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.

Tickets for our 2018/19 season are on sale at Brighton Dome Ticket Office. 

Brighton Dome Ticket Office on Church Street is open Monday to Saturday 10am -5pm (until 6pm on performance days). Telephone: (01273) 709709 or book online at: www.brightondome.org

Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the concert from the Ticket Office from 2pm.

Our next concert (Mon 31 December, 2.45pm) is our extremely popular New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala for which we are delighted to welcome back guest conductor Richard Balcombe who is joined by Russian-born soprano Ilona Domnich. Ilona was chosen by Opera Now Magazine as one of their top ten high flying sopranos destined to have impressive careers and her lyric coloratura will add sparkle to our afternoon with a selection of delightful songs and arias from well-known operettas and musicals from the 19th century and beyond.

As you would expect this will be a programme full of favourites from the waltz kings of Vienna – the Strauss family – with an array of waltzes, marches and polkas from this talented musical dynasty who dominated the music scene in Vienna throughout the 19th century. Alongside these evergreen favourites we will also include some delightful tunes from other composers from the world of dance.

This is always one of our most popular concerts of the season and has become firmly established as part of the city’s festive season. We nearly sold out last year so if you would like to join us to see out the old year and welcome in the new, book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!

The full concert programme is available at: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/concerts/brighton-philharmonic-orchestra-new-years-eve-viennese-gala-concert/

We are most grateful to the John Carewe Brighton Orchestra Trust for their continued support of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and of our annual New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala.


This will be the Brighton Phil’s 501st concert under that name. Founded 94 years ago as the Symphonic String Players, it has been presenting orchestral concerts without a break since 1927 in the historic Brighton Dome and officially became the Brighton Philharmonic 60 years ago. In the first concert under this guise on Sunday 5 October 1958 (at 2.45pm) the programme was all Beethoven, the conductor was Herbert Menges, the Leader was Charles Taylor and the soloist was Denis Matthews. Read more on this at: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/the-brighton-phil-reaches-a-milestone-on-sunday/

SAD NEWS: The Brighton Phil was desperately sad to learn that Judy Harrison, who recently wrote a moving tribute to her late husband John, with whom she sponsored the Principal Bass Trombone, has passed away. Our thoughts are with their family and friends. You can read Judy’s article at: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/remembering-john-harrison/

In case you missed it: 

For those of you who asked, Tamsin Waley-Cohen’s show-stopping (and double-stopping!) encore was Fritz Kreisler’s Recitativo & Scherzo-Caprice. Here is a video from Classic FM of her performing it earlier in the year:

The Brighton Phil’s Artistic Administrator Ian Brignall recorded a short (4.5 min) video preview of last Sunday’s exciting concert (conducted by Ben Gernon) in which he concluded: “This is a concert not to be missed. I look forward to seeing you all at what will be a concert of joy, humour and above all three great pieces from the pens of two hugely gifted composers.” Watch the YouTube video below:  And read the rave reviews of the concert at: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/rave-reviews-for-ben-gernon-tamsin-waley-cohen-concert-2-dec-2018/

Ian also chatted to pianist Freddy Kempf ahead of the concert on Sun 11 November. You can watch the two YouTube videos via this link: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/freddy-kempf-directing-the-brighton-phil-sun-11-nov/ and read the rave reviews of the concert here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/freddy-kempf-wows-the-brighton-dome/

Conductor Laureate Barry Wordsworth took charge of the first concert of our new season on Sun 14 October, previewing the programme in a video interview with Ian. Watch it here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/barry-wordsworth-looks-forward-to-start-of-new-season/ Read the reviews of the season opener here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/glowing-reviews-of-sundays-concert/



The Board of the Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society, which manages the orchestra, has recently produced a new Mission Statement for the Society. You can read it here, along with an explanation about the background behind it: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/brighton-hove-philharmonic-society/ and Friends of the Phil are invited to comment on it.


The Society’s 78th Annual General Meeting took place in the Founders Room at Brighton Dome immediately after the concert on Sun 2 December 2018. A report on the AGM will appear in the Friends of the Phil December newsletter and the minutes of the meeting will appear on the website shortly under: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/brighton-hove-philharmonic-society/


“It is with great sadness that we have to report that Melanie Hornsby passed away on Tuesday night surrounded by her family.

She was an incredibly strong and very positive person and fought her appalling illness with great courage. She will be sadly missed by everyone as she was a very popular and well liked person – we will miss her lovely smiling face a great deal in Brighton.

The Brighton Phil will dedicate one of the concerts this season to her memory along with her number two 2nd Violin chair.”

(Melanie’s sister Emma ran in both the London and Berlin Marathons to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support – see more: here)

Ian Brignall
BPO Artistic Administrator
6 July 2018

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 currently seeking sponsorship for our 2018/19 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), 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.

Nicolas Chisholm, MBE

Chairman of BHPS

Concert Season at Brighton Dome 2018/19

Below is the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra’s programme for our 94th concert season at Brighton Dome, which runs from October 2018 – March 2019.

You can download a pdf version of this leaflet by clicking here: BPO-2018-19-A5-NO-TRIMS-April18.pdf

Pick up a copy of our full season brochure with details of all the concerts from the BPO office or Brighton Dome Ticket Office, or you can download a pdf version (24 pages) by clicking on the link below: 


Your Orchestra needs you

YourOrchestraNeedsYouImageWe are enormously grateful to all those Friends and supporters whose sponsorship made our last season possible.

We are still seeking some sponsorship for our 2018/19 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 as part of a consortium.

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


Our latest Friends of the Phil newsletter (September 2018) is now available to download as a 12 page colour pdf file here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/BPO-Newsletter-SEPT-2018-Colour-29Aug18.pdf

Our next newsletter will be published in December.

Sign up to receive your copy by email every quarter (March, June, September & December), 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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Brighton is privileged to have an orchestra of such quality on its doorstep
Mid Sussex Times Admin
...an orchestra which continues to remind those who attend how lucky they are to have such an established orchestra on their doorstep
The Argus Admin
"The Brighton Philharmonic, Brighton's blue chip orchestra..."
Smile Sussex Admin

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