Chamber orchestra founded in Manchester in 1972 under auspices of BBC Radio Manchester. Maximum strength 38 players. Became autonomous organization in 1979. Main series in Manchester but plays throughout North West of England and has visited France, Norway, and Hong Kong. Prin. conds.: Frank Cliff 1972–7; Szymon Goldberg 1977–80; Manoug Parikian 1980–4; Nicholas Braithwaite 1984–91; Nicholas Kraemer 1992–5; Sachio Fujioka 1995–2000; Douglas Boyd from 2000. London début 1983, cond. Braithwaite (Croydon 1976, cond. Goldberg). Played for opera at Buxton Fest.