The BBC Philharmonic and Hallé’s combined performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony at The Bridgewater Hall has won a South Bank Sky Arts Award, it was announced at a ceremony in London today.
The performance of Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” took place at The Bridgewater Hall last May, and saw 120 players from both orchestras sharing the stage with five choirs including the Hallé Choir and the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus for a momentous performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, conducted by Sir Mark Elder.
All concerts were broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and the Festival received widespread media attention and enthused audiences and commentators alike.
It is the second time that the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic have shared the South Bank Show Award, which they also received in 2007 (with the RNCM) for their Shostakovich and His Heroes Festival. Both orchestras have also been previous winners of the award: the BBC Philharmonic in 2006 for their Beethoven cycle, and the Hallé (with the CBSO) in 2010 for their Nielsen collaboration.
The project was one of the highlights of the city’s six month long Mahler in Manchester Festival, in which the BBC Philharmonic and the Hallé joined forces with The Bridgewater Hall and Manchester Camerata for a city-wide tribute.
Manchester Camerata took on Mahler's best known song cycle, Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth) with the BBC Philharmonic and the Hallé joining forces to perform a complete cycle of the composer's ten symphonies.
The Award was presented to Richard Wigley, General Manager of the BBC Philharmonic and Sir Mark Elder, Music Director of the Hallé at a lunchtime awards ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel today.
Says Richard Wigley, General Manager of the BBC Philharmonic: “Mahler in Manchester was an incredible team effort, with all partners giving everything to make sure that Manchester’s celebration of Mahler was unique in its artistic breadth and imagination."
John Summers, Chief Executive of the Hallé said “This is a great honour for Sir Mark and everyone who worked together on Mahler in Manchester. It is part of Manchester’s culture that collaboration is the norm, and we are delighted that this has been recognised with the South Bank Sky Arts Award.”