Press Release: BMW LSO Open Air Classics 2016

London Symphony Orchestra performs Tchiakovsky's 1812 Overture in London's Trafalgar Square in the fifth BMW LSO Open Air Classics concert.

The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev, will perform an all-Tchaikovsky programme in London’s Trafalgar Square on Sunday 22 May, the fifth concert in the Orchestra’s annual BMW LSO Open Air Classics series, free and open to all. Tchaikovsky’s spectacular 1812 Overture and Symphony No 4 are performed as well as an arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake suite for which 42 young musicians from East London from the LSO’s On Track programme, and 23 musicians from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama play side-by-side with members of the LSO. The concert is presented by Paul Rissmann.

The concert is the fifth event in the BMW LSO Open Air Classics series, a unique and now hotly-anticipated fixture in London’s musical calendar which each year has seen a capacity crowd of thousands of Londoners and visitors experience the LSO in the heart of London completely free and open to all. BMW shares the LSO’s belief that the greatest music should be enjoyed by the greatest number of people, and partners similar highly-successful outdoor Opera for All events in Munich and Berlin, as well as numerous other artistic projects.

LSO On Track is a year-round community programme delivered in partnership with the LSO’s music education hub partners in the former Olympic Host and Gateway boroughs in East London. LSO On Track challenges and inspires young musicians regardless of experience or background, working closely with teachers and families to ensure the young musicians receive the support, mentoring and opportunities they need to fulfil their potential.Throughout the year a number of inspiring projects and opportunities are incorporated into the On Track experience, and the BMW LSO Open Air Classics concert in Trafalgar Square sees the young musicians perform before an audience of thousands. In 2012 the participation in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics with the full London Symphony Orchestra was a very visible manifestation of the work of On Track, witnessed by a huge international audience and highlighting in a unique way the work the LSO does in East London.

The performance in Trafalgar Square will begin at 6.30pm, though much earlier arrival is essential to secure entry – Full event information at

Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said: 'It’s great to be celebrating not only the BMW Group’s centenary but also the fifth year of the BMW LSO Open Air Classics. I’d like to sincerely thank our partner LSO for sharing our vision. Since starting the series in 2012, thousands of people have been able to enjoy a concert by a world-class orchestra in the stunning open-air environment of Trafalgar Square. This is what BMW’s cultural engagement is all about – taking classical music outside the concert hall, giving people the opportunity to enjoy the arts without boundaries. We’re proud to make this happen in the heart of London year after year.'

Kathryn McDowell CBE DL, Managing Director of the LSO said: 'We are delighted to return to Trafalgar Square for our fifth, free concert, the result of our unique partnership with BMW. This year’s event promises to be truly spectacular with an all-Tchaikovsky programme featuring his 1812 Overture and Fourth Symphony. BMW LSO Open Air Classics is a real highlight in the Orchestra’s calendar, for the players, the large audience of Londoners and visitors, and also for the young musicians from our On Track programme in East London who I’m pleased will return this year, performing music from Swan Lake side-by-side with members of the Orchestra. The LSO is grateful to BMW for their continued commitment to this event, and to the Mayor of London for his support.'

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London said: 'The LSO concerts in Trafalgar Square have been delighting Londoners and tourists alike for five years with a wonderful selection of music that packs in the crowds. As a free event in the heart of the capital it is opening up classical music to a wider audience. It's fantastic that young musicians have the opportunity to play alongside professionals with the esteemed Gergiev at the helm. I have no doubt that this year's event will be extremely popular.'

Notes to editors

For further press information please contact:

Kenny Morrison, Hatcham Communications
+44 7834 061295 or +44 20 7207 9481
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Holly Blaxill, SUTTON
+44 20 7183 3577
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Angela Stangroom, BMW Group United Kingdon
+44 1252 921268 or +44 7815 370425
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About the London Symphony Orchestra
The LSO was established in 1904 and has a unique ethos. As a musical collective, it is built on artistic ownership and partnership. With an inimitable signature sound, the LSO’s mission is to bring the greatest music to the greatest number of people. Through LSO Discovery, it is a pioneer of music education, offering musical experiences to 60,000 people every year. With the formation of its own recording label LSO Live in 1999 the LSO pioneered a revolution in recording live orchestral music. The LSO strives to embrace new digital technologies – having successfully moved into digital film, Blu-Ray Audio, downloads and streaming – and it continues to innovate with platforms such as LSO Play, a web-based video player that allows people to observe the Orchestra from different angles. The LSO is also a highly successful creative enterprise, with 75% of all funding self-generated.

BMW’s Cultural Commitment
For over 40 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in more than 100 cultural partnerships worldwide. The focus of this long-term commitment to culture is modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music as well as architecture and design. BMW has worked with artists such as Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons, Zubin Metha, Daniel Barenboim and Anna Netrebko and commissioned architects such as Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid and Coop Himmelb(l)au. In London, BMW in partnership with Tate has installed BMW Tate Live that features innovative live performances and events including live web broadcast, in-gallery performance, seminars and workshops, and supports the Frieze Art Fair. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all the cultural activities it is involved in for granted – as this is just as essential for groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.

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