BMW Group and the London Symphony Orchestra [LSO] have today announced the renewal of their Principal Partnership which each year presents the BMW LSO Open Air Classics in the spectacular setting of London’s Trafalgar Square, free and open to everyone. The renewed partnership will support the Orchestra’s ambition to make great music accessible to as many people as possible, an ambition shared by BMW. The concert in Trafalgar Square is part of BMW Group’s open-air concert series – BMW Group partners with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin.

The LSO has confirmed that Sir Simon Rattle, who becomes the Orchestra’s Music Director in September, will lead the event from the Trafalgar Square stage from 2018.

Over the past six years, in partnership with BMW the concert in Trafalgar Square has enabled tens of thousands of new people to experience the LSO live in concert and has given hundreds of young Londoners the opportunity to perform alongside the LSO in front of capacity crowds. With access to great music at its heart, the renewal of this partnership will allow the LSO to build on this success, reaching a new and younger audience, and continuing its hugely valuable work in East London schools.

Supported by the Mayor of London, the annual concert takes the LSO out of the concert hall and right into the heart of London. In 2017, 50% of the audience was under 35, around a quarter had never experienced live classical music, and the vast majority of the audience – 93% – was completely new to the LSO.

Dr Ian Robertson, (Hon DSc) Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said, “Together with newcomers to classical music and seasoned open-air concert enthusiasts, we said thank you and farewell to Valery Gergiev in this sixth year of our partnership with the LSO. Now we are looking forward to continuing the BMW LSO Open Air Classics partnership with exciting, new ideas and Sir Simon Rattle on the conductor’s podium. We welcome him and look forward to next year’s concert in Trafalgar Square.”

Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the LSO, said, “The LSO believes that access to great music is for everyone, whatever their age or their background, and through this visionary partnership with BMW we reach an audience almost completely new to the Orchestra’s music-making. We are also able to give a platform to many of the talented young people we work with throughout the year in East London schools, and performing in the spectacular setting of Trafalgar Square is as thrilling for them as it is for the players in the Orchestra itself, and the hugely enthusiastic crowd the event attracts. I’m delighted that the renewal of our partnership will allow this great work to continue under our new Music Director Sir Simon Rattle from 2018, and I would like to thank BMW for their support.”


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