• Sir Simon Rattle conducts LSO at BBC Proms Sunday 30 August
  • Three orchestral concerts at LSO St Luke’s conducted by Sir Simon Rattle including Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle
  • A full programme of live and recorded concerts broadcast with a range of international media partners.
  • Lunchtime and drivetime concerts open to the public
  • LSO St Luke’s to become orchestra’s temporary performance base

The London Symphony Orchestra will return to live work in late August 2020, moving to LSO St Luke’s, newly equipped with state of the art facilities for live and recorded concerts until the reopening of the Barbican Hall.

Among the highlights of the programme this autumn are:

  • Sir Simon Rattle and LSO play live Prom on 30 August with guest artist Mitsuko Uchida
  • The first concert in LSO St Luke’s: Béla Bartók’s one act opera Bluebeard’s Castle conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, with soloists Gerald Finley (bass-baritone) and Karen Cargill (mezzo-soprano), filmed on Wednesday 2 September, for broadcast on LSO YouTube later in the autumn.
  • A full programme of live and recorded concerts broadcast with arrange of international media partners. Thirteen concerts for broadcast weekly in varied formats on YouTube, from 13 September, featuring amongst others, conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Antonio Pappano, Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth.  These will vary in length from 10 minutes to an hour, testing out audience reactions and engagement.
  • The world premiere Mark-Anthony Turnage’s LSO commission dedicated to the memory of his mentor Oliver Knussen; the UK premiere of George Walker’s Strands and works by Lili Boulanger, Betsy Jolas, Hannah Kendall, Kaiya Saariho, Sasha Siem and Elizabeth Winters
  • Eighteen lunchtime and drivetime concerts broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, open to live audiences at LSO St Luke’s
  • A Christmas sing at home concert conducted by Simon Halsey broadcast on 13 December.
  • LSO East London Academy will continue its programme online for the current group of young string players, and start the recruitment process for wind, brass and percussion sections for the next cycle.
  • LSO Discovery will add weekend community programmes to their existing digital projects.

LSO St Luke’s the LSO’s Music Education Centre – becomes temporary base for LSO performances, newly equipped by LSO Technical Partner Yamaha Professional Audio with state of the art sound and video installation allowing for the full range of the LSO’s programmes, including rehearsals, recordings, live streams, live concerts, workshops, the East London Academy and LSO Discovery education projects.

The LSO plans to return to the Barbican later in the autumn.

Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director said:

 “Audiences will be used to the LSO’s performing virtuosity, but in our new situation we have had to be quick on our feet and become virtuosos of programming! We realise how lucky we are to have LSO St Luke’s and we have moved at lightning speed to transform it into a modern filming and recording centre which can accommodate anything from chamber concerts to a medium sized orchestra.

It has been fascinating to put together programmes for all kinds of groups from 2 players up to nearly 70, and we have taken the opportunity to explore composers and performers that we have long wished to be part of our family. There is a new emphasis on music by female composers and also composers from ethnic minorities. I am particularly excited to give the UK premiere of George Walker’s Sinfonia number 4, Strands. He was the leading African-American composer up to his death aged 96 two years ago, and his music has been unaccountably neglected in Europe, despite its immense strength and integrity. We hope this will be just the start of a LSO exploration of his work.

There will be 14 orchestral concerts and a whole series of Friday lunchtime chamber concerts, and we feel blessed to be able to perform together once more after all these months. I would like to pay tribute to the orchestra and the entire organization for remaining so resourceful and typically positive throughout this difficult period, and I can’t wait to make music again.  It will seem like Feast after Famine.”

Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director added: “We are delighted to at last be able to get back fully to work. We are using this time to continue experimentation with our programmes and formats which we began with our small-scale pilot concerts across the summer. We intend to continue a bold mix between live and digital performance, making the best of the new facilities at LSO St Luke’s and laying the groundwork for a sustainable future reaching the widest possible audience. We continue to work with our colleagues at the Barbican to get back to offering audiences the true full symphony orchestra experience as soon as possible.”