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Alex Groves on preparing for the LSO Soundhub Showcase: 'Composition has to be collaborative'

Alex Groves sat on a bench

One of the multiple premieres we'll hear in this Saturday's Soundhub Showcase is Curved Form (No. 23) by Alex Groves. A former Member and now Associate of the LSO's scheme supporting early-career composers, Alex reveals what the final preparations before the concert will be for a piece that, before this week, he's never heard before!


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Together with Music: Vialma and the LSO

As we engage with music online more and more after this past year, we’re excited to introduce you to one of our newest partners, VialmaWant to meet and chat live with members of the LSO? Here’s how:

Gain access to Vialma’s exclusive online concert series Together with Music to stream our performances into your living room in full HD, and get the chance to put your questions live to members of the orchestra as they share what it’s like to play on the Barbican stage.

What is Vialma?

Vialma can fill your day with music at the touch of a button. As the only streaming service to combine world-class audio and video recordings with in-depth articles and entertaining podcasts, you can find everything you need to enrich your daily life all in one place and under one easy, monthly subscription.

vialma devices 

With the complete works of more than 5,000 composers and 100,000 musicians at your fingertips, you’ll never run out of music to explore. If you’re not sure where to start, allow Vialma to suggest one of the 1,000 playlists they’ve curated to suit your every mood. Or if you need a night off, take your seat in their virtual concert hall and stream one of hundreds of exclusive live concert videos, all in stunning HD, right into your own home.

Together with Music

As part of our new partnership, we’re excited to promote Vialma’s new interactive virtual concert series, Together with Music, available exclusively on their platform. Tune in together with people around the world to enjoy spellbinding performances by world-class musicians, and get a chance to meet and have your questions answered live by the artists themselves.

We’re honoured that Vialma will be featuring two concerts with the LSO over the coming months. The first concert, on Thursday 22 July at 7pm BST, celebrates our long-awaited residency at the Aix-en-Provence Festival this summer with Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, featuring mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená and tenor Andrew Staples under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. To mark our performance of this epic work at the Festival in July, Vialma will be streaming an exclusive performance featuring the same line-up, recorded live at the Barbican in May this year.

Magdalena Kozena sings Das Lied von der Erde with the LSO conducted by Sir Simon Rattle

Andrew Staples sings Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the LSO conducted by Sir Simon Rattle

Magdalena Kozena and Andrew Staples performing Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the LSO and Sir Simon Rattle, Barbican Hall, May 2021. Photos: Mark Allan

Joining this stream live will be LSO First Violin Maxine Kwok and cellist Eve-Marie Caravassilis, sharing thoughts on their experience in the LSO and what it was like behind the scenes during this concert. They’ll be on hand to offer expert information on the work as it plays, and of course answer your own questions live as they come in. Also, stay tuned for a message from Sir Simon Rattle just for Vialma members at the start of each concert.

We’re also proud to share with you, on Thursday 29 July at 7pm BST, our performance of Janáček’s Sinfonietta and Sibelius’ Symphony No 5, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and recorded at the Barbican in 2018 as part of our Roots and Origins series. LSO percussionist, David Jackson, will be joining the stream live to answer your questions and share his own insider information, as the celebratory fanfares and soaring strings evoke the myths and legends of this programme full of magic and folklore. 

5 trumpeters playing in Janacek's Sinfonietta

Five of the 14 trumpets playing in Janacek's Sinfonietta, Barbican Hall, 2018

And if chatting live with our musicians isn’t enough, you can take advantage of the extra content created by Vialma with followers of the LSO in mind. With bespoke playlists created by members of the LSO just for you (including one by Sir Simon Rattle), exclusive interviews, and articles, you can get closer to our musicians and become even more a part of the LSO family.

Become a member here for just £1 and join us for Together with Music, only on Vialma.

Maxine Kwok, First Violin, on being back at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

This month the LSO is embarking on its first international engagement in 16 months, since the pandemic began. LSO First Violin Maxine Kwok tells us how it feels to be back at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence to perform Wagner's Tristan and Isolde and the world premiere of Kaaija Saariaho's Innocence.


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Six pieces of music inspired by Henry VIII and his wives

Sunday 4 July marks the last concert in our BBC Radio 3 Artist Portrait series. Soprano Louise Alder and pianist Joseph Middleton will perform Libby Larsen's Try Me, Good King, songs drawn from the final letters and speeches of Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard. Ahead of the concert, we take a look at music from history, TV and cinema that has been inspired by Henry VIII and his six wives. 

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What happens after the Panufnik workshop: Joe Bates on re-writing Muted the Night

Workshop day is often described as the culmination of the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme, but really its a stop on the road to finalising a new piece. Joe Bates tells us all about what he learnt in his workshop in March 2021, and how he's been revising his piece since then.


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