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Sir John Barbirolli Conducting the Hallé Orchestra

© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Tameside Museums and Galleries Service: The Astley Cheetham Art Collection

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The electric lighting shown in this work casts shadows onto the musicians and the room seems cramped. Rutherford's choice of perspective allows the viewer to see the conductor from the musician's point of view. Barbirolli is bathed in the centre light and we can see the concentration on his face and his outstretched hand slightly blurred from movement.

Sir John Barbirolli stayed with the Hallé Orchestra until his death in 1970. The Orchestra was formed in 1857 and is the oldest professional orchestra in the United Kingdom. They are now based at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

Astley Cheetham Art Gallery



Sir John Barbirolli Conducting the Hallé Orchestra




oil on canvas


H 60.8 x W 84 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from the artist, 1985

Work type



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Astley Cheetham Art Gallery

Trinity Street, Stalybridge, Greater Manchester SK15 2BN England

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