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Guide to the London Symphony Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle © Doug Peters | PA Wire

The London Symphony launches its 2018-19 season

Folk Roots – from British poetry to Czech and Slavic music – form a strong thread in the LSO's new season, along with Sir Simon Rattle's commitment to contemporary music. 
Leonard Bernstein rehearsing, 1990 © London Symphony Orchestra

Bernstein 100: the LSO’s tribute to a big-hearted man

The LSO celebrates Bernstein's genius with a series of concerts this led by newly installed Music Director, Sir Simon Rattle, and by Bernstein protégé, Marin Alsop.
March 2018
Evening performance
Matinee performance
© Ranald Mackechnie
© Ranald Mackechnie
« ...we were certainly treated to a bewitching opening, with Simon Rattle and the LSO's string section producing a tone so warm and shimmering as to transport you from northern winter to sunnier climes faster than a magic carpet. »
David KarlinBachtrack
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LondonDebussy and Beyond

Boulez, Bartók, Campbell, Stravinsky, Debussy
London Symphony Orchestra; François-Xavier Roth; Renaud Capuçon

Aix-en-ProvenceLondon Symphony Orchestra

Bartók, Stravinsky, Debussy
London Symphony Orchestra; François-Xavier Roth; Renaud Capuçon

LondonHalf Six Fix: Stravinsky and Debussy

Stravinsky, Debussy
London Symphony Orchestra; François-Xavier Roth


Beethoven, Shostakovich
London Symphony Orchestra; Gianandrea Noseda; Nikolai Lugansky

LondonSibelius' Fifth Symphony

Elgar, Giguère, Sibelius
London Symphony Orchestra; Susanna Mälkki; Daniel Müller-Schott

LondonHelen Grime première

Grime, Mahler
London Symphony Orchestra; Sir Simon Rattle

LondonTippett's The Rose Lake

Tippett, Mahler
London Symphony Orchestra; Sir Simon Rattle
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Gardiner and LSO make a welcome return

Sir John Eliot Gardiner © Sim Canetty-Clarke
The replication of the weekend’s triumph was cut short by a somewhat dimly executed Fourth Symphony, as violinist Faust stole the show. 
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Spellbinding Schumann from Gardiner and the LSO

Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducting the LSO in Essen © Sven Lorenz
With Gardiner’s eye for detail, the LSO triumph in a concert that marks the start of a new Schumann symphony cycle.
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The LSO in Brahms, Dutilleux and Ravel

Alina Ibragimova © Eva Vermandel
Lionel Bringuier and the LSO show off a dazzling palette of colours in works by Brahms, Dutilleux, and Ravel
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Energy and eloquence from Elder and the LSO in Elgar's Second Symphony

Sir Mark Elder © Benjamin Ealovega
In the sublime funeral march of the Larghetto Elder set a daringly slow tempo, producing a cumulative, sorrowing eloquence as each LSO section tossed its melodic tribute on to the passing cortège.
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Symphonic grandeur and two curious farewells from Elder and LSO

Sir Mark Elder © Benjamin Ealovega
A stirring account of Elgar’s First Symphony from Sir Mark Elder and the LSO, with a rare outing given to Janáček’s last orchestral work and Francesco Piemontesi polished in Bartók.
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Mahler 2 of operatic intensity from Bychkov

Semyon Bychkov © BBC | Chris Christodoulou
With this performance of Mahler's 'Resurrection' symphony, Bychkov has shown himself to be one of the composer's most interesting interpreters
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Essential and elusive Debussy from the LSO

François-Xavier Roth © Marco Borggreve
Oh, but the entire London Symphony Orchestra en fête is a dazzling aural spectacle – how on earth did we all remain in our seats when summoned by such Bacchic frenzy?
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The London Symphony Orchestra is bringing the greatest music to the greatest number of people. This is at the heart of everything that it does. This commitment to serve music and the people who love music is borne of a unique ethos developed over more than 100 years. Established in 1904 by a number of London’s finest musicians, the LSO is a self-governing musical collective built on artistic ownership and partnership. The Orchestra is still owned by its Members and has a signature sound emanating from the combined zeal and virtuosity of these 95 brilliant musicians who come from around the world; its music-making remains firmly at the centre of the Orchestra’s activities. The LSO is Resident Orchestra at the Barbican in the City of London, where it gives 70 symphonic concerts every year, and performs a further 70 concerts worldwide on tour. The Orchestra works with a family of artists that includes the world’s greatest conductors – Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director Designate, Gianandrea Noseda and Daniel Harding as Principal Guest Conductors, Michael Tilson Thomas as Conductor Laureate and André Previn as Conductor Emeritus. LSO Discovery, the Orchestra’s community and education programme based at LSO St Luke’s, brings the work of the LSO with all parts of society and engages with 60,000 people every year. The LSO reaches out much further with its own recording label – LSO Live, the first of its kind which launched in 1999 – and now streams its music to millions around the world.

Visit the LSO website for more information.