Manchester’s Halle Orchestra unveils its 2022-23 Bridgewater Hall season - here are five unmissable concerts

From spectacular choral music to contemporary work to the sounds of video gaming, there’s something for everyone in the orchestra’s first full season for three years.

The Hallé Orchestra has unveiled its first full season of Bridgewater Hall concerts for three years - and there is something for almost every musical taste.

One of Manchester’s most celebrated ensembles have unveiled a 2022-23 programme which takes in some of the best-loved pieces of classical music ever written, epic symphonies, intimate chamber music and celebrations of pop acts and musicals.

Whether it’s delving into the works of some of the greatest composers in Western musical history or taking in the ever-popular Pops, Christmas and Viennese New Year concerts, the 2022-23 line-up has something for almost any music lover to enjoy.

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    We’ve taken a look through and picked out just five highlights from what is coming to The Bridgewater Hall.

    Verdi’s Requiem

    Verdi’s monumental Requiem, written to commemorate the Italian nationalist writer Alessandro Manzoni, has thrilled and occasionally scandalised audience since he penned it in the 1800s.

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    You will almost certainly recognise the Dies Irae sequence - as this spine-chilling whirlwind of music depicting the terror of the Day of Judgement has been used in too many films, TV shows and advertising campaigns to count.

    That’s just one aspect of a huge composition which takes a decidedly operatic approach to setting the sacred text and which will be brought to life on the Bridgewater Hall stage by the massed forces of the Hallé Orchestra, Hallé Choir and a stellar line-up of soloists, all performing under the baton of Sir Mark Elder.

    The concert is on 27 October.

    Isserlis Plays Elgar

    Steven Isserlis is one of the best-known cello soloists around and he returns to Manchester on 8 December to play Elgar’s autumnal and melancholic Cello Concerto, a piece which clearly shows the enormous toll World War One took on the composer.

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    Conductor Daniele Rustoni also leads the orchestra through Sibelius’ Lemminkäinen Suite, while the concert opens with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Solemn Prelude, a piece thought to be lost until it was rediscovered in the British Library in 2020.

    Game On!

    The reputation of video game music has greatly grown in recent years and the Hallé is the latest orchestra to bring them to the concert platform in a pioneering multimedia show on 21 January 2023.

    Sections of the music from popular franchises including Assassin’s Creed, Guild Wars, The Witcher, Civilization, World of Warcraft, Ori and the Blind Forest, BioShock and League of Legends will be played by the ensemble’s full musical ranks.

    While the music is being played clips from the games will be shown on the big screen.

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    Portrait of Tabakova

    Alongside the full orchestral concerts the Hallé Chamber Series is back presenting eight concerts of works for smaller instrumental forces in the more intimate surroundings of Hallé St Peter’s in Ancoats.

    On 8 February Manchester audiences will be introduced to a programme of music put together by the orchestra’s artist in residence Dobrinka Tabakova.

    Some of her pieces will be played alongside works showcasing three of her artistic interests: science, Renaissance music and folk music.

    The Rite of Spring

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    The piece which generated the most famous riot in classical music history when it was first performed in 1913, Stravinsky’s visceral ballet score depicting pagan tribes sacrificing a young girl to propitiate the deity of spring by getting her to dance herself to death brings the season to a spectacular close.

    Christian Reif will be on the podium for an evening of mainly 20th century classics, which also includes music from Manuel de Falla’s opera La Vida Breve, Bartok’s second violin concerto and the Pacific section from Dobrinka Tabakova’s Earth Suite.

    What has been said about the 2022-23 season?

    Hallé chief executive, David Butcher, said: “This is the first time since I joined the Hallé back in 2020 that we’ve been able to introduce a full season of events following two turbulent and disruptive years.

    “The fact that the Hallé has emerged in such great shape, with its pioneering spirit refreshed and renewed, is thanks to the continued generosity of its loyal funders and, crucially, to the extraordinary levels of encouragement and support shown by our audiences.”

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    Hallé music director, Sir Mark Elder, said: “We are delighted to welcome our audiences back to The Bridgewater Hall for the Hallé’s first full season in three years.

    “Everyone on stage has been overjoyed to see so many of our supporters returning over the past months to share in music making again.

    “We hope those still to come back to us will be tempted by some of the extraordinary works we will perform throughout this varied and exiting season.”

    How do I find out more or get tickets?

    Full details of the 2022-23 season are available from the website here while the brochure can be viewed here.

    The Bridgewater Hall’s box office is on 0161 907 9000.