On Friday, I went to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra play at the Royal Festival Hall. It was my first experience of live classical music, and it wasn’t what I expected, but I found it really interesting to go and watch. I was surprised when I entered the concert hall that there were people sat behind the stage. I had not expected that. I liked watching the orchestra coming out, and sitting in a certain place with their instruments. I think I learnt a lot about how the orchestra is laid out.

After the orchestra came out and were in their seats, the conductor came out. There were different conductors for each piece. The conductor would shake hands with the first violin when he came out, and also at the end before he took a bow. The soloist also did this in the piece where there was a solo.

The orchestra played three pieces. I thought they might play more than this, as I thought three pieces would be over in no time. The first piece was a ballet by Maurice Ravel called Mother Goose. It tells the stories of a mixture of classic fairytales through music. I liked this piece because you could hear the story, and the orchestra used some of the instruments to represent birds, and other creatures from the fairytales.

The second piece was a concerto by Sergei Prokofiev. It was different to the first piece because it was mainly a violin solo with the orchestra playing in the background. I was surprised when the soloist came out and stood up, as I thought he would just sit at the front. I found in interesting to watch, as the soloist was not conducted by the conductor, but lead himself. He also moved with, and felt the music.

The final piece was a symphony by Igor Stravinsky. I liked listening to the changes in the mood of this piece as it was played.

I really enjoyed my first experience of classical music, and would definitely go to a classical music concert again.

Emma, Age 13

Emma attended an LPO concert at the Royal Festival Hall on 13th June 2008 where she saw and heard performances of Ravel's Mother Goose, Prokofiev's Violin concert no. 1 in D major, and Stravinsky's Symphony in C. On request her mother has just booked for them to go to another classical concert.