Founded in Manchester by the pianist and conductor Charles Hallé in 1858, The Hallé is Britain's longest established permanent professional symphony orchestra; its conductors include such distinguished figures as Hans Richter, Sir Hamilton Harty and Sir John Barbirolli.

The Hallé's family of ensembles includes the Hallé Choir - founded alongside the orchestra in 1858 - the Hallé Youth Choir, Children's Choir and Youth Orchestra; its pioneering education programme generates over 60 projects a year.

In 1996, the Hallé moved to its new home, The Bridgewater Hall, where it presents over 70 concerts a year. Making over 40 appearances annually throughout the rest of Britain, the Hallé attracts large and enthusiastic audiences both in Manchester and beyond

Sir Mark Elder became Music Director in 2000. In 2011, the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic were awarded the South Bank Sky Arts Award for their performance of Mahler's Eighth Symphony; the Hallé have previously won the South Bank Show Classical Music Award for collaborations with the BBC Philharmonic, the RNCM and the CBSO.

In 2003 the Hallé launched its own CD label: its recordings of Wagner's Götterdämmerung, and Elgar's Violin Concerto with Thomas Zehetmair have both won Gramophone Awards.

Elder, Sir Mark

Sir Mark

Sir Mark Elder is Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra, and one of Britain's most successful conductors. He works regularly with the world's leading symphony orchestras, and enjoys particularly close associations with the London Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.  He has been principal guest conductor for the CBSO, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the London Mozart Players. Mark Elder has for many years conducted at the BBC Proms, and has twice let the internationally televised Last Night.  His other television works include films on the lives of Verdi and Donizetti.

As Music Director of the English National Opera, he led the company on successful tours of the USA and Russia, attracting international acclaim.  He appears regularly in all the major opera houses of the world, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera New York, and the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich.

In 2003 the Hallé launched it's own recording label, and the first releases, under Mark Elder's direction, have met with great critical acclaim.  He has won an Olivier award for his work at ENO, and was the Royal Philharmonic Society's Conductor of the Year in 2006.

Phillips, Jamie


Assistant Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra and their youngest ever assistant conductor at 22 years old, Jamie Phillips first attracted international attention as the youngest competitor in the 2011 Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors when he reached the semi-finals whilst still a student at the University of Manchester and Royal Northern College of Music.  He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2013, conducting the Camerata Salzburg in concert with tenor Ian Bostridge.

He has recently made debut appearances with the Basel Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Hamburger Symphoniker, and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and has conducted the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Ulster Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, and the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg.
Phillips is Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra with whom he made  his and the orchestra's debut at The Sage Gateshead in July 2013, and they  toured together to Germany in summer 2014. He is heavily involved in many of the Hallé's education programmes and concerts; last season he conducted 14 schools concerts with the orchestra, seen by 20,000 children from across the North West. Phillips's successful time with the Hallé Orchestra has resulted in his contract as Assistant Conductor being extended until the end of the 2014-15 season.

Jamie Phillips is a committed advocate of new music, and is the founder and principal conductor of the Birmingham Festival Orchestra, conducting concerts each season including repertoire such as Richard Strauss's Ein Heldeneleben and Mahler's Sixth Symphony.

Image Credit: 
Russell Duncan

Hallé Youth Choir

Hallé Youth Choir

The Hallé Youth Choir was established in 2003 and is recognised as one of the leading mixed-voice youth choirs in the country. The Youth Choir rehearses weekly during term-time on Sunday afternoons and membership is for talented young singers across the North West region, aged 13-19 years. As well as appearing with the Hallé and a variety of other ensembles, the Youth Choir also performs independently. Each summer, members enjoy a residential course and tour with visits in recent years to Italy, Dublin, Belgium, Scotland and Paris.


Since its creation the Youth Choir has covered a wide range of diverse repertoire. Highlights from the 2015-16 season included Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms at The Bridgewater Hall with Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic, and opening the Hallé’s Dvorák Festival with some little known Moravian Duets. The Youth Choir also performed Vaughan Williams’ Sancta Civitas and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius at the 2015 BBC Proms.


The Youth Choir has taken part in several recording projects on the Hallé’s own label including A Christmas Celebration, Colin Matthews’ Crossing the Alps and the Gramophone award-winning recording of Elgar’s The Apostles. The Youth Choir sang on Elbow’s album ‘Build a rocket boys’ and subsequently performed with the Manchester band on ‘Comic Relief’ and ‘Later … with Jools Holland’.

The Hallé Concerts Society is very grateful to Help Musicians UK, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Oglesby Charitable Trust, The Radcliffe Trust and many individual benefactors for their continued support of the Youth Choir.

The Manchester Grammar School Choir

The Manchester Grammar School Choir

The Manchester Grammar School Choir comprises boys from the ages of eleven to eighteen. Many of the boys involved are also talented instrumentalists, playing in other school and youth ensembles. The choir numbers approximately seventy boys. Over the past few years the choir has visited France, Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Canada and Holland to give concerts, has performed on British radio and television, and sung with both the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras. It has featured in recent performances in school of Mozart’s Requiem, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, and Britten’s War Requiem and performs a wide variety of repertoire regularly at school concerts, and in Manchester Cathedral and the Royal Northern College of Music.

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Hallé Youth Choir

The Manchester Grammar School Choir
Jamie Phillips conductor
Sir Mark Elder conductor

Tarik O'Regan's title work A Celestial Map of the Sky, here performed by a children's and youth choir with the Hallé, is a vibrant composition with propulsive, syncopated rhythms contrasting darker moments of reflection. The piece is inspired by two woodcuts engraved by German polymath Albrecht Dürer in 1515, which are amongst the oldest known printed European star charts of the northern and southern celestial hemispheres.

A deep-rooted interest in North African traditional music, shaped in part by Tarik’s Algerian heritage, is integrated into two of the orchestral works on this album, which are infl uenced by and named after Algerian folk music forms: Raï and Chaâbi.

First heard at the BBC Proms, Latent Manifest is an ingenious expansion of a single gesture from a Bach violin sonata, magnified to create an entire universe of orchestral colour. To close the album, Fragments from Heart of Darkness is a compelling orchestral reworking of thematic material from O'Regan's chamber opera Heart of Darkness, and is based on the novel of the same name by Joseph Conrad.

The bonus download-only track, Now fatal change, for countertenor and violin, is a reworking of material found in Chaâbi and is set to the same text by Nahum Tate that Purcell used for Tell me, some pitying angel.

This is Tarik's first album dedicated to his orchestral works.


Watch Tarik's interview with Jamie Phillips here.

Watch Dirty Robber's music video for 'A Celestial Map of the Sky' here.


‘[A] splendid and highly recommended programme of music.’ Composition Today

'Luminous beauty ... glows with jewel-like warmth' The Guardian ★★★★

'A Celestial Map of the Sky marks itself as a special project in O'Regan's catalog ... Recommended.' Sequenza 21

'This is a good sampling that shows the range of O'Regan's work; performed by the venerable Hallé Orchestra, these would seem pieces that are soon to enter a great many orchestral and choral repertories. Highly recommended'

‘Illuminating with passion and precision the bright colours of O’Regan’s immensely enjoyable and refreshing sound world.’ Gramophone Magazine

'A whorl of vivid orchestral colour and sizzling rhythms’ Limelight Magazine

‘An engaging introduction to O’Regan’s open-hearted Britten-meets-Copland idiom’ BBC Music Magazine

Performances and sonics are outstanding’ American Record Guide

‘The lively, dancing energy that sooner or later erupts in all these works is infectious and appealing.’ Records International


With thanks to The Hinrichsen Foundation for supporting NMC’s Hallé Series through its New Initiatives programme.

NMC is grateful for the support of the Hallé in making this recording.

This recording has been supported by a grant from the RVW Trust made in memory of the Trust’s former Chairman, the late Michael Kennedy CBE – a life-long supporter of the Hallé, becoming its historian and Vice-President.


Latent Manifest, Raï, Chaâbi and Fragments from Heart of Darkness were recorded on 23 & 24 July 2015 at Hallé St Peter’s, Ancoats, Manchester.

DAVID LEFEBER Recording Engineer & Producer


Celestial Map of the Sky was recorded on 16 April 2015 at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.

STEVE PORTNOI Recording Engineer & Producer

Novello & Co. Ltd
Catalogue number:
NMC D220
Release Date:
24 February 2017