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Where's the bear?

Press release   •   Aug 30, 2013 16:53 BST

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Children’s Choirs and In Harmony Liverpool featuring West Everton Children’s Orchestra travel down to London this weekend perform together at the world-famous BBC Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 1st September.

Liverpool Philharmonic’s Family Matinee: The Big Proms Bear Hunt is based on Michael Rosen’s much-loved children’s book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.  Presented by the author, the  concert will include music by great classical composers including Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Elgar, Britten, Grieg, Mussorgsky and Shostakovich, music from films including Pirates of the Caribbean and The Little Mermaid, some musical surprisesalong the way, all bound together with original music by Liverpool-based composer, Ian Stephens and conducted by Matthew Coorey.  Children’s books illustrator Tony Ross, whose credits included the Horrid Henry series, willdraw pictures LIVE on big screens.  The concert will be broadcast simultaneously on BBC Radio 3 at 4pm.

83 musicians of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and 140 children aged from 7 years, accompanied by near-on 50 Liverpool Philharmonic staff and parent- helpers will make the return journey to  London on the morning of 31 August on a specially-chartered train,  the Virgin Trains City of Liverpool Pendolino - dubbed theLiverpool Philharmonic Music Expressfor the occasion - to rehearse at the Royal Albert Hall the same day, in preparation for their concert the following day, Sunday 1st September. 

The trip will also include transporting by train and road, 88 instruments plus a celeste and a vast percussion section for the professional musicians; and 48 instruments and more percussion for the children’s orchestra.

300 parents and family members will be travelling from Liverpool to London to hear the Prom for which the 6000 tickets available sold out in May, with others travelling from other parts of the UK too.

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra has performed at the BBC Proms before, thoughit’s a Proms debut for both Liverpool Philharmonic Children’s Choirs and the young musicians of In Harmony Liverpool, the music and social programme led by Liverpool Philharmonic in West Everton, now it its fourth year,  and which is inspired by Venezuela’s acclaimed  El Sistema.

Michael Eakin, Liverpool Philharmonic’s Chief Executive said: “Liverpool Philharmonic has developed a strong family audience for our family concerts series at home in Liverpool and we know how thrilling the experience of hearing a symphony orchestra play live is for all ages. So we are very excited to be presenting such an innovative concert programme at the BBC Proms, bringing together our professional musicians in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with two of our children’s ensembles.

“Along with Michael Rosen and Tony Ross, whose stories and illustrations have given such huge enjoyment to so many children and families, the appeal of such a wonderful combination of music and storytelling is evident in the speed at which our Prom sold out.”

Peter Garden, Liverpool Philharmonic’s Executive Director (Learning) added:  “In Harmony Liverpool is just four years old, which means that our children have only been learning to play their instruments for the duration of the project, and for some of the younger ones, for even less time.  Equally, many of the singers in our Children's Choirs have only just begun their choral training with us.

 “For all these children to be part of a sold-out BBC Prom, performing alongside our professional musicians in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to 6000 people at the Royal Albert Hall, as well the global audience who will be able to hear the concert broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and iplayer, is really going to be the most amazing and unforgettable experience.”

Virgin Trains Station manager for Liverpool, Keith Millard said: “We’re proud to support our friends at Liverpool Philharmonic in taking culture to the capital. The Liverpool Philharmonic Music Express will be the most talent-packed train we’ve ever run.”

Notes to Editors

Liverpool Philharmonic at the BBC Proms 2013

The Big Proms Bear Hunt

Sunday, 1 September, 4 – 5.50pm

Royal Albert Hall, London

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Liverpool Philharmonic Children’s Choirs

In Harmony Liverpool featuring West Everton Children’s Orchestra

Matthew Coorey conductor

Tickets: £12 (SOLD OUT, Returns and Promming Tickets Only)

Broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and will available via the BBC iPlayer for 7 days. 

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the UK's oldest continuing professional symphony orchestra, dating from 1840.  The dynamic young Russian, Vasily Petrenko was appointed Principal Conductor of the Orchestra in September 2006 and in September 2009 became Chief Conductor.

The Orchestra gives over sixty concerts each season in Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and tours widely throughout the UK and internationally, most recently touring to China, Switzerland, France, Spain, Germany, Romania and the Czech Republic.

In recent seasons world premiere performances have included major works by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Sir John Tavener, Karl Jenkins, Michael Nyman and Jennifer Higdon alongside works by Liverpool-born composers including John McCabe, Kenneth Hesketh, Emily Howard, Stephen Pratt and Mark Simpson.

Recent additions to the Orchestra’s critically acclaimed recording catalogue include Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony (2009 Gramophone Awards Orchestral Recording of the Year), the world premiere performance of Sir John Tavener’s Requiem, 7 discs in an ongoing Shostakovich cycle (the recording of Symphony No. 10 is the 2011 Gramophone Awards Orchestral Recording of  the Year); Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances, and Piano Concertos No. 2 and No.3 and No.1 and No.4 with Simon Trpčeski; and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No.2 and No. 3.

In Harmony Liverpool

Liverpool Philharmonic has been leading In Harmony Liverpool for four years with our partner organisations in West Everton.

A genuinely transformative music and social programme, inspired by Venezuela’s acclaimed El Sistema, In Harmony Liverpool is engaging 190 children and young people aged 10 months old to 14 years old in West Everton in  up t0 10 hours a week of daily immersive music-making of the highest quality.

Since In Harmony Liverpool began in February 2009, and immediately establishing West Everton Children’s Orchestra, it has reached over 300 children and their families.

In just 4 years, In Harmony Liverpool is demonstrating a dramatic impact in West Everton, highlighting a visionary model for community development, achieving the best for children, staff, parents and the community. Children’s educational attainment in reading and numeracy is seeing significant improvements and they  are making outstanding progress in developing their musical ability as individuals and as an orchestra supported by Liverpool Philharmonic’s In Harmony team.

In 2012, 81% of In Harmony Liverpool primary school leavers continued to learn their instrument on transition to secondary school, a remarkable achievement up from 7o% in 2011.

’The school’s involvement in a national music project is reaping exceptional rewards, especially in how it engages pupils in their learning and motivates them.” Ofsted

In Harmony is a national programme that aims to inspire and transform the lives of children through community-based orchestral music-making. It uses the principles of Venezuela’s inspirational El Sistema. In Harmony is jointly funded by the Department for Education and National Lottery through Arts Council England.

In Harmony Liverpool is also supported through funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Youth Music, the Rayne Foundation, Liverpool NHS Primary Care Trust, The Kinder Trust Award, Liverpool Philharmonic, The Granada Foundation, Faith Primary School, West Lancashire Freemasons Charity and private donors.

Liverpool Philharmonic Children’s Choirs

Liverpool Philharmonic Youth and Training Choirs and Melody Makers offer young singers aged from 7 to 18  from the Liverpool city region exceptional choral training and performance experience and form part of an extensive learning programme providing a  range of ways for children and young people to get involved in live music and music making

The children’s choirs have opportunities to perform with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir and their repertoire covers a wide variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, folk and world music.

BBC Proms

The BBC Proms is the world’s largest classical music festival, with more than 90 concerts – featuring many of the world’s greatest artists and orchestras – as well as a host of extra events including talks, workshops, films, free performances and family events.

All BBC Proms are broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and many are broadcast on BBC television (BBC Two and Four primarily, but also BBC Three and BBC HD).  All broadcasts are available via the BBC iPlayer for 7 days.

Further information from Jayne Garrity, Head of Communications,

Tel 0151 210 3791/07967364241.

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