LONDON, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra announced on Friday that it had acquired the largest collection of church bells of any orchestra in Britain.
One of the largest bells, dedicated to the orchestra's celebrated chief conductor Vasily Petrenko, will be among the whole set chimed for the first time during the orchestra's opening night concert of the new season on Sept. 19.
The purchase of the 14 bells has been funded by supporters of the orchestra, who in return for their support have had their names cast on to the bell they helped to purchase.
"The orchestra's Forever Bells project means the bells can be visited and heard by future family members down the generations, in the meantime giving glorious pleasure to listeners and musicians, and very importantly, enabling performances of works with real bells that were never before possible," a spokeswoman for the orchestra said.
The bells, made at the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry in Holland, feature Liverpool's iconic symbol, the liver bird, as well as the official flower of the county, sea holly.
At the Sept. 19 concert, the orchestra will perform Berlioz's famous Symphonie Fantastique with the correct bells used as originally specified by the composer.
One of the huge bells has been dedicated to Petrenko in gratitude for what will be 15 years at the helm when he steps down in July 2021.
Graham Johns, leader of the orchestra's percussion section, said: "I'm proud to say that in Liverpool, a UNESCO city of music and a city known for musical 'firsts,' we have added another one to the history books with our set of church bells."