The Hallé Orchestra was the first permanent professional orchestra in Britain. Its first concert took place on 30 Jan 1848, led by the man who gave it its name, Charles Hallé, and the first series of concerts yielded a profit of three halfpenny pieces!. Hallé was a German merchant who settled in the city; he was very popular and when he died 40,000 people lined the route of his funeral cortège. Of all the principal conductors the most famous of course was Sir John Barbirolli who led the orchestra from 1943 until his death in 1969. For many years the Hallé used the Free Trade Hall as their home but in 1996 moved into their brand new purpose-built hall, designed by Nicholas Thompson. Quality materials were used throughout, stratified in layers of red sandstone, limestone, metal and glass, and finished with a steel crown. The auditorium is suspended on GERB vibration isolation bearings, originally designed to protect buildings in earthquake zones, to isolate it from the vibrations of nearby road and tram traffic. Even the stairs are broken by a couple of centimetres to prevent sound transmitting up them - the silence is total. The polished marble pebble in the foreground is 'Touchstone', by Kan Yasuda (1996).
The polished marble pebble in the foreground is 'Touchstone', by Kan Yasuda (1996).
The Bridgewater Hall Hallé Orchestra|
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