The Hallé announces its 2024–25 season under new Principal Conductor Kahchun Wong

The Hallé has today announced its 2024–25 season under its dynamic new Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Kahchun Wong, promising a season packed with stunning music and initiatives that continue to build upon the success of last year.

Wong now takes over the hallowed Hallé baton from Sir Mark Elder, who steps down later this month after nearly 25 years in the role. Wong will introduce himself to the Hallé’s audiences at the helm of an inaugural season that promises to be one of the Hallé’s most diverse and ambitious to date.

Elder will now become Conductor Emeritus and conducts Strauss’s epic ‘Alpine Symphony’ and a new ‘Concerto for Orchestra’ written specially for the Hallé by Huw Watkins.

Thomas Adès commences his second season as the Hallé’s Artist-in-Residence, conducting Stravinsky’s cataclysmic ‘The Rite of Spring’ and two Sibelius symphonies, while also showcasing several of his own works, including his acclaimed ‘America: A Prophecy’ in a new extended version commissioned by the Hallé.

The new sell-out ‘Rush Hour’ concert series returns, while the eclectic ‘The Hallé Presents …’ initiative features Nitin Sawhney, Honey Dijon and a whole weekend of Philip Glass starring Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo.

Having just recorded a full studio version of Benjamin Britten’s brilliantly exotic ballet The Prince of the Pagodas for his debut on the Hallé’s own award-winning label, Kahchun Wong opens his first season by pairing Mahler’s titanic First Symphony with a brand-new suite of dances from Britten’s ballet, which he himself has arranged in collaboration with the Hallé’s Composer Emeritus, Colin Matthews (while the complete recording of the ballet will be released to coincide with this opening concert).

In a dazzlingly diverse season, Wong also conducts two huge choral works, Mahler’s Second (‘Resurrection’) Symphony and Beethoven’s Ninth – both with the Hallé Choir – as well as Bruckner’s (unfinished) Ninth (complete with its recently reconstructed finale) as a tribute to the composer on his 200th anniversary, alongside a rich variety of classic and modern masterpieces by Brahms and Liszt, Britten, Arnold and MacMillan, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Arutiunian, and Tan Dun, Unsuk Chin and Akira Ifukube.

As well as revisiting some of the greatest classical masterworks from the musical past, the Hallé will also celebrate the very best of today’s new music from living composers such as Thomas Adès, Philip Glass, Huw Watkins, Tan Dun and Unsuk Chin, thus continuing a time-honoured tradition that has seen the Hallé itself commissioning and premiering many of the major works that now form the mainstream concert repertoire of today.

The Hallé will also welcome back such inspirational artists as Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, Delyana Lazarova, Pavel Kolesnikov, Roderick Williams and Tianyi Lu, while there are also debut appearances for Mariam Batsashvili, Stephanie Childress, and Eldbjørg Hemsing. Giorgi Gigashvili – the latest winner of the prestigious Terence Judd-Hallé Award – will make his Hallé debut.

Though internationally known and admired via its broadcasts, recordings and overseas tours, the Hallé still has its roots firmly anchored within its native Mancunian soil. Now as always, the orchestra continues to play a major part within the city’s cultural life, not just through the regular concert seasons it presents as resident orchestra at The Bridgewater Hall, but also through all the innovative education, ensembles and outreach projects that it offers to Manchester’s wider community, including many who may never have visited a concert hall before, all under the banner ‘Hallé Connect’ and run out of the orchestra’s Ancoats-based HQ at Hallé St Peter’s and the RIBA Award-winning Oglesby Centre.

The arrival of Kahchun Wong as the Hallé’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor opens a new chapter in the Hallé’s long history of serving both music and the city with prowess and pride, while always remaining at the cultural cutting-edge.

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