Principal of Royal Northern College of Music

“Extremely virtuosic and beyond dazzling”  Sean Rafferty - BBC Radio 3

In this short YouTube video BPO Artistic Administrator Ian Brignall chats with the irrepressible duo about what they will be playing in the concert, and why...

Please note that the orchestra will not appear in this concert.

You can see a longer (10 minute version) of this video at: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/four-hands-one-piano-discover-the-double-act-who-declassify-classical-music

Here is a link to another great interview with Worbey & Farrell, with Jo Rothbury for the March edition of Town & County magazine (Lewes): https://issuu.com/townandcountymag/docs/issue_march

As you can see they made the cover!

And you can find out more about the accredited Steinway Artists,  internationally acclaimed pianists and supreme showmen on their website at: www.worbeyandfarrell.com


Our season finale on Sun 29 March sees the return of the full orchestra and our Conductor Laureate Barry Wordsworth who will be joined by popular soloist Thomas Carroll (cello) to perform the wonderful Elgar Cello Concerto.


Our most recent concert at Brighton Dome took place on Sun 9 February and whilst the rest of the city was battening down the hatches (ahead of Storm Ciara) the stars of our talented brass section were raising the roof of this iconic building with a delightful programme of brass ensemble music through the ages inspired by the legendary Philip Jones Brass Ensemble.

The YouTube video below shows the players rehearsing for the concert:

You can read about the pieces our musicians were particularly looking forward to performing, and why, here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/next-concert-brighton-philharmonic-brass-sun-9-feb/

Here is a link to the free double-sided sheet given out at the concert listing the players and giving some biographical information about them all (on page 2): https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/BPO-PLAYERS-LIST-9-FEB-FINAL.pdf

For those who didn't recognise it, the encore they played was Kraken by Chris Hazell - Kraken was the fourth "Brass Cat".


Rounding off 2019 our hugely popular annual New Year's Eve Viennesa Gala, now in its 30th year, was once again generously supported by the John Carewe Brighton Orchestra Trust.

Popular guest conductor Stephen Bell returned to wield the baton, joined by the wonderful Irish soprano Ailish Tynan. You can find reviews of the concert here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/new-years-eve-celebrated-in-style/

Read more about the concert, including what Stephen Bell and Ailish Tynan were particularly looking forward to performing, here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/welcome-in-the-new-year-with-the-bpo/

Our second concert of the season on Sun 1 December was conducted by Natalie Murray-Beale and featured some Classic FM favourites including Vaughan William's The Lark Ascending (soloist Thomas Gould) and Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik alongside two Haydn symphonies.

Rehearsal, Henry Wood Hall, Sat 30 Nov courtesy of Alexander Barnes/Apple and Biscuit

Thomas was touched to receive this note via Stage Door after the concert:

For a brief but fascinating interview with Natalie immediately after the concert please go to: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/interview-with-natalie-murray-beale/

To read the wonderful reviews of the concert that have appeared in the local press please see: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/reviews-of-sundays-concert-3/

A stunning collection of photos taken during the rehearsal the day before the concert by Alexander Barnes of Apple and Biscuit can be found here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/bpo-rehearsal-images-henry-wood-hall-sat-30-november-2019/

Our first concert of the new season on Sun 10 November showcased the Brighton Philharmonic Strings who were joined by improvising jazz violinist, composer and bandleader Christian Garrick and friends for a memorable  collaboration that blurred the boundaries of classical, tango, jazz and gypsy folk music.

"The @BPO_orchestra has shown that it can do something a bit different to attract new and younger audiences, as well as keeping the regular concert-goers happy"

Just one example of the wonderful feedback we have received from concert-goers which are collated, along with official reviews of the concert, here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/rave-reviews-for-season-opener-with-christian-garrick-friends/

The encore was Christian Garrick’s own arrangement of the Passa Calle (Allegro vivo) from Luigi Boccherini’s Night Music on the Streets of Madrid (Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid). You may remember it from the 2003 film Master & Commander. Christian played the violin on the film’s soundtrack - not Russell Crowe!

For a fascinating interview with Christian Garrick from immediately after the concert, and a video about his amazing clockwork violin see: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/interview-with-christian-garrick-and-that-clockwork-violin/

2019/20 season:

Tickets for all our concerts range from £14.50-£42.50 (with a 50% student/U18 discount available, andchildren can attend for just £1) plus 3 Concert Saver Tickets and Season Tickets are available as well as discounts on group bookings - call (01273) 709709 or go to:  https://brightondome.org/whats_on/classical%20music/

Our 2019/20 season brochure with details of all the concerts is available from the BPO office and Brighton Dome Ticket Office as well as many locations around the city, or you can download a (pdf 20 page) copy here by clicking on this link: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/BPO-SEASON-PROGRAMME-no-trims.pdf

Support us

As one of the few remaining professional British orchestras to survive without any public funding, and with ticket sales bringing in less than half the funds needed for our annual concert season, we rely on individual donations from our supporters for all our programming.

We are already seeking sponsorship for our 2020/21 concert season at Brighton Dome to help ensure that we can continue to present interesting and attractive programmes to the people of Brighton & Hove, and beyond. See: Support Us

The Friends of the Phil are hugely supportive of the orchestra and their membership of the Society is crucial to its survival. Information on the benefits of becoming a Friend of your local professional orchestra (including priority booking, free access to orchestral rehearsals and a free ticket to bring a friend to one of our concerts), how to join, sponsor or make a donation can be found at: Friends of BPO

For more information about the orchestra please sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter, latest news and updates by email - simply enter your email address in the box near the bottom of this page (under Newsletter). You can choose to unsubscribe at any time.

Your orchestra needs you

We are enormously grateful to all those Friends and supporters whose sponsorship has made our current season possible.

We are now seeking sponsorship for our 2020/21 concert season at Brighton Dome.

Ticket sales for our concerts, however good, make up less than 50% of our income and in order to continue to present such exciting programmes to our Brighton audiences the Society needs to raise sufficient sponsorship to make up the difference.

There are opportunities to sponsor an orchestral chair position, a specific concert or simply to contribute to the concert season as a whole, as an individual or joining with others.

For further details about all forms of sponsorship please contact the BPO on: (01273) 622900 or email: chairman @ brightonphil.org.uk


Our latest Friends of the Phil newsletter (January 2020) is now available to download as a 2 page pdf file by clicking on the link below:


Our next Friends of the Phil newsletter will be published in March.

Our latest e-newsletter (5 February 2020) can be viewed here: https://mailchi.mp/bfc198dd6a7c/ri1fuiwe6m-2591877

Sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter by email, along with occasional e-news updates. Simply enter your email address below (noting that you can unsubscribe from these emails at any time).

You can read the Society’s Privacy & Safeguarding of Data Policy  at: privacy-safeguarding-data-policy

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Audio Clips