The Hallé Orchestra is Britain's oldest professional orchestra, and is based in Manchester. It was founded by pianist Charles Hallé, and for a long time gave its concerts in the Free Trade Hall. In 1996 the orchestra moved into a new concert hall — the Bridgewater Hall, with improved facilities and acoustics. The orchestra was for many years conducted by Sir John Barbirolli who brought it to prominence, and with whom they made many recordings. In September 2000, Mark Elder, CBE, took up the appointment of the orchestra's Music Director.