The Halle

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Halle's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Halle is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Chief Executive John Summers
The Hallé
The Hallé is an internationally renowned symphony orchestra,
founded in 1858 by Karl Halle, later Sir Charles Hallé,
following the Great Art Exhibition held in Manchester
in 1857. The orchestra, resident in Manchester’s Free Trade
Hall for more than a century, now performs a few hundred
yards away at the state-of-the-art Bridgewater Hall, presenting
around 70 concerts a year in its home base to over 100,000
people, plus 40 to 50 concerts elsewhere in the UK. It plays an
important role in the musical life of the nation, and under the
musical direction of Sir Mark Elder, it has undergone one of the
most successful periods in its long history. Chief Executive John
Summers tells
The Parliamentary Review
Charles Hallé, an internationally renowned pianist and conductor, introduced many
of the works of his personal friends to Manchester, including Brahms, Berlioz, Grieg
and Chopin. In a long and very close relationship with Edward Elgar, who became
its president, the Hallé, under Hans Richter in particular, gave early performances
of many of his works, including the premiere of his First Symphony, which secured
his international recognition as a composer of the first rank. Famous music directors
include Hallé himself, Richter – the first conductor of Wagner’s ring cycle – and Sir
John Barbirolli, whose recordings with the Hallé from 1943 to 1972 appeared all
over the globe, and were, for many, their first taste of symphonic music.
In addition to the orchestra, the Hallé now runs several other ensembles and an
education programme that embraces the whole community in large numbers.
»Chief Executive: John Summers
»Founded in 1958
»Based in Manchester
»Services: Symphony orchestra
»No. of employees: 122
The Hallé
Highlighting best practice
We also own a record label, give
eight to ten Radio 3 broadcasts and
a number of TV broadcasts annually.
We collaborate extensively with our
peers in Manchester, for example with
the BBC Philharmonic, with whom we
have co-presented a number of major
symphonic and other cycles. We also
work closely with the Royal Northern
College of Music and Chetham’s School
of Music, to whom we offer a range of
professional experience and coaching to
youngsters with exceptional talent.
The Hallé is unique in its social reach
and the sense of ownership by its
public. Pride in the orchestra extends
to the whole northwest region, and
beyond, and support for our work is
found in all social grades, including
many people of modest means. Over
the past ten years our education
programme has more than tripled in
size and scope, now reaching in excess
of 70,000 participants each year,
around 50,000 of whom are young
people. In addition to a wide-ranging
programme of education and outreach
events, we run seven associated choirs
and youth ensembles with a combined
membership of over 500 people. The
youth ensembles provide regular,
local and free opportunities to gifted
and talented young people to work
at the highest level with professional
musicians, actively creating the artists
and audiences of the future.
Our array of ensembles
Each of the ensembles contributes in
a different way to the Hallé’s overall
artistic offer.
»The Hallé Youth Orchestra offers
unique opportunities to local young
musicians, aged 13–19 years,
particularly those not in specialist
musical education
»The aim of the Hallé Choir is to
provide a symphony chorus able
to sing to the highest international
standard and, at the same time,
to offer an opportunity to singers
in the local area to develop
their voices, musicianship and
»The Hallé Children’s Choir, Hallé
Youth Training Choir and Hallé
Youth Choir each have twin aims:
to give training and performance
opportunities at the highest level to
gifted and talented young people
in their respective age ranges; and
to provide a springboard to further
singing, hopefully throughout the
rest of their lives and ideally within
another Hallé ensemble
»The Hallé Ancoats Community
Choir was initially established as a
community project for the local people
who live close to Hallé St Peter’s. In
less than three years it has become an
established ensemble in its own right,
enhancing a sense of local pride in
Ancoats, with the Hallé at its heart
»The corporate choirs bring
inspirational choral animateurs
into companies and are creating
wonderfully positive and lasting
relationships with the Hallé
»The Hallé Choral Academy project,
an innovative vocal training
ensemble which includes music
reading, will lead up to a massed
choral “Sing with the Hallé”
performance together with the
orchestra and all of our choirs in
the Bridgewater Hall as part of our
Creative Europe (EOLAB) project.
Hallé Ancoats
Community Choir
We run seven
choirs and
with a
of over 500
Looking to the future
The orchestra tours regularly, giving
around 50 concerts annually all over
the UK and overseas, acting as a
flagship for Manchester. The Hallé
is resident in the concert series in
Nottingham, Sheffield, Bradford and
Blackburn and, in addition to visits to
major UK festivals we appear annually
at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh
Festival. Recent tours outside the UK
include multiple visits to China and
Spain. The Hallé runs its own multi-
award-winning recording label and we
have ongoing relationships with labels
for new music and rare opera.
In 2013, we successfully completed
the first phase of the restoration
and conversion of St Peter’s Church
in Ancoats, Manchester in an area
of, what was then, severe urban
depravation. In the autumn of 2019
a new building alongside the church
will provide a range of ancillary spaces
including a rehearsal and recording
venue for the orchestra and home
for its ensembles. Our involvement in
Ancoats was an early catalyst for an
area which has become a beacon for
investment in the “new Manchester”.
In addition to its own uses, Hallé St
Peter’s has already hosted numerous
and varied events and activities
ranging from Manchester International
Festival and Manchester Literature
Festival to corporate launches, shows
Alongside Hallé St Peter’s, we also
run the neighbouring St Michael’s
Church, which provides additional
supporting facilities – aimed primarily
at the community. Our players reflect
the international appeal of music, and
the orchestra currently numbers 14
different nationalities among its ranks.
Many are directly involved in the Hallé
outreach activities as well as teaching
at national major conservatoires and
schools of music in the northwest
involvement in
Ancoats was
an early
catalyst for an
area which
has become a
beacon for
»The relationship with Mark
Elder is now in its 19th year and
his tenure has been seen as a
golden age for the orchestra and
»Ryan Wigglesworth’s all-round
skills as composer, conductor
and performer have added
greatly to the Hallé’s portfolio
– particularly in the area of new
»Our latest Assistant Conductor
Jonathon Heywood is already the
winner of a major international
conducting competition
(Besançon) and is now in
demand all over the world Assistant Conductor
Jonathon Heyward

This article was sponsored by The Halle. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster