200 Years at the Heart of Music

The Royal Philharmonic Society turned 200 on 24 January 2013.

In our rich history of music-making we have direct links to iconic musicians such as Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Wagner.

“It’s good to hear that the RPS is continuing to stir things up, and growing old disgracefully: please keep commissioning composers, keep supporting musicians, keep talking about music and keep championing excellence.  We need organisations like the RPS to remind us that young artists take time to develop, that composers require opportunities for their voices to be heard and that serious music and musicians are vital, and should be valued.

Great artists never stop learning, and great musicians never stop listening. The RPS shares these qualities and I wish it well for 2013 and well beyond!” 

- Alfred Brendel, RPS Gold Medallist

Bicentenary celebrations throughout 2013 put the spotlight on the Society’s unparalleled contribution to music, past, present and future.

2013 brought together new commissions from leading and emerging composers, and reaches out to audiences through live performances, debates, exhibitions, broadcasts and online with two new websites.

The RPS extended its programme for young musicians by offering practical support: from assistance with buying suitable instruments to mentoring and opportunities for study.

To mark the RPS Bicentenary, Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate wrote a poem entitled Philharmonic.

Digitisation of the RPS Archive at the British Library offers insight into the RPS's legacy of two centuries of concert giving, while a new iPad app focuses on our most famous commission, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

Highlights of the year

Full programme of events

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