EVENT THAT BRINGS THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME WINS A BAFTA TV AWARD
Monday 11 May 2015
An event that featured an unprecedented collaboration between the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker has won a BAFTA Award in the Sport and Live Event category at the House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards.
Members of the two orchestras, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, were brought together for the first time to record the music played at the St Symphorien military cemetery in Belgium at an event commemorating 100 years since the declaration of the First World War, on 4 August 1914.
The cemetery is a final resting place for soldiers from both sides of the conflict, so the bringing together of a British and German orchestra was symbolic. Sir Simon Rattle chose two works for the LSO and Berliner Philharmoniker to record together: the last movement of Brahms's German Requiem and George Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad. Butterworth himself died in the trenches and the piece was first conducted in 1913 by the great Hungarian conductor Arthur Nikisch, who led both the LSO and the Berliner Philharmoniker in the years leading up to the war. Together, members of the London Symphony Chorus, and choristers from northern Germany sang a new work by composer Howard Goodall live at the ceremony, with LSO Choral Director Simon Halsey and brass players from the Band of the Coldstream Guards.
The event was attended by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, accompanied by the HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, and HRH Prince Henry of Wales, as well as the Prime Minister, David Cameron, German president, Joachim Gauck, and was broadcast worldwide. The winners of the House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards were announced at a ceremony hosted by Graham Norton at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London on Sunday 10 May 2015.
Photo: London Symphony Chorus at St Symphorium military cemetery in August 2014. Photo by chorus member Robert Garbolinski.