Founded in Manchester by Sir Charles Hallé in 1858, the Hallé gave its first concert in the city’s Free Trade Hall on 30 January of that year. Following the death of Sir Charles Hallé, the orchestra continued to develop under the guidance of such distinguished figures as Dr Hans Richter, Sir Hamilton Harty and Sir John Barbirolli. Mark Elder became Music Director in 2000 and was knighted by the Queen for services to music in 2008. In November 2011, he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society.
The Hallé performs over 70 concerts a year in The Bridgewater Hall, its Manchester home, as well as making over 40 appearances annually throughout the rest of Britain. Its reputation for artistic excellence has led to many international tours, frequent broadcasts and televised performances.
The Hallé’s own CD label features the music of English composers, as well as Debussy, Wagner and Shostakovich. A number of recordings have been honoured with prestigious awards including five Gramophone Awards between 2009 and 2011. The Hallé has also been honoured with the South Bank Award for its celebrated collaborations with the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Northern College of Music and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.