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The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) was founded in 1904 as the first self-governing orchestra in England and soon won an outstanding reputation around the world. Over the course of its history, André Previn (1968–79), Claudio Abbado (1979–88), Michael Tilson Thomas (1988–95), Sir Colin Davis (1995–2007), and Valery Gergiev (2007–15) have served as Principal Conductors of the LSO. Sir Simon Rattle began his tenure as the new Music Director in 2017; Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth act as Principal Guest Conductors, Michael Tilson Thomas is Conductor Laureate, André Previn Conductor Emeritus. The London Symphony Orchestra annually presents more than seventy concerts at the Barbican Centre, which has provided its permanent home since 1982. Residencies regularly take the LSO to Lincoln Center in New York, the Paris Philharmonie, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. The musicians additionally give performances in other European music centers and Asia; most recently, in June 2018, they toured to Bangkok and seven Chinese cities. The 2018-19 season is being devoted to the focal theme of “Roots & Origins”; among the guest conductors are Philippe Jordan, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, and Sir Antonio Pappano. The LSO attaches particular importance to innovative and broad-based programming for audiences of all ages and educational levels. Each season the LSO reaches 60,000 people through its education and community programme LSO Discovery, which is based at the Orchestra’s venue LSO St Luke’s. These activities include family concerts, school projects, a collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the series “Discovery Days.” The Orchestra has its own label, “LSO Live,” which has released more than 100 recordings to date. These have garnered such distinctions as the Grammy Award, the Classical Brit Award, the Orphée d’or, and the German Record Critics’ Prize.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 3. September 1982, with Claudio Abbado conducting Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.