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.

Wigglesworth, Ryan


In recent seasons Ryan Wigglesworth has appeared with orchestras and ensembles including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Britten Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Avanti!, Ensemble Modern and English Touring Opera. His repertoire stretches from the Baroque to the present day, with over forty premieres to date, including works by Birtwistle, Goehr and Carter. During the past year he made his second appearance at the BBC Proms, his debut at the Royal Opera House, appeared as pianist/director in performances of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17, and conducted Eugene Onegin at the Endellion Festival. Forthcoming concerts include a re-invitation to the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall, returns to the BBCSO and the Britten Sinfonia, and his debut with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchestra at the Philharmonie, Berlin.

As a composer, his recent triptych of works for the BBCSO have met with widespread critical acclaim. Sternenfall (2007); The Genesis of Secrecy (2009), commissioned by the BBC Proms and premiered by Sir Andrew Davis; and Augenlieder (2009), an orchestral song cycle written for soprano Claire Booth and premiered under the direction of the composer at the Barbican in November 2009. Augenlieder won the vocal prize at the 2010 British Composer Awards. His most recent work - A First Book of Inventions (2010) - was premiered by the composer with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in November 2010.Upcoming projects include a work for tenor Mark Padmore and the Berlin Philharmonic's Scharoun Ensemble, and a Violin Concerto for Gordan Nikolic and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, as part of his residency with the NCO and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra in Amsterdam.

Wigglesworth was educated at Oxford University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and between 2007-9 was a Lecturer at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College.

Image Credit: 
Benjamin Ealovega

Ibragimova, Alina


Born in Russia in 1985, Alina studied at the Moscow Gnesin School before moving with her family to the UK in 1995 where she studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and Royal College of Music. Alina's teachers have included Natasha Boyarsky and Christian Tetzlaff. She has been the recipient of awards including the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award 2010, Borletti-Buitoni Trust and a Classical BRIT, and was a member of the BBC New Generation Artists Scheme 2005-7.

With regular recital partner Cédric Tiberghien and in solo and chamber music Alina has appeared at venues including the Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Mozarteum, Musikverein, Carnegie Hall, Palais des Beaux Arts, Vancouver Recital Series, and at festivals including Salzburg, Verbier, MDR Musiksommer, Manchester International, Lockenhaus and Aldeburgh.

As soloist/director Alina has toured with the Kremerata Baltica, Britten Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Alina appears by kind permission of Hyperion Records.

Image Credit: 
Sussie Ahlburg

BBC Symphony Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930, and as the flagship orchestra of the BBC provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with at least a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights. Strongly committed to twentieth-century and contemporary music, it has given the premiere of more than 1,000 works by composers such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith, Holst, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and more recently has premiered BBC commissions by Simon Bainbridge, Jonathan Dove, Michael Nyman and Sir John Tavener among others. Its annual season of concerts as Associate Orchestra of the Barbican includes a weekend each January focusing upon a single composer from the twentieth or twenty-first century, most recently James MacMillan, Elliott Carter and Sofia Gubaidulina.

Jiří Bĕlohlávek took up the post of Chief Conductor in July 2006 and David Robertson was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in 2005. The BBC SO works frequently with Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis and Artist-in-Association John Adams. All concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a number are televised, giving the BBC Symphony Orchestra the highest broadcast profile of any orchestra in the UK. The BBC SO is committed to innovative education work, with ongoing projects including the BBC SO Family Orchestra and Music Intro, introducing families to concert-going.

The BBC SO has appeared on 34 of NMC’s CDs, including the best-selling recording of Elgar’s Third Symphony.

Walker, Adam


At the forefront of a new generation of wind soloists, Adam Walker was appointed principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2009 at the age of 21 and received the Outstanding Young Artist Award at MIDEM Classique in Cannes. In 2010 he won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award and was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society's Outstanding Young Artist Award.

An ambassador for the flute with a ferocious appetite for repertoire, Adam's recent concerto highlights include engagements with the BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Baltimore Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico, Seoul Philharmonic and the Malaysian Philharmonic. As a committed recitalist and chamber musician, recent highlights have taken Adam to the Wigmore Hall, LSO St. Luke's, De Singel, Musée du Louvre, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and the Delft, West Cork, Utrecht and Moritzburg Chamber Music Festivals.

Image Credit: 
Christa Holka

Gardner, Edward


Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic since October 2015, Edward Gardner has already led the orchestra on multiple international tours, including acclaimed performances in London, Berlin, Munich and Amsterdam and continuing his hugely successful relationship with Chandos Records.


Music Director of English National Opera for ten years (2006-15), Edward has an ongoing relationship with New York’s Metropolitan Opera where he has conducted productions of Carmen, Don Giovanni, Der Rosenkavalier and Werther. Elsewhere, he has conducted at La Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Opéra National de Paris; while opera-in-concert continues to be a part of his work with the Bergen Philharmonic, including an acclaimed Peter Grimes at the Bergen and Edinburgh International Festivals.

Image Credit: 
Benjamin Ealovega
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Alina Ibragimova violin
Adam Walker flute
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Edward Gardner conductor
Ryan Wigglesworth conductor


Welsh-born Huw Watkins is one of today’s leading composer-pianists and this album (his second for NMC Recordings) showcases his vibrant, lyrical and impeccably crafted orchestral writing.

Both the Flute and Violin Concertos were composed for soloists with whom he already had a close working relationship. Adam Walker is the principal flautist for the London Symphony Orchestra, who Watkins describes as having an 'amazing sound and control of his instrument'.

The delicate orchestration in the Flute Concerto allows the solo flute to take flight as it weaves in and out with skittish motifs.
Alina Ibragimova is the soloist in the Violin Concerto, premiered at the BBC Proms in 2010. The piece harnesses Ibragimova’s dynamic and intense, fiercely intelligent playing, switching from attacking virtuosity and molten lyricism, often in an instant. The result is dramatic and utterly compelling.

In this album's liner notes, Steph Power writes that Watkins has 'long seemed a symphonist in waiting, with a natural affinity for big-boned yet finely-wrought drama'. Cast in two movements, Huw Watkins’ Symphony does not strictly adhere to classical symphonic form. Rather, the composer interprets this great tradition through his development of ideas and use of the orchestra. The result is a thrilling, huge and percussive sound, brimming with excitement and energy.

Alina Ibragimova appears on this recording with kind permission from Hyperion Records.

Edward Gardner appears on this recording with kind permission from Chandos Records.








'Three scores uniting a powerful imagination and craft' The Sunday Times

lucid, intricately detailed and rewarding.MusicWeb International

beautifully crafted, intelligent works’ Planet Hugill

'he takes rapidly moving strands of sound and weaves them into inventive textures, producing quirky, sparkly effects' BBC Music Magazine

‘the music dances through a musical landscape full of light and shade … strongly recommended.’ Gramophone

‘It is not often that a new work comes along as beguiling as Huw Watkins’s Flute Concerto’ Financial Times ★★★★

‘Watkins’ music speaks with a distinctively recognisable voice’ Financial Times ★★★★

‘The flute darts hither and thither, as if blown about on the breeze, and the landscape over which it flies reveals exquisitely drawn pockets of beauty and expression’ Financial Times ★★★★

'Huw Watkins is a composer of finely-wrought scores building with individuality on a glorious past' Classical Source ★★★★

'A first-class release. (The) tapings are very impressive and the performances highly skilled and wholly dedicated' Classical Source ★★★★

'A fresh and modern interpretation of traditional form … Watkins stands apart from the crowd' American Record Guide

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The Hinrichsen Foundation

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



Colwinston Charitable Trust

NMC is especially grateful for the support of Jeremy Marchant and the Colwinston Charitable Trust in making this recording.


With special thanks to the Britten-Pears Foundation for supporting the commissioning of Symphony, and to the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, London Symphony Orchestra, and the Fidelio Charitable Trust, for supporting the commissioning of Flute Concerto.


Flute Concerto and Symphony were recorded at Hallé St Peter's on 4-6 September 2017

STEVE PORTNOI Recording Engineer

COLIN MATTHEWS Recording Producer

Violin Concerto was recorded live by the BBC at the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall on 17 August 2010

NEIL PEMBERTON Recording Engineer

ANN McKAY Recording Producer
(P) 2010 BBC
© 2018 NMC Recordings

Schott Music
Catalogue number:
NMC D224
Release Date:
21 September 2018