Elgar with the LSO in Croydon, 1932

Elgar with the LSO in Croydon, 1932

1920s & 1930s

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Lord Howard de Walden is appointed Honorary President in gratitude for his financial support of the Orchestra

The LSO signs a three-year contract with the Columbia Gramophone Company

Walter Wanger from United Artists promotes a series of super-films in Covent Garden Opera House, conducted by Eugene Goossens, making his debut with the LSO


The LSO purchases its first instrument van from Ford for £200

Wilhelm Furtwängler conducts the LSO for the first time

The LSO Board becomes fully elective and the Endowment Fund is created

First BBC radio broadcast from Southwark Cathedral conducted by Vaughan Williams ('Pastoral' Symphony)

LSO 21st birthday – concert conducted by Sir Edward Elgar and Serge Koussevitzky. Each member of the Orchestra was given a bonus of £20

John Barbirolli makes his London conducting debut with the LSO

The LSO becomes a contracted permanent orchestra of 75 players, each with the guarantee of a specified number of performances over a three-year term.

End of the deputy system

Yehudi Menuhin makes his London debut playing Brahms’s Violin Concerto with the LSO, aged 12


Willem Mengelberg assumes duties of Principal Conductor (1930–31)

Sir Hamilton Harty is appointed Principal Conductor (1932–35)

Yehudi Menuhin records Elgar’s Violin Concerto with the composer conducting

Prokofiev records his Third Piano Concerto with LSO

Walton conducts the world premiere of his viola concerto with Lionel Tertis the soloist

W H Reed is Chairman (1932-42)

The LSO records the film score for Things to Come. Based on the book by H G Wells, with music by Arthur Bliss, this is the first symphonic score specifically composed for a film recording

George Stratton becomes Leader (1937-52)

World premiere of Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music, conducted by Sir Henry Wood

Bruno Walter makes a series of recordings with the LSO

>> Next page: 1940s & 1950s

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