American tour, 1912

American tour, 1912

1900s & 1910s


On 9 June the LSO gives its first concert, conducted by Hans Richter at the Queen’s Hall. It is Britain’s first independent, self-governing orchestra – a limited company with the players as shareholders. Approximately half the players have resigned from the Queen’s Hall Orchestra because of Henry Wood’s refusal to allow them to send deputies to rehearsals and concerts

Hans Richter is appointed Principal Conductor (1904–11)

Guest conductors in the first season include Artur Nikisch (1904), Fritz Steinbach (1904), Edouard Colonne (1905) and Sir Edward Elgar (1905). Through the LSO, London receives an unprecedented range of distinguished international conductors

First provincial tour – Sir Edward Elgar conducts

First British orchestra to tour abroad, to Paris

Thomas Beecham conducts the LSO for the first time


Sir Edward Elgar becomes Principal Conductor (1911–12)

Artur Nikisch is appointed Principal Conductor (1912–14)

The LSO is the first British orchestra to visit the United States of America, conducted by Nikisch (narrowly avoiding travelling on the Titanic due to a last minute change of schedule)

The LSO makes its first recordings, for HMV, conducted by Artur Nikisch

Thomas Beecham is Principal Conductor for one season, although never officially given the title

Adrian Boult and Richard Strauss conduct the LSO for the first time

Albert Coates, making his debut with the LSO, is appointed Principal Conductor (1919–22)

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