BBC Philharmonic (1922-present)

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

BBC Philharmonic (1922-present)

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • BBC Northern Orchestra

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



The BBC Philharmonic (1922-present) is a national British broadcasting symphony orchestra and is one of five radio orchestras maintained by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The Philharmonic is a department of the BBC North Group division based at MediaCityUK, Salford. The orchestra's primary concert venue is the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. The 2ZY Orchestra was formed in 1922 for a Manchester radio station of the same name. It gave the first broadcast performances of many famous English works, including Elgar's Dream of Gerontius and Enigma Variations and Holst's The Planets. The orchestra was part-funded by the BBC and renamed the Northern Wireless Orchestra in 1926. When the BBC Symphony Orchestra was established in London in 1930, the new Corporation cut its regional orchestras' funding. The Northern Wireless Orchestra was downsized to just nine players, and renamed the Northern Studio Orchestra. Three years later the BBC reversed its decision and maintained a full orchestra again. This was the beginning of the orchestra in its present form. It rehearsed and broadcasted from Milton Hall, Deansgate, Manchester. The name of the orchestra was changed to the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra. Following a labour dispute in 1980, the orchestra received a vote of confidence from the BBC in 1982. The BBC expanded the orchestra and changed its name to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

S.Wickham (2003), J.Fitton (2005), Natasha Dolg (2021)




Maintenance notes

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