Press release: Simon Rattle presents people's concert in Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square will be transformed into a giant free music stage for Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra to present BMW Classics on Sunday 1 July 2018.

This free summer concert marks the renewal of a continuing partnership between BMW and the London Symphony Orchestra, bringing access to world-class music to everyone in one of the world’s most iconic public spaces.

With an audience in the square of up to 10,000 people, the concert will be live streamed for the first time exclusively on YouTube, making the concert accessible to music fans worldwide. The London Symphony Orchestra regularly live streams its concerts free from the Barbican Centre. This occasion marks the first live stream of the orchestra’s iconic free summer concert.

Simon Rattle will take to the stage to conduct 100 musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra, alongside 50 young musicians from the LSO On Track programme in East London and musicians from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

The programme will feature music on a theme of dance and ballet by Dvořák, Massenet, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky and includes a world premiere by 29 year-old composer and pianist Kate Whitley, founder of Peckham’s Multi-Story Orchestra.

Commenting today, Simon Rattle said: ‘This is a dream concert for me on a stage like no other. I hope that the excitement of the musicians of the London Symphony Orchestra playing beside these brilliant young musicians in such an extraordinary public space will fire people’s imaginations. And prove that, inside or outside the walls of a concert hall, the experience of great music is for everyone. I am truly grateful to BMW and the Mayor for London for making this possible.’

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘This summer Trafalgar Square will be transformed into the capital’s biggest concert hall so that visitors, Londoners and people viewing online can enjoy an incredible free performance by Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra. They’ll also be able to enjoy the world premiere of Kate Whitley’s Sky Dances – a new work by an emerging composer.

‘I’m delighted that 50 outstanding young London musicians will join the professional ranks of the LSO for this special performance which will showcase the next generation of musical talent in the capital and firmly reiterate London’s position as a global capital of music.’

Kate Whitley said: ‘I am inspired by the idea of working with young people as performers and integrating them with professional musicians. To create a work for these musicians on this stage right in the centre of London is a thrilling challenge for me.’

Candice Morrissey, Head of Music Partnerships in EMEA at YouTube said: ‘We echo the sentiment of Sir Simon Rattle that great music is for everyone; giving people access to incredible and engaging content no matter where they are is core to our mission at YouTube. It’s wonderful to see a world class cultural institution like the LSO using the YouTube platform to broaden its audience, and we are thrilled to partner on live streaming their ‘people’s concert’ in Trafalgar Square to people all around the world.’

BMW Classics Lockup

BMW Classics
London Symphony Orchestra
Sunday 1 July 2018 5pm
Trafalgar Square, London

Free, no ticket required. Early arrival essential. No glass or furniture in the Square.
Featuring music from Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, Massenet’s Le Cid, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Stravinsky’s The Firebird and a world premiere by Kate Whitley – Sky Dances.
> LSO website

Join the audience online in a free exclusive YouTube livestream:

Facebook: London Symphony Orchestra
Instagram: @londonsymphonyorchestra
Twitter: @londonsymphony

Click to open high-res versions for download

Sir Simon Rattle © Oliver Helbig

Sir Simon Rattle © Oliver Helbig


Kate Whitley © Ambra Vernuccio

Kate Whitley © Ambra Vernuccio


2015 Crowd © Tristram Kenton

Crowd in Trafalgar Square © Tristram Kenton 

LSO On Track violinist © Igor Emmerich

LSO On Track violinist © Igor Emmerich


LSO On Track horn © Igor Emmerich

LSO On Track horn © Igor Emmerich


2017 Crowd © Getty

Thousands flock to LSO concert ( © Getty/Ian Gavan #95914951)

Other Getty shots available and

Media Enquiries:
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Kenny Morrison, Hatcham Communications +44 (0)7834 061295
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About the London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra (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. The LSO has been the only Resident Orchestra at the Barbican Centre in the City of London since it opened in 1982, giving 70 symphonic concerts there every year. The Orchestra works with a family of artists that includes some of the world’s greatest conductors – Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director, Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth as Principal Guest Conductors, Michael Tilson Thomas as Conductor Laureate and André Previn as Conductor Emeritus. Through LSO Discovery, it is a pioneer of music education, offering musical experiences to 60,000 people every year and over 100 live events at its music education centre LSO St Luke’s on Old Street. With the formation of its own record 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, streaming and virtual reality – 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 80% of all funding self-generated.

BMW’s Cultural Commitment
For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural co-operations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. Currently, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari are creating the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art Journey and the Opera for All concerts in Berlin, Munich and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities – as this initiative is as essential for producing ground-breaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.

For further information visit:
Facebook: BMW Group Culture
Instagram: @bmwgroupculture
Twitter: @BMWGroupCulture