LSO International Violin Festival

12 Violin Superstars | 12 Amazing Concerts

The LSO’s International Violin Festival, which spans April to June 2015, brings together twelve superstars of the violin world for a series of orchestral concerts, showcasing the breathtaking excitement of the violin concerto, and invites you to find out more through a programme of workshops, discussions, masterclasses and recitals.

The LSO International Violin Festival is generously supported by Jonathan Moulds

The Concerts

Wed 8 Apr 7.30pm

Shostakovich Violin Concerto No 1

Leonidas Kavakos

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Sun 12 Apr 7.30pm

Britten Violin Concerto

Gil Shaham

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The Strad Sunday: see below


Thu 30 Apr 7.30pm

Bartók Violin Concerto No 2

Baiba Skride

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Sun 3 May 7.30pm

Szymanowski Violin Concerto No 1

Nicola Benedetti

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The Strad Sunday: see below


Thu 7 May 7.30pm

Brahms Violin Concerto

Isabelle Faust

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Tue 12 May 7.30pm

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

Nikolaj Znaider

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Sun 24 May 7.30pm

Beethoven Violin Concerto

Christian Tetzlaff

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Tue 2 Jun 7.30pm

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto

Janine Jansen

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Sun 7 Jun 7.30pm

Korngold Violin Concerto

James Ehnes

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Wed 10 Jun 7.30pm

André Previn Violin Concerto

Anne-Sophie Mutter

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Sun 14 Jun 7.30pm

Mozart Violin Concerto No 3

Alina Ibragimova

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Sun 28 Jun 7.30pm

Sibelius Violin Concerto

Joshua Bell

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The Strad Sunday: see below


> Full events calendar

The Strad Sundays

Strad 110 35

The Strad celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, and to mark this milestone partners with the LSO International Violin Festival to host three free violin makers’ exhibitions in the Barbican Centre's Fountain Room. The first exhibition, on 12 April, runs from 10am–5.30pm; and the second and third, on 3 May and 28 June, from 3pm–5.30pm. The Strad Sundays also feature three pre-concert talks on the Barbican Hall stage – on violin sound, orchestral auditioning and instrument teaching – running from 6–6.45pm.

Sunday 12 April

10am–5.30pm, Fountain Room
Violin Makers Exhibition

Featured speakers include stringed instrument expert Florian Leonhard, who will discuss instrument restoration and violin maker Helen Michetschläger, who will discuss violin varnish.
Free entry, no ticket required

6–6.45pm, Barbican Hall
Panel Discussion: A Guide to Violin Sound

Can you tell the difference between a Strad and a factory-made violin from sound alone? A lively panel debate, chaired by Sean Bishop of Bishop Instruments and Bows, on what makes one instrument sound so different from another – including demonstrations by LSO Leader Roman Simovic and contributions from London violin maker Philip Ihle.
Free entry, no ticket required


Sunday 3 May

3–5.30pm, Fountain Room
Photography Exhibition


Photography charting the development of the violin through close-up views of instruments by makers such as Stradivarius, Guarneri del Gesù and Andrea Amati. The exhibition will also showcase striking photos from The Strad’s archive, spanning 125 years of musical history.
Free entry, no ticket required

6–6.45pm, Barbican Hall
Panel Discussion: Surviving Orchestral Auditions

From preparing excerpts to excelling in your first trial, get the inside view from LSO players on landing your dream orchestral job. With LSO First Violin Maxine Kwok-Adams, LSO Viola German Clavijo and Director of Music at the Guildhall School, Jonathan Vaughan.
Free entry, no ticket required


Sunday 28 June

3–5.30pm, Fountain Room, Level G
Violin Makers Exhibition

Free entry, no ticket required

6–6.45pm, Hall
Panel Discussion: Making Instrument Lessons Fun for Kids

Explore how to make instrumental lessons engaging for school-age children, regardless of experience, background and ambition, with LSO Sub-Principal Second Violin Sarah Quinn, Junior Guildhall Head of Strings & English National Opera Cello William Bruce, Havering Music Manager Karen Tweddle and Jane Cutler from the Da Capo Music Foundation.
Free entry, no ticket required


Other concerts

LSO String Ensemble
Sun 26 Apr 7.30pm, Barbican Hall
SCHUBERT ARR MAHLER Death and the Maiden
SHOSTAKOVICH ARR PUSHKAREV Sonata for Violin, Percussion and String Orchestra
SHOSTAKOVICH Chamber Symphony in C minor
Roman Simovic director
LSO String Ensemble
More info

LSO Discovery Day: Beethoven
Sun 21 Jun 10am–5.30pm, Barbican & LSO St Luke's
Featuring access to a morning LSO rehearsal and an afternoon of chamber music and talks, including a performance of Beethoven's 'Razumovsky' String Quartet Op 59 No 1, performed by LSO musicians.
More info

LSO Discovery: LSO On Track Take A Bow
Tue 23 Jun 6pm, LSO St Luke's
80 young musicians from schools in the boroughs of Bexley and Tower Hamlets perform alongside LSO musicians and star violinist Nicola Benedetti, playing a new commission by composer Michael Betteridge.
More info

Other events

BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts

The Festival extends to LSO St Luke’s and on to BBC Radio 3 with four lunchtime recitals featuring violinists in the Barbican series: Christian Tetzlaff, James Ehnes and Nicola Benedetti, along with rising star Veronika Eberle.

> Thu 21 May: Christian Tetzlaff
> Thu 11 Jun: James Ehnes
> Thu 18 Jun: Veronika Eberle
> Thu 25 Jun: Nicola Benedetti


Free Friday Lunchtime Concerts

Join regular presenter Rachel Leach in these free LSO Discovery lunchtime concerts featuring LSO violinists and students at the Guildhall School.

> Fri 1 May: David Alberman
> Fri 22 May: Roman Simovic
> Fri 12 Jun: Guildhall School Violinists
> Fri 26 Jun: Maxine Kwok-Adams & Philip Nolte


Masterclasses and hangouts

Hangout with Roman Simovic
Fri 10 Apr 2pm, online
LSO Leader Roman Simovic answers your questions.
> Watch again on YouTube

LSO Discovery: Violin Masterclass with Midori
Wed 29 Apr 6.30–8.30pm, Guildhall School Lecture Recital Room
Watch from the audience as Midori coaches young musicians from the Guildhall School.
Free entry; advance booking essential
> More info