WATCH: Halifax's Piece Hall to host its own 'last night of the Proms'

The Piece Hall is promising to blow the trumpet for God’s own county in style at its first ever Proms night.

By sarah fitton
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 10:47 am

The Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Yorkshire Proms on September 10, 2022, coinicidng with the last night of the Proms in London at the Royal Albert Hall and aiming to offer northern audiences a comparable live experience.

Audiences can expect all the Proms hits such as Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory, alongside popular classics from Rodgers and Bernstein and the epic Nessun Dorma.

There will of course be a Yorkshire twist, with an interpretation of Ilkley Moor Baht’at and A Yorkshire Overture - a piece written by conductor, composer and musician Ben Crick.

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Conductor Ben Crick (playing the cello) and trumpet player Anthony Thompson, both of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra at The Piece Hall

Ben, Conductor of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, said: “The Proms began in London in 1895 with the view to reach a wider audience and offer more popular programmes.

"We want to offer that same world-class live music experience to audiences in the North.

"There’s a huge disparity in opportunity for audiences and musicians alike. This is about helping levelling up the North.”

The Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra was established in Leeds in 1947 and disbanded in 1955. One of the orchestra's founders was Richard Noel Middleton - the great grandfather of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Alan Bennett was a regular audience member of the orchestra in his boyhood, as was artist David Hockney.

The 50-strong orchestra reformed in the Spring of 2021 as a direct result of the pandemic to support northern musicians hit hard by the virus and closure of live events.

Ben added: “This is about waving the flag for Yorkshire but also for our newly reformed Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra. It’s shocking that this huge county has been without a symphony orchestra for so long.”

Ben was born in Huddersfield and is the son of a council worker and teacher, and the grandson of miners. He has held a BBC Music Fellowship, worked with orchestras around the world and is Artist Director of Skipton Building Society Camerata.

Ben has always believed classical music is an art form that can speak to everyone and is known for his innovative approaches; he once had an orchestra play a Mozart symphony outside Sainsbury’s in Leeds station.

Chief Executive Officer of The Piece Hall Trust, Nicky Chance-Thompson, said: “We have wanted to broaden our musical offer by adding classical to our repertoire for some time now and this is the perfect start.

"Yorkshire is home to some incredible talent across the Arts, and I’m so proud we are able to showcase a return of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra.

"The Piece Hall is such a stunning building in an awe-inspiring location, which while different from London’s Royal Albert Hall, is very much its equal and a truly fitting home for the Yorkshire Proms.”

The Yorkshire Proms will help raise funds for The Piece Hall Trust, which runs The Piece Hall.

Tickets go on sale on Friday. For more information visit The Piece Hall's website.