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Biog Picture
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BIOGRAPHY

Founded in Manchester by the pianist and conductor Charles Hallé in 1858, Britain’s longest established permanent professional symphony orchestra gave its first concert in the city’s Free Trade Hall on 30 January of that year. Following the death of Sir Charles Hallé, the orchestra continued to develop under the guidance of such distinguished figures as Hans Richter, Sir Hamilton Harty and Sir John Barbirolli.

Sir Mark Elder, who was knighted for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2008, became Music Director in 2000, since when the Hallé has received increasing acclaim both here and abroad. The Royal Philharmonic Society honoured Sir Mark with the Conductor of the Year Award in 2006 and, the previous year, the Hallé was presented with the Ensemble Award. The Hallé, BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Northern College of Music were awarded the South Bank Show classical music award for ‘Shostakovich, His Heroes and Comrades’, a collaboration which marked the centenary of Shostakovich’s birth in 2006. The Hallé won this award again in 2010 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for ‘Nielsen: Inextinguishable’, a collaboration celebrating the work of Carl Nielsen in 2009. Throughout 2010 the Hallé collaborated with the BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata and The Bridgewater Hall in a highly acclaimed complete cycle of Mahler’s symphonies.

In 1996, the Hallé moved to its new home, The Bridgewater Hall, where it presents over 70 concerts a year. Making over 40 appearances annually throughout the rest of Britain, the Hallé attracts large and enthusiastic audiences both in Manchester and beyond. Its reputation for artistic excellence and versatility has led to many international tours as well as frequent broadcasts and televised performances. At the beginning of the 2005–06 season, for the first time in its history, the Hallé appointed a Principal Guest Conductor, Cristian Mandeal. This season, he is followed in the post by Markus Stenz.

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