Page last updated at 12:36 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Orchestra's farewell to BBC Wales


The BBC National Orchestra of Wales' last rehearsal at BBC Wales

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales have been rehearsing for the final time in their studio at BBC Wales' home in Llandaff, Cardiff.

They are moving to new rehearsal and recording facilities in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay from January.

The new BBC Hoddinott Hall, named after the late composer Alun Hoddinott, will have seating for some 350 people.

The orchestra are rehearsing for a New Year's Day concert in Swansea.

BBC Hoddinott Hall will be open to the public on 22 January. Just under two weeks of celebrations will follow including concerts, recitals and broadcasts.

Mr Hoddinott, who died aged 78 in March, was linked with the orchestra for many years.

The new building alongside the WMC
The new home for the orchestra is alongside the Wales Millennium Centre

Construction work on the new facility began in April 2007 and it has offices, rehearsal space and a recording studio.

The orchestra has been based at Broadcasting House since 1967 but David Murray, director of the National Orchestra of Wales, said taking possession of its own hall would be a "unique and very special experience".

"With the new BBC Hoddinott Hall, we have a space where we can rehearse, record and achieve an almost chamber-like relationship with our audience," he said.

The orchestra will perform in the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, on Thursday.

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