On 2 November 2023, we acknowledged the contribution of a very special couple - Paddi and Peter Cunningham.

Peter Cunningham joined the Hallé as a violinist in 1971. He was a wonderful player, dedicated to his profession and greatly respected by his colleagues. He was also a dedicated teacher, and was at the forefront of developing the orchestra’s education programme in its early stages. Peter sadly died in 1993.

Peter’s wife, Paddi, took on Peter’s legacy through establishing the Peter Cunningham Memorial Fund. Over the last 28 years, Paddi has organised and hosted chamber concerts in her local church and church hall in Mellor. Hallé players have given their time to perform there, several volunteers have helped with the logistics, and all proceeds have supported the Hallé’s developing education programme.

Over the last 28 years, the Fund has provided exceptional support to the Hallé, contributing towards education initiatives such as:

  • Hallé for Youth concerts for schools, introducing thousands of school children to the orchestra for the first time every year;
  • In-school projects such as Adopt-a-Player, where school children get to work with an ‘adopted’ member of the orchestra and create their own response to the music;
  • The donation of a digital piano and a variety of classroom percussion instruments so every child can be involved in creative music projects; and
  • A state-of-the-art projector for The Bridgewater Hall, enabling us to offer a much more interactive experience with images, animations and close-up shots of the musicians as they perform.

Everyone at the Hallé would like to thank you, Paddi, for your vision, dedication and support for the benefit of so many children and young people.