It is an extremely rare concert where the conductor positively encourages the audience to take photographs, particularly at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall. According to the Hallé’s percussionist, Riccardo Lorenzo Parmigiani, ours rates as one of the greatest concert halls on the planet when it comes to acoustics and sound quality, streaks ahead of the Royal Festival Hall in London and every other in this country. Having toured the world with the Birmingham-based orchestra, Ric believes our RCH sits up there with Hans Scharoun’s 2,440-seat Berlin Philharmonie, though you will be hard pressed to find mention of it in any ‘Best of’ listings, possibly because Nottingham is on nobody’s map of cultural hot spots and the external building is drab in the extreme.
This particular concert was a selection of American pieces played with foot-tapping gusto by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and was a sponsorship event on behalf of three cancer charities. The programme included Leonard Bernstein’s wonderful Symphonic Dances for West Side Story, a piece that calls for nine percussionists and everybody and anybody finger clicking.