The philharmonic orchestra will play three complimentary concerts across Salford this month

THEY’RE normally found when you switch on the radio, or else at evening concerts in the likes of Bridgewater Hall. But the BBC Philharmonic will be playing at a very different type of hall when they go on a ‘community tour’ across Salford this month; performing a trio of free concerts at Ordsall Hall (main image), Eccles Town Hall and Salford Cathedral.

Located in a state-of-the-art facility at MediaCityUK, BBC Philharmonic has been creating exciting musical experiences since the early twentieth century. Now known as the ‘most adventurous’ of the BBC’s six orchestras - its recent Scary Fairy collaboration with Craig Charles being a good example - BBC Phil gives over 100 concerts a year and nurtures emerging talent  partnerships with RNCM, Salford University and the Greater Manchester Music Hub. 

Indeed, whilst it may boast world class artists and conductors, equally important to the orchestra is the local community. Projects include the Ten Pieces school programme and outreach work throughout the region in partnership with Salford Council.

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Violinist Esther Yoo performs at a Ten Pieces prom

Now, keen to banish negative preconceptions of classical music - highbrow, inaccessible, a little bit stuffy perhaps - BBC Phil are hosting three concerts across the region, completely free of charge. 

If you expect to hear just the likes of Mozart and Beethoven, think again. The fourteen performers involved will perform a repertoire that spans boundaries and genres: from a Burt Bacharach medley to film music by John Williams and French composer Gabriel Fauré’s romantic melodies. 

Venues are rather impressive too. Concerts include Salford Cathedral (10 March, 1.30pm), Ordsall Hall’s Great Hall (13 March, midday) and Eccles Town Hall Ballroom (14 March, 11am). 

Simon Webb, BBC Philharmonic General Manager, says: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the people who live and work in Salford to hear the music of the BBC Philharmonic orchestra set against a backdrop of three of the most historical venues in the area. The concerts will appeal equally to those who regularly attend our concerts or those who have never seen the orchestra perform before.” 

Free tickets are available from the BBC Philharmonic website. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis