London Philharmonic Orchestra announces 2023/24 season concerts and community activity in Brighton, Eastbourne and Saffron Walden
The Orchestra is Resident at Brighton Dome, Saffron Hall and Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre, where it is celebrating its 60th anniversary this season
The London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) is proud to have residencies along the South Coast at Brighton Dome and Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre as well as in Essex at Saffron Hall. Today the Orchestra announces its 2023/24 season concerts and community activity, including celebrating 60 years as Resident Orchestra at the Congress Theatre.
The Orchestra’s mission is to share the wonder through the power of orchestral music both within and beyond the concert hall, with the communities we serve. This season, the Orchestra is thrilled to be presenting 14 concerts across the residencies as well as partnering with local community groups and music education hubs Create Music (Brighton & Hove and East Sussex) and West Sussex Music (West Sussex), to work together to offer musical opportunities for young people.
During the past 60 years, the Orchestra has enjoyed performing for the people of Eastbourne. The first concert was on 23 September 1934, just two years after the Orchestra was established, and founder Sir Thomas Beecham conducted a programme of Rossini, Handel, Beethoven, Wagner and Borodin. Since then, the Orchestra has played over 350 concerts, including during the Second World War, performing much loved repertoire with many soloists and conductors soloists and conductors.
To mark this milestone, the LPO is performing this season with major artists including Chloë Hanslip, Randall Goosby and Gemma New,as well as putting the people of Eastbourne at the centre by expanding its community and education work in the area through partnering with the local music education hub and schools.
The 2023/24 season opens with Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage before Chloë Hanslip performs the composer’s Violin Concerto. The concert ends with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, conducted by Alessandro Crudele [24 September 2023].
A month later, one of the inaugural LPO Fellow Conductors, Charlotte Politi, leads the Orchestra in Weber’s Overture to Der Freischütz, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Samson Tsoy and Brahms’s Symphony No. 3[22 October 2023]. The Fellow Conductors scheme exists to promote diversity and inclusivity in the classical music industry by developing two outstanding early-career conductors from backgrounds currently under-represented in the profession.
The LPO’s Principal Clarinet Benjamin Mellefont is the soloist in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, the central work in a concert bookended by Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, conducted by Bertie Baigent [26 November 2023]. Edward Elgar found inspiration for his Cello Concerto in the Sussex Downs, here performed by winner of the 2012 BBC Young Musician competition Laura van der Heijden. Conductor Gabriella Teychenné opens her concert with Smetana’s Overture to his opera The Bartered Bride and closes it with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 [14 January 2024].
Kahchun Wong conducts the Orchestra and Francesca Dego in Brahms’s Violin Concerto, followed by Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition [11 February 2024]. The season closes with two pieces by Mozart – Ballet Musicfrom Idomeneo and his Violin Concerto No. 3, performed by soloist Randall Goosby. Conductor Gemma New rounds off the performance with excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet [24 March 2024].
The LPO is excited to bring its BrightSparks schools’ concerts to Eastbourne for the first time. These performances are an opportunity for Key Stage 2 children to experience the thrill of hearing a full orchestra, possibly for the first time [9 May 2024]. The concert includes free resources and a prior workshop for teachers, as well as a longer creative project with two primary schools in the area. More details will be shared with schools in the autumn term, with booking opening in the spring.
This season, the Orchestra is also launching LPO Music Makers with two Eastbourne schools, a new project for Key Stage 2 children and teachers inspired by the music and musicians of the LPO. Encouraging a lifelong love of music begins in the classroom and the aims of LPO Music Makers are to build teachers’ confidence teaching music in school, inspire school communities through close-up access to world-class musicians, enable children’s musical skills and knowledge, and support schools in embedding music into their wider culture.
With the local music education hub, Create Music, young musicians will have unique opportunities to connect with the LPO on concert days, including a pre-concert event at the opening concert of the season. As well as this, the LPO runs Overture days in school holidays: fun orchestra taster days which allow 11–14 year old instrumentalists to play side-by-side with LPO players, receive feedback about their musicianship and perform to family and friends.
In addition, the Orchestra is building relationships with other local partners, with several exciting projects in the pipeline; these will be announced in due course.
Priority booking if booking all 6 public concerts: Tuesday 13 June
General on sale: Tuesday 20 June
The season begins with two works by Mozart; his Overture from The Magic Flute and the Horn Concerto No. 4 with LPO Principal Annemarie Federle as the soloist. After the interval, James Henshaw leads the Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 [15 October 2023]. This concert will be preceded by a fanfare performed by musicians from Create Music, the local music education hub in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex, as well as a free all-age audience workshop exploring the music they are about to hear.
Dvořák’s Carnival Overture opens the next concert, with the second inaugural Fellow Conductor, Luis Castillo-Briceño. Joining him for Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante are violinist Benjamin Baker and violist Jordan Bak; Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 closes the evening [4 November 2023]. West Sussex Music will also give a pre-concert performance which includes an opportunity to meet LPO artists.
The Mendelssohn and Schumann families are the centre of conductor Natalia Ponomarchuk’s concert. Fanny Mendelssohn’s Overture in C major sets the scene before Alexander Melnikov takes to the stage for Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto. After the interval, the attention turns to the men of the families. The Orchestra performs Robert Schumann’s Introduction and Concert Allegro and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (Scottish) [20 January 2024]. The following month, Francesca Dego is the soloist in Brahms’s Violin Concerto and conductor Kahchun Wong leads the Orchestra in Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition [10 February 2024].
The Orchestra is thrilled to be working with local music education hubs Create Music (Brighton & Hove and East Sussex), and West Sussex Music to provide high quality and meaningful experiences for young musicians in the area during the season. In addition to collaborating on pre-concert performances at Brighton Dome, we will also run an Overture day in the West Sussex area, and are developing plans with local partners, including Creative Waves and Highdown Gardens, that we look forward to sharing in due course.
General on sale: Tuesday 13 June
When performing at Saffron Hall, the LPO and Saffron Hall Trust collaborate to regularly weave in activities engaging local young musicians. Prior to each concert this autumn, groups will be invited to meet the Orchestra and learn about all aspects of being a professional musician, before attending the concert.
The rhythms, dances and melodies of central and eastern Europe set the scene for the LPO’s concerts at Saffron Hall this season. Christian Tetzlaff performs Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 before Principal Conductor Edward Gardner conducts the Orchestra in Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7. Beethoven’s Egmont Overtureopens the concert [29 September 2023].
To help celebrate the Saffron Walden Choral Society’s 10th anniversary, the LPO and conductor Jonathan Bloxham join with them in a concert of popular music for Christmas. Featuring traditional carols such as The First Nowell and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentleman alongside orchestral works including Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Handel’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus’from Messiah, there will also be audience participation and some surprises along the way [17 December 2023]. The rest of the season will be announced in due course.
Players from the LPO’s Foyle Future Firsts programme also participate in Saffron Hall and Anglia Ruskin University’s partnership project Together in Sound; free interactive music therapy groups for those living with dementia and their companions. The programme focuses on joint music-making and listening with the goal of supporting communication, relationships, and increasing quality of life through a collaborative group process.
There are opportunities to sing, play and listen to live music together, with weekly sessions led by music therapists and visiting professional musicians from Saffron Hall. The 10-week groups conclude with an informal sharing and celebration with friends and family. The LPO’s Foyle Future Firsts programme bridges the transition between education and the professional platform for outstanding early-career orchestral musicians.
Tickets are already on sale https://lpo.org.uk/whats-on/saffron-walden/