Ahead of its commencement in September, the Hallé has unveiled its new, exhilarating and staggeringly eclectic 2024-25 season programme, packed with unrivalled virtuosity, trailblazing contemporary talent and bold, dynamic curation under the leadership of the new Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Kahchun Wong.

After nearly 25 illustrious years as the definitive exemplar of the Hallé’s success on the global stage, Sir Mark Elder makes way for Singaporean luminary Kahchun Wong to take over as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor ahead of an ambitious and pivotally diverse new season.

After electrifying the orchestra during their first encounter last year, Wong begins his journey at the helm of the Hallé by pairing Mahler’s fittingly monumental First Symphony with a new suite of dances from Benjamin Britten’s exotic ballet, The Prince of the Pagodas.

Across the new season programme, Wong showcases the orchestra’s peerless flair for eclecticism with soaring choral arrangements including Mahler’s Second (‘Resurrection’) Symphony and Beethoven’s Ninth – both with the Hallé Choir – as well as Bruckner’s unfinished Ninth (complete with its recently reconstructed finale) as a tribute to the composer on his 200th anniversary.

Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Kahchun Wong (credit: Drew Forsyth)

Elsewhere, classical enthusiasts and musical newbies alike can enjoy a sprawling array of classic and modern masterworks from a wide-ranging field of composition, from Austro-German titans like Beethoven, Bruckner and Brahms to British icon Vaughan Williams and American minimalist Philip Glass, or even live renditions of video game soundtracks and blockbuster movie scores, from Assassin’s Creed and World of Warcraft to Star Wars and Top Gun.

As part of a pioneering embrace of compositional diversity and contemporary innovation, the Hallé invites audiences to experience the cross-cultural fusions of multi-talented composer, performer and producer Nitin Sawhney, and the Queer Black excellence of shimmering bass sensation Le Gateau Chocolate, before hitting the virtual dancefloor with Chicago’s deck-spinning doyenne of house music, DJ Honey Dijon, as part of The Hallé Presents …, the broad-based showcase series starring a groundbreaking cohort of global talent, with something for every musical taste throughout the season.

Alongside fresh interpretations of the greatest classical arrangements in history, the Hallé stages an unmissable series of concerts celebrating the composers of today, with performances works by Thomas Adès, Philip Glass, Huw Watkins, Tan Dun, Unsuk Chin and others.

In order to bring such supremely technical and profoundly arresting music to life, the Hallé is joined by a selection of renowned artists who deliver flawless performances while adding new depths to arrangements across the repertoire.

This season, the orchestra welcomes back inspirational fan favourites like Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, Delyana Lazarova, Pavel Kolesnikov, Roderick Williams and Tianyi Lu, while Mariam Batsashvili, Stephanie Childress, Eldbjørg Hemsing and Giorgi Gigashvili – the latest winner of the prestigious Terence Judd-Hallé Award – each make their Hallé debut.

As the Hallé charts a new, thrilling course for the first time in 25 years, the arrival of Kahchun Wong as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor is set to open an bold chapter of cultural adventure and cutting-edge musical exploration, while continuing to serve orchestral music and the city of Manchester with characteristic flair and triumphant hometown pride.

Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Kahchun Wong said: “Over the past year, I’ve had the privilege of immersing myself in the Hallé world. From six intense days at Hallé St Peter’s recording Britten’s The Prince of the Pagodas for our label, to a most memorable tour of Spain at the start of 2024, it already feels like our journey together is well under way.”

The Hallé’s Chief Executive David Butcher said: “It’s an historic and propitious new season for us all at the Hallé, full of great music and new initiatives in the pioneering tradition of our founder Charles Hallé. His trailblazing work has been fostered and developed by other musical legends through the ages: Hans Richter, Hamilton Harty, John Barbirolli, Mark Elder and now Kahchun Wong.

“Following his electrifying debut back in spring 2023 – and a recording and acclaimed tour of Spain – we can’t wait to welcome Kahchun to Manchester for his first season and for our growing audiences to witness the rapport and alchemy which promises so many great performances ahead.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “The Hallé has, for over 160 years, been not only a jewel in Manchester’s musical crown, but an orchestra that has been hailed as amongst the best in Britain and beyond. Manchester has always been, and remains, an outward-looking international city, and we hope Kahchun Wong’s appointment will enhance and expand that reputation.”

For more information on upcoming events, head to the Hallé’s website, and check out the full 2024-25 season programme here.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
The Bridgewater Hall,
Lower Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3WS

Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Tue 7 May 2024