This year, it’s six decades since the Liverpool Philharmonic got the right to call itself Royal and during that time I have been involved with the Hall through primary school performances, annual speech days and even personal performances.
No better times have been had than those since the grand master of conductors entered the scene.
Vasily Petrenko, our ‘Honorary Scouser’ has, during his decade with the Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra, shown himself to be a brilliant, masterful conductor and dab hand at a variety of music.
Vasily Petrenko performs and conducts the brilliantly responsive Philharmonic orchestra he has fashioned so well in a series of fantastic symphonies both live and recorded.
If you find difficulty obtaining a ticket or a place at the magnificent Philharmonic, then fear not, do what I do and obtain a copy of the orchestra over the counter or better still at the Central lending library.
Try the Elgar and Tchaikovsky CD’s, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, all from the comfort of your home or car.
The Elgar symphony performed by our Liverpool orchestra, gives a mood, full of insights that hold the key to what this symphony is really all about and Petrenko conducts in such a manner that gives the impression that you have just stepped into the Hall itself.
Another CD on Onyx, Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 3,4,and 6 sends you on another Mersey beat with this big orchestra hammering out this exhilarating album, an album that gives the orchestra a platform to show itself to be in the finest possible fettle.
It is the Russian repertoire that suits Vasily best and that’s no surprise as he rises to the top of the pile because of his disciplined intensity and clarity of understanding the composers.
His recordings of Shostakovich’s symphonies have won him high acclaim throughout the music loving world. Back in 2009, he won the Award for the Best Orchestral Recording of the Year.
As a number of our culturally renowned city’s most popular and prominent venues prepare to mark big birthdays during the months ahead, we see this year that the Liverpool Philharmonic has six decades under its belt and the right to call itself Royal, a unique accolade in Liverpool.
The orchestra celebrates this milestone with the release of recordings to finance itself and in 2015- three of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies that show the orchestra to be in the finest possible spirits went on sale and are still top sellers at the Phil box office.
These are superb albums well worth investigating, and supporting one of our cities most iconic institutions.
A series of events and exhibitions are to take place in Liverpool to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most influential poetry anthologies of all time
To mark this special anniversary, Tonight At Noon (named after the first Adrian Henri poem in the collection) will shine a spotlight on this incredible piece of work which captured the mood of the Sixties and brought poetry down from the shelf to the street.
Forming a key part of Liverpool’s 67-17: 50 Summers of Love celebrations, Tonight At Noon is a festival in itself running from Wednesday 12 April to Saturday 15 July, and the events are:
The Mersey Sound Archives
An exhibition in Hornby Library, Liverpool Central Library – Wednesday 12 April to Saturday 15 July. FREE
A tribute to the publishing phenomenon which saw three Liverpool writers make poetry part of popular culture. They wrote of young love, pop idols, atomic bombs, eccentric bus conductors and sci-fi superheroes in poems that were contemporary, urban and accessible. This exhibition takes place in the stunning surroundings of the Hornby Library and will include displays of original manuscripts, posters, letters, key documents along with audio and visual material which trace the emergence of Adrian, Roger and Brian on the 1960s poetry scene.
Adrian Henri – Painter, Poet, Performer
An exhibition in Dickens and Gladstone Galleries, St George’s Hall – Wednesday 12 April to Saturday 15 July. FREE
Although he came to prominence as a poet in 1967, Adrian Henri was regarded as a ‘total artist’ having trained as a painter and exhibiting widely throughout his career. He also fronted the unlikely poetry-and-rock band Liverpool Scene, leading John Peel to dub him “one of the great non-singers of our time”. In 1969 the band supported Led Zeppelin, played the Isle of Wight Festival and toured America. This exhibition will showcase 1960s artworks, poems and original rock posters offering a glimpse into to Henri’s multi-faceted talents.
Poetry in the City
An anniversary treat at various locations, Thursday 25 May. FREE
To mark the exact day on which The Mersey Sound was first published, expect the city to be taken over by the words of the three poets as their work hits the streets once again. Full details will be revealed nearer the time.
Thurston Moore Concert
Concert Room, St George’s Hall – 8.30pm, Tuesday 30 May. £14 a ticket plus booking fee
Thurston Moore is best known for being the co-founder of legendary alternative rock group Sonic Youth. His use of unusual tunings and distorted sounds have had an impact on experimental and post-punk music the world over, and he has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Moore has collaborated with writers, musicians and artists as varied as Yoko Ono, William Burroughs, Merce Cunningham and Sean Lennon. He is also a poet and a fan of The Mersey Sound. Thurston is on a world tour to promote his latest album RocknRoll Consciousness, but he will stop off in Liverpool to perform a specially commissioned musical response to The Mersey Sound. Tickets are available from www.ticketquarter.co.uk/Online/thurston-moore.
Poetry reading at Bluecoat – 7.30pm, Friday 16 June. £10 a ticket
The impact of The Mersey Sound has resonated for decades for generations of writers and performers. Five poets have been commissioned to create new pieces of work in response to the writing of Henri, McGough and Patten. Taking part are award winning poets Paul Farley, Deryn Rees-Jones, Eleanor Rees, Lizzie Nunnery and Andrew McMillan. They will be joined onstage by Brian Patten and Roger McGough. Tickets are available from: www.thebluecoat.org.uk/content/tickets
Adrian’s partner, Catherine Marcangeli has curated all the Tonight At Noon events which have been commissioned by Liverpool City Council.
Fantastic week in Liverpool city centre around the Cavern quarter, the heart of the city’s musical heritage and well known across the globe, with hundreds still flocking each day to pay their tributes, now 60 years since it opened.
Celebrations began with a performance last week at the Philharmonic Hall, featuring sixties tribute band The Overtures leading the line-up at ‘The History of the Cavern’ with funds raised going to BBC Children in Need and Radio City’s Cash for Kids.
Thoroughly enjoyed the packed out show which crafted the clubs vibrant music scene through the decades and featuring tribute acts like the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds and Queen much to the delight of the audience.
With a magical history and a music venue that is still attracting prominent names, the Cavern will shortly be releasing a 60th anniversary documentary and book.
2016 saw the club welcome the likes of blues-rock star Joe Bonamassa and Big Country perform on the iconic stage and the recently published 2017 list includes some big names with the likes of soul singer Geno Washington, Simple Minds drummer Mel Gaynor and guitarist Albert Lee.
The unveiling of the Cilla Black statue outside the original Cavern entrance provided a media frenzy with masses vying for a selfie. The Liver Birds may be Liverpool’s most famous sculptures but from their lofty perches, these watchful avians have witnessed countless others spring up across the city over the years. This statue is certainly a diamond in our city attracting a cult following second to none.
Our grand city plays host to more statues than any other in the UK outside of London.
You can now add Cilla to a whole fleet of sculptures across the city, and together, when arriving at Lime Street station with a “Harry Dazzy Boreal” greeting from Doddy, you can put together a walking tour that spans the St Georges Hall plateau with Wellington, Victoria and Albert, past Eleanor Rigby, through the narrow enclaves of Matthew Street and then onto the John Lennon Peace monument at Kings Dock.
This year marks a number of our culturally renowned city’s most popular and prominent venues prepare to mark big birthdays in the months ahead, so keep an eye open for some visually, entertaining and exciting events during this cultural milestone year.