2012 was an extraordinary year for the LSO. The Orchestra performed at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and gave the first BMW LSO Open Air Classics Concert in Trafalgar Square to an audience of over 10,000. At both the Olympics and Trafalgar Square the LSO was delighted to include in the Orchestra young musicians from East London who have been part of the LSO On Track scheme since 2008. During the summer the LSO also appeared at all of the major summer festivals in Europe.
The Orchestra celebrated the 100th anniversary of its first visit to the United States, the LSO being the first European orchestra to cross the Atlantic in 1912, and the 80th anniversary of Abbey Road Studios, where the LSO made the inaugural recording with Edward Elgar, and many landmark recordings and film soundtracks in the years since.
The Orchestra looks forward to another exciting season in 2013/14.
Valery Gergiev explores Berlioz and Scriabin
Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev and the LSO explore the music of Berlioz; in October and November they perform his Symphonie fantastique and Les nuits d’été with soloist Karen Cargill (31 Oct & 1 Nov 2013), Harold in Italy (1 & 12 Nov 2013) The Damnation of Faust (3 & 7 Nov 2013) and Romeo and Juliet (6 & 13 Nov 2013). All of Scriabin’s orchestral works will be featured by Gergiev and the LSO in March and April 2014. The LSO gave the first UK performance of Scriabin’s ‘Poem of Ecstasy’ in 1910, and they perform it on 30 March 2014 alongside the composer’s First Symphony and Liszt’s Piano Concerto No 2 with soloist Denis Matsuev. Scriabin’s Second Symphony, and his Prometheus, Poem of Fire are performed alongside Messiaen’s L’ascension on 10 April and on 13 April 2014, Daniil Trifonov is soloist in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 2. Messiaen’s Les offrandes oubliées and Scriabin’s Symphony No 3 ‘The Divine Poem’ complete the programme.
UBS Soundscapes: LSO Artist Portrait – Yuja Wang
Yuja Wang is the UBS Soundscapes: LSO Artist Portrait in the 2013/14 season. She is soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3 with conductor Jaap van Zweden (9 Feb 2014), Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No 2 with conductor James Gaffigan (13 Feb 2014) and Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto with Daniel Harding (20 Feb 2014). Yuja Wang performs a solo piano recital in the Barbican Hall on 16 February. The UBS Soundscapes: LSO Artist Portrait series has been a regular feature of the LSO’s season for several years and previous artists include Lang Lang, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Leonidas Kavakos and Viktoria Mullova.
Music alchemists: journeys with great conductors
The LSO will perform with a number of the world’s great conductors in the 2013/14 season. LSO President Sir Colin Davis conducts five concerts in 2013/14, with repertoire including Dvořák’s Fifth Symphony (19 Sep 2013), Seventh Symphony (5 Dec 2013) and Ninth Symphony (5 February 2014). Bernard Haitink conducts Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony (10 Oct) and 15th Symphony (15 Oct) in programmes which also feature Mozart Piano Concertos with soloist Emanuel Ax. LSO Principal Guest Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the Fifth symphonies of Tchaikovsky (12 Dec 2013) and Prokofiev (19 Dec 2013) and Sir John Eliot Gardiner Mendelssohn’s Symphonies Nos 3 (21 Jan 2014) and 4 (23 Mar 2014). Sir Mark Elder conducts the LSO in programmes of Mozart and Strauss (4 & 8 May 2014) and on 1 June Sir Simon Rattle conducts Brahms’ Symphony No 4, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with soloist Veronika Eberle making her LSO debut, and Henze’s Being Beauteous with soprano Anna Prohaska.
The LSO invites
Over the next three years the LSO is inviting a number of conductors to the podium to guest conduct them in repertoire synonymous with the Orchestra. The line-up in the 2013/14 season includes: established conductors new to the LSO but not to London, such as Daniele Gatti, Thomas Dausgaard and Jonathan Nott; two conductors well known to the Orchestra as violinists, Leonidas Kavakos and Nikolaj Znaider; and also James Gaffigan, Fabio Luisi and Jaap van Zweden.
In Simon Halsey’s first full season as LSO Choral Director, the Orchestra will present six concerts and two Singing Days with the London Symphony Chorus. Opening the season, Gianandrea Noseda conducts a concert performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto (15 Sep 2013), Valery Gergiev conducts Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust on 3 November, and Sir Colin Davis conducts Haydn’s Creation (12 Jan 2014). A singing workshop and informal performance of Haydn’s choral masterpiece on 4 January 2014 will be led by Simon Halsey. The world premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Symphony No 10, a choral symphony commissioned by the LSO for Sir Peter’s 80th Birthday, will take place on 2 February 2014, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. Gergiev’s Scriabin series includes his Symphony No 1 ‘Choral’ (30 Mar 2014) and Beethoven’s Mass in C is conducted by Fabio Luisi on 22 June 2014, when singers can also participate in the final Singing Day of the season conducted by David Lawrence. Sounds British
From its early days the London Symphony Orchestra played with the leading lights of British music, and premiered their works. In 2013/14 the Orchestra will perform a cross-section of British music. Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem and the Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes are conducted by Gianandrea Noseda (29 Nov 2013), and Walton’s 1st Symphony is performed alongside Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Fanfare: Her Majesty’s Welcome, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano (30 Jan 2014). This work was commissioned by the LSO for the Queen’s Medal for Music concert in December 2012 which was attended by Her Majesty the Queen, who witnessed its world premiere performed by seventy young musicians from the LSO On Track programme alongside LSO wind, brass and percussion. Pappano will conduct Elgar’s Violin Concerto with soloist Maxim Vengerov alongside the world premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Symphony No 10 (2 Feb 2014), a choral symphony commissioned by the LSO to mark Sir Peter’s 80th Birthday. Another British world premiere, of Huw Watkins Flute Concerto, is performed by LSO Principal Flute Adam Walker and Principal Guest Conductor Daniel Harding (23 Feb 2014). Also, the LSO, under the baton of Daniel Harding, performs Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s Earth Dances (20 May 2014), as part of the Barbican’s Birtwistle at 80 series.
LSO Live is the most successful orchestra-owned label in the world. By the opening of the 2013/14 season, the LSO Live catalogue will have over 90 releases available globally on CD, SACD and online. The concerts in the 2013/14 season which will be recorded for LSO Live include the complete Berlioz cycle under Valery Gergiev and the start of Sir John Eliot Gardiner's Mendelssohn Symphonies series. LSO Live has recently diversified its offering with a filming partnership with European broadcaster, Mezzo. This will introduce the expansion into DVD and blu-ray , and the first such programmes will be released in 2013. Autumn 2013 LSO Live releases will include Valery Gergiev's Brahms and Szymanowksi Symphonies cycle on CD, and concert performances on DVD/blu-ray. Other LSO Live highlights will include conducting debuts on the label from Sir John Eliot Gardiner, with a recording of Oedipus Rex, and from Daniel Harding with a performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage orchestral works.
LSO Discovery is the Orchestra’s award-winning community and music education programme, which has grown to an unprecedented level of quality and engagement in its 23 years. Alongside the many successful strands of activity that continue in London and beyond 2013/14 brings a number of exciting new projects. With the appointment of Simon Halsey as the LSO Choral Director, singing will become an integral part of the Discovery Programme in the 2013/14 season. Simon will work with the London Symphony Chorus and Youth and Community choirs of LSO Discovery to create a centre of LSO choral excellence, as well as hosting open access singing days for the general public. During 2013/14 the LSO will develop a new digital resource. Users will be able to interact with video footage, effectively choosing how they wish to view the orchestra and various resources will help build upon this to create an immersive learning experience. In September 2013 the LSO and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama will launch their collaborative Masters programme in Orchestral Artistry. This highly distinctive and ground-breaking programme will place students alongside LSO players, international artists/conductors and Guildhall School professors in a context akin to a professional environment, producing fully rounded, excellent orchestral musicians who have acquired the skills, knowledge and capabilities to become part of the 21st century orchestra. From 2013/14 LSO On Track, the highly successful scheme which produced young musicians who performed at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012, will broaden to encourage participants to curate their own projects with the help of LSO Discovery, enabling them to utilise their creative skills.
LSO On Tour
The LSO has always toured extensively and today enjoys regular residencies at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, Paris’ Salle-Pleyel, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. In October the Orchestra will tour to Frankfurt, Bonn and Baden Baden with Principal Guest Conductor Daniel Harding and violinist Lisa Batiashvili, performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto alongside Stravinsky’s Firebird and Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain. Harding also tours to Spain with the same programme plus Schubert’s Symphony No 8 and Act 2 of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde in November 2013. Bernard Haitink conducts the LSO and pianist Emanuel Ax in programmes of Shostakovich and Mozart on 20 & 21 October at Avery Fisher Hall, New York. In 1912 the LSO was the first European Orchestra to tour to America and has had a regular residency at Lincoln Center since 1997. Valery Gergiev will take his Berlioz programmes to Brno, St Polten, Essen and Paris in November 2013, and the Scriabin concerts to Frankfurt, Dortmund, Freiburg and Paris in April 2014. In January 2014 Sir John Eliot Gardiner, pianist Maria João Pires and the LSO will visit Geneva, Paris and Lyon, performing Mendelssohn and Schumann. Daniel Harding will again travel with the Orchestra in February and March 2014 when they will embark on a major tour of China, Korea, Taiwan and India, with two concerts in Mumbai and one in Delhi. The LSO last visited India for a highly-successful trip to Mumbai in 2010 with Sir Colin Davis and Kristjan Jarvi, the Orchestra’s first visit to India since 1964.
BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts at LSO St Luke’s
LSO St Luke’s on Old Street is the home of LSO Discovery and has a thriving performance programme of chamber music, masterclasses and workshops designed to complement the LSO’s Barbican season. BBC Radio 3 has been recording Thursday lunchtime concerts for broadcast since LSO St Luke’s opened 10 years ago, and there are four series of concerts in the 2013/14 season. In September, October and November there is a series of Mozart chamber music, including the Wind Serenades in C, K 388 (3 Oct 2013) and in B flat, K361 ‘Gran Partita’ (17 Oct 2013), performed by London Winds, conducted Michael Collins. Also featured are the Lendvai Trio, pianist Leon McCawley and the Chiaroscuro String Quartet. Irish pianist Barry Douglas enjoys a close relationship with the LSO and performed in LSO St Luke’s Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle in 2011. He returns to LSO St Luke’s in January and February 2014 for a chamber music series together with a number of musicians he has worked with closely. Full details and repertoire to be announced. In February and March 2014 artists including violinist Nicola Benedetti, pianists Alexei Grynyuk, Christian Ihle Hadland and Cédric Tiberghien, cellist Leonard Elschenbroisch, and the Doric String Quartet, will perform in a four concert series of Schubert chamber works. Russian pianists Nikolai Demidenko, Boris Giltburg, Denis Kozhukin and Yevgeny Sudbin will perform Russian piano works, with music by Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich in the final lunchtime concerts of the season related to the LSO’s spring focus on Scriabin with Gergiev.
- As a postscript to this publication of the LSO’s press release announcing its 2013/14 Season, sadly Sir Colin Davis passed away on April 14, so the above concert details concerning him can only now be a reminder of what might have been