You are at: Rodewald Concert Society History

Bringing the best in Chamber Music to Merseyside




Rodewald plaque

The Rodewald Concert Society was formed in 1911 in memory of the celebrated benefactor and conductor in Liverpool Alfred E Rodewald (1861 – 1903). For many years the Society has been the premier organisation in Liverpool and on Merseyside responsible for bringing some of the finest International Chamber Music Groups to the region.    Notable in this endeavour were the opportunities extended to local audiences and chamber music supporters to hear Quartets such as the Amadeus, Smetana, Janacek and Melos as well as musicians such as Paul Tortellier and the Beaux Arts Trio.   Commissions of new works also featured among its other activities.

The Rodewald Concert Society has a wide remit to meet its role in provision of mainstream Chamber Music with Quartet Concerts, Piano recitals and other groups and ensembles.

While the Society suffered from a period of financial difficulty during the 1990s, the support and enthusiasm of chamber music lovers in Merseyside and its present Chairman, the Society was able to refocus its activities. While the Society remains an independent Charity, its close working relationship with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic during the start of the new century ensured it remained a part of completing the provision of a full range of musical performances for the benefit of the wider audiences drawn from the Merseyside area.

The Society also commissions new works. Recent performances of commissions from John McCabe and Emily Howard in recognition of its Centenary Year proved popular with music lovers. Special events were also held in January 2012 to mark the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Alfred Rodewald. An innovative concert also in 2012 by the Smith Quartet included electronic music. The concert, formed a part of Liverpool Hope University’s Cornerstone Arts Festival 2012.  Two new compositions were specially composed or the event by Ian Percy and Matthew Fairclough, combining string quartet with live electronics.

Chamber Music in Liverpool also has become firmly established in the wonderfully refurbished St Georges Hall Small Concert Hall. The concerts continue to be held in its intimate and acoustically fine environment. The smaller size of the hall meets the atmosphere needed for Chamber Music. Special events will also be held from time to time at the Philharmonic Hall, itself a fine concert hall designed and built in the 1930s but recently completely refurbished to provide some the best acoustic conditions of any hall in Europe. Some of the concerts may be recorded by the BBC for broadcasting on Radio 3.

For those interested in further historical archive material, the Society Archives are now held in the Liverpool Record office.

Click here for a direct link to the Rodewald Archives in the on-line catalogue: Liverpool Record Office Rodewald Concert Society

After the end of the Centenary Season in 2011-12, the provision of programming and organisation of concerts was passed to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. This has happened as a result of the difficulties faced by the Society in maintaining its full independence in times when future funding uncertainties, the successful close working with the Philharmonic and the establishment of a well supported programming series led the Committee to the pragmatic conclusion that continuing to promote a full programme was almost impossible into the future. Under the new arrangements, the Society continues to offer sponsorship towards special events such as concerts or particular artists and will also be involved in commissioning works as well as promoting concerts in its own right with other parties.


For further information, please email the Chairman.

This information was prepared by the Society. Page is maintained by the Webmaster

   © Rodewald Concert Society 2014 Webmaster Dr P H Dangerfield