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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 recent decades, 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 leaders 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. The London Symphony Orchestra annually presents more than sixty concerts at the Barbican Centre, which has been its permanent home since 1982. Residencies regularly take the musicians to Lincoln Center in New York, the Paris Philharmonie, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. They additionally give performances around the world: most recently, in May 2019, they toured to South America and made stops in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. For the 2019-20 season, Rattle will focus on works by Beethoven, Bartók, and Percy Grainger; guest conductors will include such figures as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Antonio Pappano, and Michael Tilson Thomas. The LSO attaches particular importance to innovative and broadly impactful programming for audiences of all ages and educational levels. Through these projects, which take place under the title “LSO Discovery” in St. Luke’s Church, the LSO reaches 65,000 listeners each season. These activities span 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 150 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.