London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra © Ranald Mackechnie
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) was founded in 1904 as England’s first self-governing orchestra and soon earned an outstanding international reputation. During the past several 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 helmed the orchestra. Sir Simon Rattle has served as Music Director since 2017; in 2024, Sir Antonio Pappano will take on the post. Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth are Principal Guest Conductors, and Michael Tilson Thomas serves as Conductor Laureate. The London Symphony Orchestra presents more than 70 concerts annually at the Barbican Centre, its permanent home since 1982. Residencies take it to the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, where a new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Innocence were on the program in the summer of 2021, and to the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara; it also makes regular guest appearances at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Philharmonie in Paris, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. The orchestra places special emphasis on innovative and broad-based programming for audiences of all ages and educational levels. Each season, it reaches 60,000 listeners through these projects, which take place at St. Luke’s under the title “LSO Discovery.” Activities include family concerts, school projects, a collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and “Discovery Days.” The orchestra has its own label, “LSO live,” which has released more than 100 recordings.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 3. September 1982, with Claudio Abbado conducting Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.