The London Philharmonic Orchestra announces 2023/24 London season

cid:image002.png@01D97691.15245B60

Key highlights:

  • The Music in You – a festival celebrating the creativity that is in us all and embraces all kinds of artistic expression and art forms including dance, music, theatre and audience participation as well as pieces for mobile phones and metronomes
  • Tania León’s inaugural season as Composer-in-Residence including a world premiere
  • Principal Conductor Edward Gardner opens the season with Mahler’s Symphony No.2 (Resurrection) and later in the season conducts Holst’s The Planets and Stravinsky’s Petrushka
  • Conductor Emeritus Vladimir Jurowski closes the season with the long-awaited conclusion of his Wagner Ring Cycle: Götterdämmerung
  • Principal Guest Conductor Karina Canellakis conducts Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4
  • We welcome the LPO’s two inaugural Fellow Conductors: Luís Castillo-Briceño and Charlotte Politi
  • New works by Daniel Kidane and Francisco Coll and UK premieres from Victoria Vita PoleváLuís Tinoco and John Williams
  • The LPO welcomes back Anne-Sophie MutterRenée FlemingRobin TicciatiPaavo JärviChristian Tetzlaff and Danielle de Niese, amongst others
  • Artists making their debut with the Orchestra include conductors Jonathon Heyward, Tianyi Lu and Oksana Lyniv, pianist Julian Joseph, accordionist João Barradas and organist Anna Lapwood
  • Three FUNharmonics family concerts, devised and curated especially for children aged 6 and above, as well as community projects, OrchLab and Crisis Creates, and Rising Talent programmes: LPO Junior Artists and Foyle Future Firsts
  • Opportunities to hear the Orchestra in different spaces outside its usual concert hall setting such as at St John’s Church, Waterloo and Battersea Arts Centre

Today the London Philharmonic Orchestra announces its 2023/24 London season, sharing the wonder of classical music at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, where it is a Resident Orchestra, as well as other venues around the city. Edward Gardner returns for his third season as Principal Conductor, opening with Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection). Principal Guest Conductor Karina Canellakis conducts three concerts whilst Conductor Emeritus Vladimir Jurowski closes the season with the long-awaited conclusion of his Ring Cyclewith Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.

The centrepiece of the season is a cross-arts spring festival: The Music in You. Curated by Gardner and Artistic Director Elena Dubinets, the Orchestra aims to demonstrate that creativity is in and for everyone. It will include premieres as well as collaborations with other art forms.

The Orchestra also welcomes its new Composer-in-Residence Tania León. In her first season in post, the Orchestra will perform three of her works including two premieres, and she will support the development of the next generation of music creators by mentoring the LPO Young Composers. The LPO’s inaugural Fellow Conductors, Luís Castillo-Briceño and Charlotte Politi,also begin their tenure. The 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.

Edward Gardner, Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra saysI’m thrilled to be back for my third season with this fantastic orchestra! We have the strongest of starts with Mahler’s great ‘Resurrection’ Symphony, a piece which shows off all the virtuosity and soul of the LPO and the combined choirs. During the season, we will also be enjoying the varied sound worlds of Mendelssohn, Holst, Sibelius, Stravinsky, and many more.

I’m a firm believer that everyone has creativity in them, and we’ll explore this in our spring festival, The Music in You, which is the centrepoint of the season. No matter who you are or your perceived musical ability, we all have a need to express ourselves. It is not just our brilliant players that will be performing either, a number of events during The Music in You have an element of audience participation, allowing us to celebrate the creativity in each of us.”

Elena Dubinets, Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra says“A warm welcome to our 2023/24 London season, we have a wonderful year ahead of music making! I am thrilled that our titled conductors Edward Gardner, Karina Canellakis and Vladimir Jurowski are back with us and I am also looking forward to introducing our audiences to some exciting new faces joining the LPO family. Composer-in-Residence Tania León begins her tenure with us as do our inaugural Fellow Conductors Luís Castillo-Briceñoand Charlotte Politi. This important scheme exists specifically 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. Welcome to them and I can’t wait to see our audiences enjoying the season we’ve put together.”

The Music in You Festival 2 – 6 March 2024

When an artist makes something incredible, it is tempting to think that creativity is some kind of superpower and famous artists are somehow more than human. The LPO believes that creativity lives in everyone, from the professional musician to the beginner painter or Saturday morning ballet dancer. We all have the need to express ourselves creatively and the potential to develop it.

The centrepiece of the new season is a spring festival entitled The Music in You which celebrates artistic expression of all kinds. Concerts will include dance, a piece for 100 metronomes, mobile phones, jazz, and audience participation as well as premieres of new music from our Composer-in-Residence Tania LeónDaniel KidaneClarisse AssadRyan Carter and Luís Tinoco.

The festival fittingly opens with Haydn’s oratorio The Creation which tells the story of the ultimate act of creativity: the creation of the world. Principal Conductor Edward Gardner, who has been a major part of the festival’s artistic direction, leads soprano Louise Alder, tenor Allan Clayton, bass-baritone Michael Mofidian and the London Philharmonic Choir [2 March 2024].

Families are invited to participate in the European premiere of É Gol! by Clarice Assad, imagining a day in the life of legendary Brazilian footballer Mara Vieira da Silva as she gets ready for a big game. The piece is for orchestra and audience with families able to perform with the LPO throughout this FUNharmonics concert, using their voices, breath and body percussion [3 March 2024].

In a concert all about dance, León’s first new commission as part of her residency receives its world premiere. Gardner then joins forces with multi award-winning choreographer Wayne McGregor for a new cross-artform reinvention of Szymanowski’s ballet Harnasie. McGregor responds to Szymanowski’s sensuous music with digital choreography [6 March 2024].

The LPO’s two inaugural Fellow Conductors, Charlotte Politi and Luís Castillo-Briceño,take up their batons at the same time in former LPO Young Composer Alex Ho’s Breathe and Draw (for sinfonietta, two conductors and audience participation). The audience is also the soloist in the UK premiere of Ryan Carter’s Concerto Molto Grosso (for audience participation). Their instrument? Their mobile phone. To complete the programme is Ligeti’s Poème symphonique for 100 metronomes; a piece for ten performers, each responsible for ten mechanical metronomes set to different speeds [12 March 2024].

The accordion is not an instrument often seen on the concert platform but composer Luís Tinoco makes it the focus of his new concerto, here receiving its UK premiere, performed by the João Barradas. Soprano Danielle de Niese then plays Anna in Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins. She is joined by Ross Ramgobin (Brother), Callum Thorpe (Mother), Zwakele Tshabalala (Father), and Amar Muchhala (Brother), all conducted by Edward Gardner [13 March 2024].

Anyone can be creative at any age: Mozart was giving performances before he was six years old and composed masterpieces in his teens. This closing concert of The Music in You, is bookended by two of his works: the Overtureto The Magic Flute and his Mass in C minor. Gardner conducts Hera Hyesang Park (soprano), Elizabeth Watts (soprano), Pavel Kolgatin (tenor), Ashley Riches (bass-baritone) and the London Philharmonic Choir. The evening also brings an opportunity to experience brand new music as Julia Fischer gives the world premiere of Daniel Kidane’s Violin Concerto, a composer who himself was an LPO Young Composer[16 March 2024].

Composer-in-Residence Tania León

Tania León begins her two-season appointment as the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence. Recent recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor and a Pulitzer Prize, the Orchestra will perform three of her works including two premieres, and she will support the development of the next generation of music creators by mentoring the LPO Young Composers.

The LPO performs the UK premiere of León’s Horizons [25 October 2023] and a world premiere (co-commissioned by the LPO and Concertgebouw Brugge) opens one of the early The Music in You concerts. In keeping with the festival’s multi-arts theme, the new work is inspired by dance, which links back to León’s early career [6 March 2024]. She arrived in the US from Cuba in 1967 as an accomplished pianist and her big break came a year later when she agreed to fill in for an indisposed pianist at a ballet class in Harlem. There she impressed ballet dancer and choreographer Arthur Mitchell – the first soloist of colour with the New York City Ballet – and soon became resident composer and music director of Mitchell’s newly formed Dance Theatre of Harlem.

The LPO’s Foyle Future Firsts development programme bridges the transition between education and the professional platform for 16 early-career orchestral musicians each year. This season’s cohort join forces with students from the Royal Academy of Music and members of the LPO for a programme inspired by trees, including León’s Ácana. The piece is named after the tree which grows prolifically in her native Cuba and is prized for its beauty and durability as a building material [3 February 2024]. 

Principal Conductor Edward Gardner

Edward Gardner opens his third season as the LPO’s Principal Conductor with Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection). Gardner conducts soprano Sally Matthews, mezzo-soprano Beth Taylor and the London Philharmonic Choir in a work that begins with a funeral march but ends with new life [23 September 2023].

The second concert of the season opens with Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and also features Johan Dalene performing Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. Closing the concert is Brahms’s Symphony No. 1[27 September 2023]. Another renowned violinist, Christian Tetzlaff, takes to the stage a few days later with Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2. This is bookended by Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4[30 September 2023]. Stravinsky’s Petrushka astonished audiences in 1911 and 112 years later, the effect is the same. Gardner precedes this with Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, performed by Hélène Grimaud [3 November 2023].

Gardner opens his first LPO concert of 2024 with Elgar’s Violin Concerto performed by Frank Peter Zimmermann, paired with Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 [3 February 2024]. In March, Gardner conducts four of the five The Music in You festival concerts [2 – 6 March 2024]. Pianist Seong-Jin-Cho draws out the poetry within Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4; Gardner bookends the concert with Wagner’s Preludefrom Parsifal and Tippett’s Symphony No. 2 [10 April 2024].

Holst’s The Planets is a classic for a reason: Gardner draws out the warlike rhythms of ‘Mars,’ the calm of ‘Venus’ and the majesty of ‘Jupiter.’ Completing the concert is Dvořák’s Cello Concertoperformed by Nicolas Altstaedt [12 April 2024].

Principal Guest Conductor Karina Canellakis

Principal Guest Conductor Karina Canellakis returns to conduct the LPO for three concerts this season. The first opens and closes with music from Richard Strauss. Cédric Tiberghien plays Ravel’s extraordinary Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, written for a pianist who’d lost an arm in the First World War. Rounding off the programme is the UK premiere of Tania León’s Horizons [25 October 2023]. A few days later, Jonathan Biss joins her for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The concert begins with Beethoven’s Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus and concludes with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 [28 October 2023].

Canellakis returns for a concert of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1with Pablo Ferrández, Mussorgsky’s Dawn on the Moscow River (prelude to Khovanshchina)and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 [21 February 2024].

Conductor Emeritus Vladimir Jurowski

The season ends with the long-awaited conclusion of Conductor Emeritus Vladimir Jurowski’s Wagner Ring Cycle, GötterdämmerungSvetlana Sozdateleva is part of an all-star cast as Brünnhilde and is joined by Burkhard Fritz (Siegfried); Brindley Sherratt (Hagen); Günter Papendell (Gunther); Sinéad Campbell-Wallace (Gutrune); Robert Hayward (Alberich); Kai Rüütel (Waltraute); Claudia Huckle (First Norn); Claire Barnett-Jones (Second Norn); Evelina Dobračeva (Third Norn); the London Philharmonic Choir and London Voices [27 April 2024].

Other Highlights

Other highlights across the season include jazz pianist Julian Joseph performing his own improvisatory solos in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and, in the same concert, Anna Lapwood playing the Royal Festival Hall’s mighty organ in Saint-Saëns’s Symphony No. 3 (Organ) [22 November 2023]. Renée Fleming performs seasonal songs and arias [2 December 2023], whilst violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter gives the UK premiere of John Williams’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in a concert of the composer’s best loved film music [13 January 2024]. Gemma New leads the LPO in Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev’s takes on Romeo and Juliet as well as being joined by Randall Goosby for Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 [22 March 2024].

Serving South London and the South East

The LPO is passionate about embedding itself in the communities it is a part of, both in South London and at our residencies in Brighton, Eastbourne and Saffron Walden. Each year the LPO engaged and inspires thousands of people from all walks of life to enjoy and participate in music. The LPO will give its first schools concert in Eastbourne in 2023/24 and create more community partnerships in the South East through its new Community Partnerships Manager. More details of what is happening will be announced in due course.

The Orchestra has a history of empowering disabled adults and young people to experience the joy of making music. Run in partnership with Drake Music, experts in music, technology and disability, OrchLab provides workshops, accessible technology, bespoke web activities, training and events to a number of centres in the South East. OrchLab is generously supported by JTI. Hear the culmination of this year’s programme in the annual OrchLab Festival Day [6 December 2023]. Three times a year in the school holidays, the LPO also run the Open Sounds Ensemble, a free inclusive music-making opportunity for young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their parents/carers in South East London.

Members of the charity Crisis, all adults who have experienced homelessness, perform original music they have devised with LPO musicians and a workshop leader during a week-long creative project. Crisis Creates offers a channel for participants to express themselves and to combat the isolation that comes hand-in-hand with precarious living situations. Using the music of the Orchestra as their starting point, the group creates new and powerful work which they bring to the Royal Festival Hall stage [22 March 2024].

Rising Talent and Education programmes

Developing new talent and working to improve diversity and inclusion in the classical music industry is central to the LPO’s ethos. As well as our new Conducting Fellowship, the Orchestra runs a number of initiatives designed for this purpose.

The LPO Junior Artists Programme supports exceptionally talented teenage musicians from backgrounds currently under-represented in professional UK orchestras. Junior Artists spend a season with us and become fully immersed in the workings of the LPO. They are each mentored by a member of the Orchestra, and take part in a variety of events and behind-the-scenes activities, including visiting the office to hear about all the different departments involved in running the LPO. In a showcase concert, the Junior Artists perform alongside LPO musicians, Foyle Future Firsts and Junior Artist alumni in a celebration of vibrant young talent [12 April 2024].

The Foyle Future Firsts development programme bridges the transition between education and the professional platform for 16 early-career orchestral musicians each year. Our current cohort of Foyle Future Firsts join forces with students from the Royal Academy of Music and members of the LPO for a performance conducted by Principal Conductor Edward Gardner. They’ll perform León’s Ácana, Mabel Daniels’s Deep Forest, Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments and Tippett’s Little Music for String Orchestra [3 February 2024].

Our FUNharmonics family concerts are the perfect way to introduce the vivid sounds of the orchestra to the youngest music-lovers. The three concerts this season are Stravinsky’s The Firebird, under the baton of Principal Conductor Edward Gardner and presented by Rachel Leach[29 October 2023]; Goal! Featuring the European premiere of Clarice Assad’s É Gol! as part of The Music in You [3 March 2024] and Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring [5 May 2024].

These hour-long performances are specifically designed for children, audience interaction is woven in throughout, and images are projected on the big screen to create a multi-sensory experience for all to enjoy. FUNharmonics concerts include free activities in the foyer spaces before the performance. These complement the long-running BrightSparks concerts that welcome over 10,000 young people from London and the South East to the Royal Festival Hall – often for the first time.

9 premieres

Continuing the Orchestra’s commitment to new music, the LPO gives 9 premieres next season: Tania León’s Horizons [UK premiere, 25 October 2023] as well as a world premiere during The Music in You festival [6 March 2024]; John Williams’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Anne-Sophie Mutter [UK premiere, 13 January 2024]; Victoria Vita Polevá’s Cello Concertoperformed by Inbal Segev [UK premiere, 9 February 2024]; Francisco Coll’s Ciudad sin Sueño with soloist Javier Perianes[world premiere, 16 February 2024]; Clarice Assad’s É Gol! [European premiere, 3 March 2024]; Ryan Carter’s Concerto Molto Grosso (for audience and orchestra) [UK premiere, 12 March 2024]; Luís Tinoco’s Accordion Concerto performed by João Barradas [UK premiere, 13 March 2024]; and Daniel Kidane’s Violin Concertowith Julia Fischer [world premiere, 16 March 2024].

Guest Conductors

The LPO is also joined by some of today’s leading conductors including Ryan BancroftJader BignaminiAnja Bihlmaier, Gustavo Gimeno, Jonathon Heyward, Paavo Järvi, Tianyi LuOksana Lyniv, Gergely MadarasGemma NewNatalia Ponomarchuk, Kristiina Poska, Dima Slobodeniouk and Robin Ticciati.

Acclaimed soloists

Other leading soloists appearing with the LPO next season include: violinists John DaleneChristian TetzlaffAnne-Sophie MutterFrank Peter ZimmermannJulia FischerRandall GoosbyLeila Josefowicz; pianists Cédric TiberghienJonathan BissHélène GrimaudJulian JosephTom BorrowAlexander MelnikovInon BarnatanMartin James BartlettJavier PerianesMartin HelmchenSeong-Jin Cho; organist Anna Lapwood; sopranos Renée Fleming and Danielle de Niese; cellists Inbal SegevPablo Ferrández and Nicolas Altstaedt.

Marquee TV

The LPO continues its digital residency with streaming service Marquee TV. Each concert is free for the first 48 hours before joining the Orchestra’s collection of concerts available to subscribers. Details of which concerts from the coming season will be filmed for later broadcast on Marquee TV will be available in the coming weeks.

Booking for LPO Friends opens on Tuesday 25 April and general sale opens on Tuesday 2 May https://lpo.org.uk/whats-on/london-season/

Details of the LPO’s residencies in Brighton and Eastbourne will be announced in due course