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University of Hull and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announce exciting new partnership

Today the University of Hull and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) announce a new partnership that will see the two organisations working together for at least the next five years.

The University and the RPO have established a growing relationship over the past two years, as University of Hull Associate Artists via the Music Department which has involved masterclasses, sit-in open-rehearsals and tickets to attend concerts at Hull City Hall. Music students have also engaged with the Orchestra’s innovative community and education programme, RPO Resound; most notably in the RPO’s award-winning STROKESTRA® project, a pioneering stroke rehabilitation programme, delivered in partnership with Hull and East Riding Community Stroke Services (HERCSS), that harnesses the power of group creative music-making alongside professional musicians and clinicians to drive patient-led recovery in stroke patients and their carers.

As part of this new partnership, research staff from the music faculty will be leading on a 3-year research project exploring the impacts of STROKESTRA® on health and wellbeing, as the programme is rolled out across the city to reach nearly more than 300 new participants.  

This new partnership will also continue to provide benefits to Music students at the University, with RPO musicians leading masterclasses and offering career insight, advice and support along with ensemble coaching, one-to-one tuition and opportunities togain practical orchestral recording experiences at RPO rehearsals and concerts. University staff will also lead pre-concert talks prior to RPO performances at Hull City Hall. 

More broadly, students from across a range of arts, health and education programmes can be offered work placements with the Orchestra on live music events and RPO Resound projects in and around Hull, as instrumentalists/vocalists, workshop practitioners and/or production staff. Directed by a professional team of RPO musicians and leaders, these opportunities will provide students with invaluable insight into the creative sector, and help them further develop their creative leadership, design and project management skills.


"We look forward to a fruitful relationship that will bring benefits to our students, staff, the city itself and the RPO." Professor Glenn Burgess, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Hull

Professor Glenn Burgess, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and look forward to a fruitful relationship that will bring benefits to our students, staff, the city itself and the RPO.

“The opportunities that this partnership will offer our students are unparalleled and will give them unique experiences and an opportunity to learn from world-class musicians. It will also provide benefits for students who aren’t studying one of our music programmes, such as students on our health programmes who will have the opportunity to undertake placements with HERCSS on the STROKESTRA® project.”

James Williams, Managing Director at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, said: “The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has enjoyed performing a regular season of orchestral concerts in Hull City Hall since 2013. This year, we’re delighted to announce that we are broadening our reach and commitment to the City with a new, strategic partnership with the University of Hull.”

“The University of Hull has established itself as the torch-bearer for culture and innovation in the city and our partnership will play an important role in developing opportunities for students, staff and Hull’s wider communities to deepen their engagement with the RPO via its diverse programmes of activity.”

The partnership will also provide opportunities to build on the legacy of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 through cultural programming. As a result of Hull 2017, there exists a greater appetite within the City to consider a more collaborative approach to programming where opportunities exist, and to present a richer and deeper experience for audiences that presents them with an opportunity to take a journey with a particular artform. The University and the RPO will work together to understand and evaluate the data acquired from city’s year as UK City of Culture, and create a shared set of objectives for audience development for classical and orchestral music.

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