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.

Currie, Colin


From his earliest years Colin Currie has pioneered new music for percussion. He was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award in 2000 for his inspirational role in contemporary music-making and received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2005. Past commissions have included works by composers such as Simon Holt, Kurt Schwertsik, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Jennifer Higdon and Alexander Goehr.

Currie has also had the privilege of commissioning a new work from Elliott Carter - the double concerto, Conversations, premiered with Pierre-Laurent Aimard at the 2011 Aldeburgh Festival. He later premiered a new longer version Two Controversies and a Conversation with the New York Philharmonic/Robertson in June 2012. Upcoming commissions include new works by Nico Muhly, Steve Reich, James MacMillan and Louis Andriessen.

In 2011 Currie was appointed Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre, a role which allows him to develop new relationships with artists and ensembles across a variety of art forms, as well as take part in collaborative and educational projects. His dynamic percussion ensemble The Colin Currie Group received critical acclaim for its performances of Steve Reich’s Drumming; following sell-out UK performances, the group made its international debut in 2012 at Tokyo Opera City, Japan.

Currie’s critical acclaimed recordings include Rautavaara’s Incantations with the Helsinki Philharmonic (Ondine) and MacMillan’s Veni, Veni, Emmanuel with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic (Challenge Classics), conducted by the composer.

Image Credit: 
Marco Borggreve/ Intermusica

Hanslip, Chloë


Chloë Hanslip (b. 1987) has already established herself as an artist of distinction on the international stage. Prodigiously talented, she made her BBC Proms debut in 2002 and her US concerto debut in 2003, and has performed at major venues in the UK (Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall), Europe (Vienna Musikverein, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Paris Louvre and Salle Gaveau, St Petersburg Hermitage) as well as Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Arts Space in Tokyo and the Seoul Arts Centre.


Chloë studied for ten years with the Russian pedagogue Zakhar Bron. She has also worked with Christian Tetzlaff, Robert Masters, Ida Haendel, Salvatore Accardo, and Gerhard Schulz.


She plays a Guarneri del Gesu 1737.


Simon Holt - a table of noises

a table of noises
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Chloë Hanslip violin
Colin Currie percussion
Nicholas Collon conductor


This fourth, full-length album of music by multi award-winning composer Simon Holt on NMC showcases his highly narrative orchestral compositions. His violin concerto witness to a snow miracle – here performed by the prodigiously talented Chloë Hanslip – depicts the story of the life, and particularly gruesome death, of St Eulalia of Merida. From the initial, frenzied cadenza in the solo violin we get a sense of the torment and horror the saint suffered at the hands of the Romans: her flesh torn with hooks, flames applied to the wounds, and her body buried in hot coals. A blanket of snow fell on her ashes, at which point she was declared a saint.

Holt's other award-winning concerto on this album is a much more upbeat and quirky affair. Written for and performed on this recording by one of the world's finest percussionists, Colin Currie, a table of noises introduces us to Holt's taxidermist great uncle Ashworth, a kind of maverick scientist-cum-collector. Currie says "this percussion concerto exuberantly tears up the manual on how to approach the medium and I am thrilled with the idiosyncratic, adventurous results". The soloist is seated on a cajon (a box-shaped instrument often used in flamenco), and apart from the xylophone and glockenspiel, all the other instruments are laid out on a table in front of the soloist; hence the title. Each brief movement has a descriptive title (eg. a drawer full of eyes (discovered by Holt’s mother in Ash’s bedroom tallboy and Skennin’ Mary (a neighbour with a glass eye that spun when she became angry) and is linked by five “ghost” orchestral interludes.

The short, dazzling, orchestral work St Vitus in the kettle was commissioned by BBC National Orchestra of Wales during Holt's tenure as Composer-in-Association (2008-2014). The grisly end for this saint was a cauldron of boiling hot lead!



'One of Simon Holt's finest achievements to date ... Unreservedly recommended' The Guardian ★★★★★

‘Like good poetry, it reveals itself in quiet, unhurried contemplation’ Classical Iconoclast

'Affectionate, quick-witted [and] sometimes haunting' Financial Times

Witness to a Snow Miracle is for my money the greatest violin concerto of the past 30 years’ The Telegraph

'Imagine The Sorcerer's Apprentice given a radical overhaul by Xenakis, factor in a healthy measure of Lancastrian humour, and you'll be somewhere in the vicinity of Holt's workshop.' The Wire

‘Full of eccentric wit and humor’ 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 and the RVW Trust in making this recording.




a table of noises and St Vitus in the kettle were recorded on 29 July 2014; witness to a snow miracle was recorded on 9 November 2015. All at Hallé St Peter’s, Ancoats, Manchester

DAVID LEFEBER Recording Engineer & Producer

Chester Music
Catalogue number:
NMC D218
Release Date:
24 March 2017