London Chamber Orchestra (LCO) has announced the removal of its dress code for all performances, a move designed to promote inclusivity, equality and diversity within the organisation.

The news was announced on 26th October at Cadogan Hall, a performance that marked the opening night of the orchestra’s centennial season [as pictured by Stephen Hughes].

Managing Director Jocelyn Lightfoot comments: “Every musician who plays with LCO is hand-picked for their professionalism and skill. When our orchestra walks out on stage, we celebrate the individual personalities and backgrounds brought to the performance by those musicians. Each person is a unique and valued ingredient that contributes to a magnificent whole. 

A significant part of achieving this is removing the anonymity of a uniform or dress code. We encourage the musicians to reflect the culture they identify with and how they interpret the occasion for which they are performing. This will enable them to be free to perform authentically and enjoy the experience to the full. 

We urge our audience to reciprocate. It is crucial that we mirror the community that joins us at our live events and the beautiful variety of people that includes. We pride ourselves on sharing the experience of performing with our audience. This way we can celebrate, together as equals, the absolute joy of music making which grows from diverse individuals’ lives and experiences.”

The news comes as LCO unveils its plans to celebrate its centennial, which include performances across the capital, the appointment of Freya Waley-Cohen as Composer in Residence for the season, and the revival of LCO’s emerging composer scheme LCO New. Celebrations continue off stage with the release of several new recordings on Three Worlds Records, a new book that charts LCO’s distinguished history written by Jessica Duchen, and the release of an exclusive ‘LCO 100’ sparkling wine by Bluestone Vineyards.