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.

A reception to thank the orchestra's patrons, sponsors and donors was held immediately following the 2018/19 season finale on Sun 17 March, attended by the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Dee Simson, Conductor Laureate Barry Wordsworth and members of the orchestra.

Read more and see photos taken at the event here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/thank-you-to-our-sponsors-and-supporters%EF%BB%BF/

Thank you to everyone who attended our 2018/19 season - we look forward to seeing you again in the autumn! Details of our 2019/20 concert season at Brighton Dome, which will be our 95th, will appear here shortly. 

Steven Osborne, London 30 May 2013

Update Sun 17 March:

For those of you who have asked: Steven Osborne’s encore this afternoon (after his monumental Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.3) was Rachmaninov’s Prelude Op.23 No.4. What a performance! We really did save the best till last!

Rave reviews of the concert are already appearing online and a selection have been gathered together here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/rave-reviews-for-brighton-phils-season-finale-sun-17-march/

Detailed programme notes for this concert are available to read/download here as a pdf document (with thanks to Peter Back): https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/BPO-PROG-LARGE-PRINT-17-MARCH.pdf

See photos from our pre-rehearsal at Henry Wood Hall, London on Sat 16 March, courtesy of Ian Brignall, here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/rehearsing-at-henry-wood-hall-sat-16-march/

Our concert on Sun 17 March was dedicated to the memory of Don Newbold, CBE, a long-standing supporter and generous sponsor of the orchestra who passed away last March at the age of 91. He very kindly remembered us in his Will for which the Society is most grateful. You can read an obituary written by his good friend Ron Grief about his fascinating life and career here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/d-v-newbold-cbe/

With perfect timing, Hector Berlioz was Radio 3’s Composer of the Week from Monday 11 March!

In case you missed it: 

Read Artistic Administrator Ian Brignall's preview of our season finale (Sun 17 March) here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/ian-brignall-previews-our-season-finale-sun-17-march/

In this short (under 5 minutes) video Ian chats with conductor Barry Wordsworth about the concert programme for Sun 17 March:

You can read the reviews of our previous concert (Sun 3 March) here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/reviews-of-latest-bpo-concert-sun-3-march/

Encore: For those of you who knew they knew the tune of the encore the Brighton Phil played at this concert (Coronation Scot by Vivian Ellis) but couldn’t quite remember where from…it was used as the theme tune for BBC Radio’s Paul Temple!

In this YouTube video Barry Wordsworth talks to Ian Brignall about the previous Brighton Phil concert (Sun 3 March). The video is a little over six and a half minutes long but well worth watching as it explains the genesis of the fascinating programme which featured seven works on the theme of travel, starting in the Hebrides with Mendelssohn’s Fingal’s Cave and ending in Rome with Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, by way of London, France and Sweden. 

Reviews of our concert on Sun 10 February with Stephen Bell & Camilla Roberts can be viewed here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/reviews-of-sundays-concert-10-february-2019/

In this short (under 4.5 mins) video guest conductor Stephen Bell talks to Ian Brignall about the concert and the highly charged emotional and romantic programme:

Reviews of our concert on Sun 20 January with Thomas Carroll can be viewed here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/reviews-of-sun-20-january-concert-with-thomas-carroll/ 

Ian caught up with Thomas ahead of his concert with us and filmed this fascinating chat (interspersed with delightful illustrations by Thomas on the cello) about the music on Sun 20 January.  The video is just over 9 minutes long but well worth watching:

Ian previewed the second half of our season saying: "If the first half of this 2018/19 season captivated your musical senses, the next four concerts have got amazing musical surprises and some magnificent music written by some highly gifted composers."

For those who asked, Ilona Domnich’s stunning departing encore on New Year's Eve was Alexander Alabiev’s highly emotional The Nightingale. The orchestra’s final encore, The Radetsky March, needs no introduction!

You can read the reviews of the New Year's Eve concert here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/reviews-of-new-years-eve-concert-2/

Ian also filmed a short preview of our New Year's Eve concert and the fascinating history of the Strauss dynasty - did you know, for example, that Josef Strauss was for a while an engineer and designed a horse-drawn revolving-brush street-sweeping machine? Or that Johann Strauss the Elder was originally apprenticed to a bookbinder? Watch the video here: 

For those of you who asked, Tamsin Waley-Cohen’s show-stopping (and double-stopping!) encore on Sun 2 December was Fritz Kreisler's Recitativo & Scherzo-Caprice.

Ian previously recorded a video preview of Sun 2 December'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/

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 2019/20 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

Your orchestra needs you

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

We are now seeking sponsorship for our 2019/20 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 (December 2018) is now available to download as a 4 page colour pdf file here: https://www.brightonphil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/BPO-Newsletter-DEC-2018-colour.pdf

Our next newsletter will be published in May/June 2019 along with details of our 2019/20 concert season at Brighton Dome.

Our latest e-newsletter (March 2019) can be viewed here: https://us12.admin.mailchimp.com/campaigns/share?id=2124661

Sign up to receive your copy by email every quarter (generally in March, June, September and 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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