London Symphony Orchestra

Founded 1904

London Symphony Orchestra



The London Symphony Orchestra is noted as one of the world’s most prominent orchestras. Formed in 1904, when 50 members of the Queen’s Hall Orchestra rebelled against Sir Henry Wood’s mandate that ‘no deputies’ could be sent to rehearsals and concerts, it now attracts renowned artists from all over the world, many of whom have impressive solo, chamber music and teaching careers alongside their orchestral role. With the announcement of Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director the London Symphony Orchestra’s family of conductors is now one of the finest with Principal Guest Conductors Daniel Harding andGianandrea Noseda joiningConductor Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas and Conductor Emeritus André Previn. Other regular notable guests include Bernard Haitink and Sir John Eliot Gardiner.  

Proud resident at the Barbican Centre, the Orchestra performs over 70 concerts per year to London audiences and over 70 concerts internationally. Furthermore, the LSO has a prosperous residency at Lincoln Centre in New York and is the international resident orchestra of La Salle Pleyel in Paris. The Orchestra regularly performs in Japan and the Far East, as well as in various major European cities. LSO was also the resident orchestra at the Aix-en-Provence Festival from 2010 till 2013.

Outside of the concert hall, the Orchestra’s accomplishments include LSO Discovery, its world-leading music education and community programme, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015 and reaches over 60,000 people a year worldwide and LSO St Luke’s, which serves as a venue for a unique blend of public and private events for people over every age and background. The Orchestra is also widely known for its recordings of music for over hundreds of films, such as Philomena, Pixar’s Brave, Harry Potter, The King’s Speech, Superman and all the Star Wars movies. The Orchestra has also launched many pioneering digital projects such as The Youtube Symphony Orchestra, the world’s first online orchestra; LSO Play, an interactive experience that allows you to get inside the Orchestra and has recently ventured into the world of 360-degree Virtual Reality video. The LSO was also the official orchestra of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Ceremonies in 2012, and unforgettably performed ‘Chariots of Fire’ with Rowan Atkinson.

The orchestra launched its own label in 1999 and was the first of the new breed of artist-owned labels which have helped revitalise the market for classical music, as well as the first classical label to make its entire catalogue available for download. The label has won numerous international prizes including Gramophone Awards, Classical Brit Awards, Orphées d’or, Chocs de l’année and Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik and has a catalogue of over 100 recordings of works by renowned composers, including Stravinsky,  Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Haydn, Bruckner . They are regularly conducted by many of the world’s greatest artists including Sir Simon Rattle, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev and Bernard Haitink, all available on LSO Live.