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Press Release: The Orchestra of English National Ballet to be renamed English National Ballet Philharmonic


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The Orchestra of English National Ballet to be renamed English National Ballet Philharmonic

“The Orchestra means business” The Arts Desk on Coppélia 

From Thursday 11 December 2014 English National Ballet’s Orchestra will be known under its new name,English National Ballet Philharmonic. Since its inception in 1950, English National Ballet has been committed to achieving the highest musical quality as well as dance standards. From the very beginning the English National Ballet Philharmonic has played a vital part of the Company’s live performances in the UK. 

English National Ballet’s Music Director, Gavin Sutherland said: “The creation of the English National Ballet Philharmonic marks the start of a new era in the history of music in the Company. The musical standards are high and always rising, and an assured identity will allow us to relate more to audiences and to any enthusiasts of the skill of orchestral ballet music in performance."

English National Ballet Philharmonic is made up of many of the country’s top musicians, and boasts considerable experience in all forms of music-making. Alongside the traditional national touring schedule, notable events include frequent gala performances at the London Coliseum and the Royal Opera House, accompanying visiting ballet companies, appearances in concert (including the Bath and City of London Festivals) and, most recently, providing the music for the Royal Academy of Dance’s children’s ballet syllabus grades. They also play a significant part in the Engagement Department’s outreach work, taking a taste of the music of ballet to audiences old and new. 

English National Ballet Philharmonic's Music Director is Gavin Sutherland who was appointed to the role in 2008. In his time at English National Ballet, Sutherland has arranged and orchestrated Liam Scarlett's No Man's Land set to Liszt, Wayne Eagling’s Men Y Men set to Rachmaninoff, Angelina’s Star Performance and Angelina Ballerina’s Big AuditionMy First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty, My First Ballet: Cinderella and My First Ballet: Coppélia.He has recorded over 80 CDs and is much in demand nationally and internationally as a conductor. In 2009 he was appointed Chairman of the Light Music Society. 


“Gavin Sutherland conducted a lavish performance from the Orchestra” The Sunday Times on Le Corsaire

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Alison:  I very much doubt that there's any difference of substance.  I sing with the Cambridge Philharmonic, where the orchestra also performs symphonies, and I doubt that you'd find any significant difference between the annual programmes of the LPO and LSO.  Otherwise, one might examine the Graeco-Latin roots of the two terms, and there I'd propose Love of Harmony and Sounding Together, pretty much two aspects of one entity.  "A rose by any other name etc etc..."

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I actually came across the definition of a philharmonic orchestra (as opposed to a symphony orchestra) a few years ago - can anyone remind me what it is?  This might be a question for Mr or Mrs BBB :)

In days of yore, a symphony orchestra played symphony concerts, usually comprising an overture, a concerto and a symphony. A philharmonic orchestra would play a more varied rep. The distinction isn't really there anymore.

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I think the a Philharmonic Orchestra is a sort of "association" of musicians, with members, a symphonic orchestra is a "business company", with employees. At least this is what I understood from a documentary about Berliner Philarmoniker: members even decided who will be the leading director.

Etymologically it would made sense.

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