In the year of their 75th birthday, London Mozart Players (LMP) reveal the concerts in their 23/24 season. With concerts at Fairfield Halls, where the orchestra is Resident, Central and South London and the South East, the season celebrates LMP’s history while reflecting on how the orchestra has developed its artistic and community-based work over the years.
Flynn Le Brocq, LMP Chief Executive, commented:
“As we celebrate 75 years of music making, we’re using this season to look back on our past and particularly on our historic connection with Croydon. The Launch of the London Borough of Culture in 2023 gave us a chance to re-establish ourselves firmly in the local community and further develop our partnership with Fairfield Halls and we’re looking forward to another year of adventurous and exciting programmes.
Jonathan Bloxham, LMP Conductor-in-Residence and Artistic Advisor, commented:
“I am thrilled to share the 23/24 season with our audiences today – a programme that celebrates our wonderful musicians and the impressively wide range of work that LMP is known for. In this birthday season, it is exciting to welcome so many top soloists to share the stage with us, many of whom have a long-standing relationship with the ensemble. This season is extra special for me as I begin my first full year as Conductor-in-Residence and Artistic Advisor – I can’t wait to be back on stage with LMP in the Autumn!”
LMP’s season opens with Story of the Fair Field (Saturday 7 October 2023, Fairfield Halls), featuring Matilda Lloyd, one of LMP’s Education Ambassadors, as the soloist for Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E flat. The live narrator and music in this concert, which includes Malcolm Arnold’s inaugural composition for the opening of Fairfield Halls in 1962, The Fair Field, traces through Fairfield Halls’ history as a bustling medieval fair and LMP’s history as an orchestra set up to play Haydn and Mozart.
Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason joins LMP again, after performing with them in 2021, to perform Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No.1 in Beethoven and Mendelssohn (Friday 3 November 2023, St John’s Smith Square). Jonathan Bloxham also conducts the orchestra through Beethoven’s Symphony No.5, Anna Clyne’s Stride and Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten.
Isata Kanneh-Mason commented:
“Performing with LMP is always something I look forward to and this next season is no exception when I’m thrilled to be playing Mendelssohn’s brilliant Piano Concerto No1. It’s an immediately engrossing work with its explosive start and wonderfully captivating melodies threaded through the flamboyant piano part – I can’t wait to start playing it to a live audience!”
In the leadup to Christmas, LMP present A Very Croydon Christmas in partnership with Fairfield Halls (Friday 8 December 2023, Fairfield Halls), featuring a festive selection of music with local choirs and performers taking to the stage.
Mozart: The Mixtape (Saturday 10 February 2024, Fairfield Halls) celebrates LMP’s birthday with a recreation of the Mozart’s ‘playlist’ concert from 1783. Pianists Imogen Cooper and Martin James Bartlett and soprano Anna Prohaska join LMP as the soloists for this concert. This concert will also include a selection of short videos which reflect on LMP’s legacy and look forwards to their future.
Imogen Cooper commented:
“My history with LMP goes back a long way – I won the Mozart Memorial Prize, now revived, in the late 60s, which lead me to many wonderful concerto performances with Harry Blech; I could safely say that my early Mozart performing experience came almost solely through this collaboration, and I learned a lot from it. Happily the association continued with Jane Glover, with whom I now play regularly in the US. So LMP has been only a source for the good, and I am happy to be playing with them again – not least the gorgeous K415 in C major!”
Tasting Notes, LMP’s musical wine tasting experience, returns to St John’s Smith Square with three dates this season (11 October 2023, 16 February 2024, 4 April 2024). In each event, LMP will pair a selection of wines with music for string quartet, accompanied by lively talks from a wine expert and LMP Leader, Simon Blendis, followed by live jazz music in the Crypt.
Continuing his 48-year-long relationship with LMP, Howard Shelley returns for another series of Mozart Explored at St Paul’s Knightsbridge (January 2024-May 2024). Howard directs the orchestra from the piano through Mozart’s final five Piano Concertos (No.23 – No.27), preceding each Concerto with an insightful talk about the music.
LMP’s community residencies in in Upper Norwood and the South East coast continue in this season. The winning composer of LMP’s new award, the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Prize, will have their work performed as part of Music Through the Ages (Saturday 27 January, St Johns, Upper Norwood). The prize, which is part of LMP’s Equal Play campaign, has been created to support young composers from underrepresented backgrounds.
Other concerts in LMP’s Upper Norwood series include a children’s concert, The Musical Adventures of Stan the Dog & Mabel the Cat (Saturday 8 June 2024, St John’s, Upper Norwood), and Eleanor Alberga’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Musical Revolting Rhyme (Saturday 6 April 2024, St John’s, Upper Norwood).
LMP and Create Music, the lead partner of the Music Education Hub in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex, work together to deliver education projects in the South East. Students from Create Music perform alongside LMP in Christmas Crackers with LMP (Thursday 14 December 2023, De La Warr Pavilion) and Marvellous Maestros includes a selection GCSE set-works to help local students prepare for their exams (Friday 22 March 2024, De La Warr Pavilion).
Full details of the season can be found on LMP’s website.