Bath Philharmonia is a family of musicians dedicated to making orchestral music part of life
for many people. Our home is the World Heritage City of Bath and we tour to many
different venues across the South West of England. Established at the turn of the
millennium, we have over 20 years’ experience of bringing people together musically to
share our core values of excellence, togetherness, inclusivity, sustainability and enjoyment.
We build relationships with our community partners to devise collaborative projects that
result in collective experiences in which everyone’s contribution counts. We have a ten-year
track-record in enabling Young Carers to make and perform their own music and in 2019,
were nominated for the RPS Award in the category of Impact. Over the past two seasons,
the Bath Phil Creative Learning Team has delivered over 20 projects involving over 1000
participants (in 13 schools and 6 social care settings) giving 25 performances to an audience
of over 8000 people.
Bath Philharmonia brings the live orchestral experience locally. We celebrate the talent of
some of the world’s greatest musicians and have developed friendships with soloists
including Nicola Benedetti, Sheku Kanneh Mason, Jess Gillam, Steven Isserlis, Peter
Donohoe and Steven Hough. As a flexibly sized orchestra, we introduce a diverse orchestral
repertoire to our audiences.
In our Season prior to Covid-19, Bath Philharmonia performed 20 concerts to over 12,000
people and reached many more through broadcasts and recordings. Our developing
discography was recorded at Abbey Road and Real World Studios with works by
contemporary British composers including Paul Carr, Steven Faux, Judith Bailey and George
Jason Thornton is the Music Director of Bath Philharmonia. He has conducted orchestras throughout the UK, Europe, America and the Far East, including the RPO, London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Jykasyla Sinfonia (Finland) and the Kaposvar Symphony Orchestra (Hungary).
Jason grew up in the West Midlands and was the recipient of a free musical education courtesy of Sandwell Music Service. He switched viola playing for conducting at the age of 16, conducting various youth ensembles and forming Sandwell Sinfonia, his own orchestra inspired by collaborations with friends. Studies for a PGCE brought him to Bath where he formed Bath Philharmonia and since then has had an amazing time making music with everyone from local school children to some of the world’s finest musicians including Renee Fleming, Sir Willard White, Joseph Calleja, Nicola Benedetti, Jennifer Pike, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Jess Gillam, Peter Donohoe and Stephen Hough.
Jason is also a Community Music Leader, directing creative learning projects throughout the UK and abroad in numerous contexts, working with orchestras, schools, music hubs, festivals and venues. Jason currently leads the Bath Philharmonia Creative Learning Team; the only orchestral team to deliver a year-long programme of music making with Young Carers in the UK.
Jason has also been recently appointed Artistic Director of The Budleigh Music Festival in Devon.
Bath Philharmonia’s vision is to make orchestral music part of life for many people.
Performing concerts with the world’s greatest musicians and leading creative learning
projects across the UK, Bath Philharmonia inspires creativity; enhances wellbeing; reduces
isolation; and celebrates talent.
Our work is guided by our commitment to the following values:
Inclusivity – providing opportunities and support and exploring technology so that anyone can experience and create music whatever their background or circumstances
Excellence – performing and delivering high quality musical experiences
Togetherness – enabling collective experiences in which everyone’s contribution counts
Enjoyment – ensuring fun and entertainment are at the heart of our activities
Sustainability – sharing a love of orchestral music with future generations and safeguarding our environment