Kenneth Hesketh / Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Read about Kenneth Hesketh and the RLPO

Kenneth Hesketh took up the position of Composer in the House with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2007.

Alongside performances of his current works throughout the residency, as RPS/PRSF Composer in the House Kenneth Hesketh was commissioned to compose a major work for the RLPO (broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and performed at the Proms) and a range of smaller scale works for the Orchestra and its associated ensembles including the Phil’s new music group Ensemble 10/10; for Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and for the Phil’s choral ensembles; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, Liverpool Philharmonic Youth and Training Choirs, Community and Gospel Choirs.

Kenneth worked closely with the Phil’s artistic team to gain an insight into the processes and decision-making behind music programming. He also worked with the Phil’s marketing and education teams in devising ways to engage audiences of all ages in the enjoyment of new music and the creative process, as participants and through live concert performance.

Hesketh (a native Liverpudlian), comments:

“As a composer growing up in Liverpool, I had the privilege to have my works played by the RLPO, which gave me vital support and introduced my work to a wider public. Now, as a professional composer, I very much look forward to working with the RLPO once again in a fuller and more varied capacity, writing new works for chamber, ensemble, choral and orchestral forces.

This exciting opportunity afforded by the RPS/PRSF scheme will allow me to interact closely with both amateur and professional players, audiences and music students, in an atmosphere of curiosity and discovery. It gives me a wonderful chance to contribute to the musical fabric of the city. The effects of the scheme will be felt during the City of Culture celebrations in 2008 and beyond, allowing musicians, audiences and myself to take a musical journey together at the centre of Liverpool’s musical life and create something of value and permanence.”

Andrew Cornall, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s Executive Director (Orchestra, Ensembles & Education) said:

“The Liverpool Phil has an illustrious tradition of encouraging new music and commissioning works from many leading contemporary composers throughout its 166-year old history. We are thrilled to have been given this unique opportunity by the RPS and PRS Foundation to continue that tradition at what is a particularly exciting time in the musical life of the Phil, with the arrival of our new principal conductor Vasily Petrenko; and in the cultural life of Liverpool, as it prepares to be European Capital of Culture in 2008.

One of our central aims is to leave a legacy of music commissioned for and performed in that landmark year. It’s particularly satisfying then, to take one of the most talented composers of his generation, and a native Liverpudlian, to the heart of what we do, and to work together with Kenneth as he makes his own contribution to that musical legacy.”


Ralph Kirshbaum, International Cello Soloist: For 40 years London has been a base for my concert and teaching activities, I endorse and support with gratitude the indispensable work of the RPS.


The Schaller Bust of Beethoven, donated in 1871, has stood on the platform of every RPS concert since then as a symbol of excellence and support for the living composer.