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Our History

Hallé Orchestra 1895- Sir Charles and Lady Hallé

The Hallé gave its first concert on 30th January 1858 under the baton of its founder Sir Charles Hallé. Until his death in 1895 Sir Charles conducted almost every concert, and performed as piano soloist at many. His sudden death shocked Manchester and the wider musical world, with his funeral procession bringing the city to a standstill. Three of his closest friends immediately set about securing the future of the Orchestra. The 1895-96 season had already been planned and so Henry Simon, Gustav Behrens and James Forsyth guaranteed it against loss. They renewed this commitment for a further three years whilst they set about forming and incorporating the Hallé Concerts Society. Under the guidance of such distinguished conductors as Hans Richter, Sir Hamilton Harty and Sir John Barbirolli the Orchestra continued to thrive and develop. For the vast majority of its history the Hallé’s home in Manchester was the Free Trade Hall. When war broke out in 1939 the building was requisitioned and of course bombed in the Manchester Blitz. During the war period the Hallé performed concert series in the Albert Hall and Kings Hall Belle Vue, as well in various other venues in and around Manchester including a variety of cinemas.

The Free Trade Hall was rebuilt, opening with a triumphant season of concerts in 1951. The Hallé performed its last concert there on 30th June 1996 before moving into its magnificent new home just a few minutes walk away at The Bridgewater Hall.

View Orchestra and Choir Lists from 1858

Concerts & Tickets

Buy tickets for Hallé performances

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Buy tickets and view information on performances by the Hallé in their Manchester home, the architecturally-stunning Bridgewater Hall, as well as throughout Britain and the rest of the world.

Listen & Shop

Hallé CDs, Downloads and Accessories

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The Hallé has a number of discs on its own CD label, featuring composers such as Elgar, Wagner, Colin Matthews, Debussy, Richard Strauss and other English composers. The label includes award-winning discs such as Wagner's Götterdämmerung and Elgar's Violin Concerto with Thomas Zehetmair as soloist. The latest release is Elgar's The Apostles.

Ensembles & Choirs

Welcome to the Hallé’s family of ensembles!

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The Hallé offers a range of regular, local and free ensemble experiences for young people aged 8 –19 years. It also offers adults (aged 18+) the chance to sing in one of the best symphony choruses in the UK.

Reaching over 44,000 participants a year

The Hallé's award-winning Education Programme

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The Hallé's award-winning Education Programme reaches over 44,000 participants a year principally by placing Hallé musicians in the community, in schools, youth clubs, community centres and young offenders organisations.

Support us

Fundraising and development

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There are many ways to support the Hallé - to find out more, explore the links opposite, read about our forthcoming events or speak to a member of the development team.

About us

Find out more about the Hallé

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Now in its 155th season, the Hallé ranks among the UK's top symphonic ensembles, with a distinguished history of acclaimed performances in this country and around the world; award-winning recordings, radio broadcasts and educational outreach programmes; and a visionary commitment to building audiences and developing orchestral repertoire.

Your visit

More information about your night out with the Hallé

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Find out more about what to expect from a Hallé concert as well as information about the Hallé's Manchester home - The Bridgewater Hall.