"Andrew Preview", LSO Principal Conductor of the time, on The Morecambe and Wise Show in 1971

1960s & 1970s

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LSO International Series is initiated

Pierre Monteux becomes Principal Conductor (1961–64) at the age of 86, stipulating a 25-year contract with a renewal clause.


The LSO records Britten’s War Requiem with the composer conducting

The Board of Trustees is set up to receive and administer funds for the well-being and financial stability of the Orchestra. The committee includes Benjamin Britten, Robert Mayer, Sir Jack Lyons and five members of the LSO Board of Directors

First British orchestra to visit Japan, with Pierre Monteux, Antal Dorati and Georg Solti. BBC TV, with David Attenborough directing, accompany the Orchestra to make a Monitor programme

The LSO makes its first World Tour: to Israel, Turkey, Iran, India, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and the United States, where they give a concert at the United Nations HQ in New York

István Kertész is appointed Principal Conductor (1965–68)

Jacqueline du Pré records Elgar’s Cello Concerto with Sir John Barbirolli conducting

Negotiations with the Corporation of the City of London regarding Barbican residency begin

First season as resident orchestra at the Florida International Festival

Leonard Bernstein conducts the LSO for the first time, in a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No 8 at the Royal Albert Hall

Second World Tour including the Far East and Australia, conducted by István Kertész and Colin Davis

LSO Chorus formed with John Alldis as chorus master

The LSO visits Florida again, this time accompanied by J B Priestley, who writes about his experiences in the book Trumpets over the Sea

The BBC makes a documentary film about the LSO, called We Are The Music Makers

André Previn conducts his first concert as Principal Conductor, a Gala in aid of the LSO Trust, with Jacqueline du Pré. Previn spent eleven years as the LSO’s Principal Conductor (1968–79), the longest period of any LSO Principal Conductor thus far


Tour to Russia and the Far East with André Previn and Benjamin Britten

BBC TV presents the first André Previn’s Music Night – the popular television series, which brings classical music and the LSO to the attention of a huge new audience

Leopold Stokowski celebrates the 60th anniversary of his first concert with the LSO by conducting the identical programme.

The LSO is the first British orchestra to be invited to perform at the Salzburg Festival, conducted by André Previn, Seiji Ozawa and Karl Böhm.

Britten’s 60th Birthday Concert at the Royal Albert Hall

Leonard Bernstein makes a video recording of Mahler’s Symphony No 2 (‘Resurrection’)

The LSO is the first UK orchestra to appear at the Hollywood Bowl

LSO 70th Anniversary

Led by Sir Jack Lyons, the LSO Trust, in conjunction with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, restores Holy Trinity Church in Southwark to become a much-needed rehearsal venue, Henry Wood Hall

First Shell-LSO Music Scholarship and National Tour

Walton’s 75th Birthday Concert

Khachaturian conducts the LSO in a concert and recording session, not long before his death

LSO shares in three Grammy awards for the score to Star Wars

Classic Rock recordings become hugely popular and provide handsome royalties

Claudio Abbado is appointed Principal Conductor (1979–87)

LSO 75th Anniversary. The celebrations included a Gala Concert at the Royal Fesitval Hall in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales
Tour to Russia with Colin Davis

Claudio Abbado makes an acclaimed recording of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky

>> Next page: 1980s & 1990s

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