Always Playing

While we are unable to perform at the Barbican Centre and our other favourite venues around the world, we are determined to keep playing.

Join us online for a programme of full-length concerts twice a week, artist interviews, playlists to keep you motivated at home, activities to keep young music fans busy and much much more.

Full-length concerts

Each Sunday and Thursday (from 22 March) we will be streaming a concert from our archive on our YouTube channel.

We will provide digital programme notes and we hope that you will be able to sit down and watch at the same time as friends and family, wherever they are.

Remember to get in touch on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the #AlwaysPlaying and show us your living room concert halls.

Watching on your TV? We have created some simple instructions for how to access the concert via the YouTube app.
> Follow the instructions to watch on your TV

Upcoming Concerts


Sunday 31 May 2020, 7pm BST
Berlioz The Damnation of Faust

Berlioz The Damnation of Faust

Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Karen Cargill Marguerite
Bryan Hymel Faust
Christopher Purves Mephistopheles
Gábor Bretz Brander
London Symphony Chorus
Tiffin Boys' Choir

Tiffin Girls' Choir
Tiffin Children's Chorus
Simon Halsey chorus director
London Symphony Orchestra

> Read the digital programme notes
> Watch on YouTube


Thursday 4 June 2020, 7.30pm BST
Stravinsky The Soldier’s Tale from LSO St Luke’s

Stravinsky The Soldier’s Tale

Roman Simovic director
Malcolm Sinclair narrator
LSO Chamber Ensemble


Sunday 7 June 2020, 3pm BST
BMW Classic 2019 from Trafalgar Square

Dvořák Selection of Slavonic Dances
Bushra el-Turk Tuqus
Poulenc Selection from 'Les biches – Suite'
Ravel La valse

Sir Simon Rattleconductor
London Symphony Orchestra
LSO On Track Young Musicians
Guildhall School Musicians


Thursday 11 June 2020, 7.30pm BST
2019/20 Season Opening Concert

Emily Howard Antisphere
Colin Matthews Violin Concerto
Walton Symphony No 1

Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Leila Josefowicz violin
London Symphony Orchestra


BBC Radio 3 In Concert Archive Broadcast
Friday 12 June 2020, 7.30pm BST

Bernstein Prelude, Fugue and Riffs 

Bartók Hungarian Peasant Songs 
Szymanowski Harnasie 
Stravinsky Ebony Concerto 
Golijov Nazareno 
Bernstein Prelude, Fugue and Riffs

Sir Simon Rattle conductor 
Katia and Marielle Labèque pianos
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes


Sunday 14 June 2020, 7pm BST
Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Alexander Knox, Ceri-lyn Cissone, Frankie Wakefield cast
Monteverdi Choir
London Symphony Orchestra


Past concerts

Sunday 22 March, 7pm BST
After Romanticism

Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune 
Bartók Viola Concerto
Bruckner Symphony No 4

François-Xavier Roth conductor
Antoine Tamestit viola

View the Digital Programme notes


Thursday 26 March, 7.30pm GMT
Schumann Symphony No 3

Weber Euryanthe Overture
Mendelssohn 
Concerto for Violin and Piano
Schumann 
Symphony No 3

Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Kristian Bezuidenhout piano
Isabelle Faust violin

View the digital programme notes


Sunday 29 March 2020, 7pm BST
Sibelius Symphony No 5 

Janáček Sinfonietta
Sibelius
 
Symphony No 5 

Sir Simon Rattle conductor

> View the digital programme notes


Thursday 2 April 2020, 7.30pm BST
Brahms Symphony No 1
Performed at the Barbican Centre on 10 November 2012

Szymanowski Symphony No 1
Szymanowski 
Violin Concerto No 1
Brahms 
Symphony No 1

Valery Gergiev conductor
Janine Jansen violin

> Read the Digital Programme Notes


Sunday 5 April 2020, 7pm BST
Verdi Requiem 

Verdi Requiem

Gianandrea Noseda conductor
Erika Grimaldi soprano
Daniela Barcellona mezzo-soprano 
Francesco Meli tenor
Michele Pertusi bass 
London Symphony Chorus
Simon Halsey chorus director
London Symphony Orchestra

> View the digital programme notes 


Thursday 9 April 2020, 7.30pm BST
Stravinsky ballet music  

Stravinsky The Firebird (original ballet) 
Stravinsky Petrushka (1947 version) 
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

Sir Simon Rattle conductor 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the programme notes


Sunday 12 April 2020, 7pm BST
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No 2  

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No 2 
Balakirev
 Islamey 
Shostakovich Symphony No 1

Gianandrea Noseda conductor 
Seong-Jin Cho piano 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the programme notes 


Thursday 16 April 2020, 7.30pm BST
Mahler 2 

Mahler Symphony No 2

Semyon Bychkov conductor 
Christiane Karg soprano 
Anna Larsson contralto 
London Symphony Chorus 
Simon Halsey chorus director 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes


Sunday 19 April 2020, 7pm BST
Bernstein Prelude, Fugue and Riffs 

Bartók Hungarian Peasant Songs 
Szymanowski Harnasie 
Stravinsky Ebony Concerto 
Golijov Nazareno 
Bernstein Prelude, Fugue and Riffs

Sir Simon Rattle conductor 
Katia and Marielle Labèque pianos
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes


Thursday 23 April 2020, 7.30pm BST
The Rose Lake 

Tippett The Rose Lake
Mahler comp Cooke Symphony No 10

Sir Simon Rattle conductor 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes
Watch on YouTube (Until 7.30pm BST on Saturday 25 April)


Radio 3 In Concert Archive Radio Broadcast
Thursday 23 April 2020, 7.30pm BST 
Stravinsky Ballets

Stravinsky The Firebird (original ballet) 
Stravinsky Petrushka (1947 version) 
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

Sir Simon Rattle conductor 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the programme notes
Listen to the programme (for 30 days from Thursday 23 April at 7.30pm BST)


Sunday 26 April 2020, 7pm BST
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring 

Webern Six Pieces for Orchestra 
Berg Three Fragments from 'Wozzeck' 
Ligeti Mysteries of the Macabre
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

Sir Simon Rattle conductor 
Barbara Hannigan soprano 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes


Thursday 30 April 2020, 7.30pm BST
Adams and Berlioz 

John Adams Harmonielehre
Berlioz Symphonie fantastique

Sir Simon Rattle conductor 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes


BBC Radio 3 In Concert Archive Broadcast
Friday 1 May 2020, 7.30pm (BST) 
The Damnation of Faust 

Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Karen Cargill soprano
Bryan Hymel tenor
Christopher Purves baritone
Gábor Bretz bass 
London Symphony Chorus
Simon Halsey chorus director
Tiffin Children’s Chorus
Tiffin Girls’ Choir
James Day Tiffin choirs director
London Symphony Orchestra

Listen online (for 30 days from Friday 1 May)


Sunday 3 May 2020, 7pm BST
Mozart Concertos from LSO St Luke’s

Mozart Horn Concerto No 2
Mozart Clarinet Concerto
Mozart Oboe Concerto
Mozart Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major

Jaime Martín conductor
Olivier Stankiewicz oboe
Andrew Marriner clarinet
Timothy Jones horn
Juliana Koch oboe
Chris Richards clarinet
Rachel Gough bassoon

Read the digital programme notes


Thursday 7 May 2020, 7.30pm BST
Shostakovich Symphony No 5

Colin Matthews Hidden Variables
Gershwin
 Piano Concerto 
Shostakovich Symphony No 5

Michael Tilson Thomas conductor 
Yuja Wang piano 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes


Sunday 10 May 2020, 7pm BST
Berlioz Romeo & Juliet

Berlioz Romeo and Juliet

Valery Gergiev conductor 
Olga Borodina soprano 
Kenneth Tarver tenor
Evgeny Nikitin bass-baritone
London Symphony Chorus 
Simon Halsey chorus director 
Guildhall School Singers 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes


Thursday 14 May 2020, 7.30pm BST
Mendelssohn Symphony No 3

Mendelssohn Overture: The Hebrides
Schumann Piano Concerto
Mendelssohn Symphony No 3

Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor 
Maria João Pires piano 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes


Sunday 17 May 2020, 7pm BST
Mahler Symphony No 6

Mark-Anthony Turnage Remembering – In Memoriam Evan Scofield 
Mahler Symphony No 6

Sir Simon Rattle conductor 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes


Thursday 21 May 2020, 7.30pm BST
Shostakovich Symphony No 6

Britten Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from ‘Peter Grimes’
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 2
Shostakovich Symphony No 6

Gianandrea Noseda conductor 
Denis Matsuev piano 
London Symphony Orchestra

Read the digital programme notes


Sunday 24 May 2020, 7pm BST
Steve Reich Quartet and Sextet

Steve Reich Quartet 
Joe Locke Her Sanctuary 
Makoto Ozone arr Simon Carrington Kato’s Revenge
Steve Reich Sextet

LSO Percussion Ensemble

Read the digital programme notes
Watch on YouTube (for 48 hours from broadcast)


Thursday 28 May 2020, 7.30pm BST
Brahms German Requiem

Szymanowski Stabat Mater
Brahms
 German Requiem

Valery Gergiev conductor
Sally Matthews soprano
Ekaterina Gubanova mezzo-soprano
Kostas Smoriginas baritone
Christopher Maltman
 baritone
London Symphony Chorus
Simon Halsey chorus director
London Symphony Orchestra

Read our digital programme notes
Watch on YouTube (for 48 hours from broadcast)


Read, watch and listen

Sunday 31 May

Suggest 
Today is the last day in May, so we would love you to look back over your 30 day Classical Challenge suggestions and create your Classical Challenge playlist with all those wonderful pieces of music! You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..uk so that we can share it. We hope you have enjoyed this challenge as much as we have.
See all the themes 

Watch  
Tonight we are broadcasting our 2017 performance of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust which included this, now infamous, oboe moment... 
> Watch on Facebook

Read 
Our Always Playing concert is being broadcast tonight at 7pm (BST). If you would like to find out more about the conductor, soloists and music you can delve deeper with our digital programme notes.  
> Read the programme notes here  
> Watch the concert here 

 


Saturday 30 May

Listen
Culture Mile have launched Radio Local today. For two weeks, presenters Hunt & Darton are going hyper-local with a daily live broadcast, bringing the sounds and stories of Culture Mile into people’s homes. The first episode today sees our very own First Violinist Maxine Kwok discussing City life.  
> Tune in today at 1pm

Watch 
For our Movie Night Recommendation this week, we turn to Buckingham Palace for The Queen. With a star-studded cast featuring Helen Mirren (the Queen) and Michael Sheen (Tony Blair), a BAFTA-nominated, LSO-recorded score from Alexandre Desplat, and an engrossing and emotional story based on true events, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. 
> Watch a clip 
See all of our Movie Night Recommendations

Suggest 
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece that's BIG
Join in on Instagram 
See all the themes 


Friday 29 May

Explore 
On this day in 1913 Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring had it's infamous premiere in Paris. You can view a performance from four camera angles simultaneously now on LSO Play. Plus watch interviews and masterclasses and download new resources, created by Rachel Leach, to get under the skin of this controversial work.
> Explore The Rite of Spring 

Listen  
Last night we should have welcomed Manfred Honeck and Anne-Sophie Mutter to the Barbican for a performance of Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Strauss' Ein HeldenlebenWe are so sad that we are not able to perform live at the moment but, as a small offering, can we suggest that you have a listen to this 1996 recording of Ein Heldenleben conducted by Sir John Barbirolli?  
> Listen on Apple Music 

Suggest 
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece about space
Join in on Instagram 
See all the themes 


Thursday 28 May

Read  
Tonight’s broadcast from the archive is Brahms’ German Requiem. ‘Sally Matthews lifted her soprano high in an ecstasy of anticipated joy’ said The Times. Read about our fabulous soloists, the composer and the music in our digital programme notes.  
> Read the digital programme notes
> Watch the performance on YouTube (for 48 hours from 7.30pm BST on 28 May)

Suggest 
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece with a number in the title
Join in on Instagram 
See all the themes


Wednesday 27 May

Watch 
'To spend time with this score is really something incredibly enriching for your heart, your soul and for your intellectual curiosity' – Valery Gergiev talks about the depth and impact of Brahms’ German Requiem in this short film. Watch the full performance on Sunday in our broadcast from the archives.  
> Watch the film on YouTube 

Listen 
This week our discographer Philip has got some recommendations from the archive which focus on the highly dangerous occupation of being a soprano in a Puccini opera! Traditionally the characters that Puccini wrote for sopranos don't make it to the final curtain... But, can you name any of the soprano characters that get to the final beat of a Puccini opera alive? 
> Read our Recommendations from the Archive 

Suggest 
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece about a person
Join in on Instagram 
See all the themes 


Tuesday 26 May

Read
'I never expected my first blog post to be the start of a series, wrongly assuming like so many of us that we’d all be back at work within weeks and life would be returning to normal within the blink of an eye.' LSO Violinist Maxine Kwok continues her series of blogs, with insights into social-distanced garden recitals, a canine chorus and giving blood (!)
> Read the blog

Quiz
That’s right, it’s Tuesday, which can mean only one thing … it's time for our weekly LSO Classical Pub Quiz. Get your thinking caps on and head over to our Instagram at 7pm (BST) to test out your classical knowledge!
Join in with the quiz

Suggest 
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece about a place
Join in on Instagram 
See all the themes 


Monday 25 May 

Listen
For our fifth Coffee Session LSO Co-Leader Carmine Lauri invites us into his home this week for a feast of Spanish food and music, with Zapateado by Pablo de Sarasate featuring Simon Hester on piano.
> Watch the video now

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece you know thanks to someone special
> Join in on Instagram
> See all the themes 

Make Music
Looking for something creative to do this half term? Rachel Leach has created this special set of free resources to help you recreate Ravel’s iconic Bolero at home! To do the full activity with step-by-step instructions, download our Creative Projects at Home pack from our How To Build An Orchestra Resources page.
> Download the Creative Projects at Home pack


Sunday 24 May 

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece that’s inspiring
> Join in on Instagram
> See all the themes 

Read
Tonight’s concert features works by Steve Reich, Joe Locke and Makoto Ozone all performed by the inimitable LSO Percussion Ensemble. Delve deeper into this music with our digital programme notes.
> Read the digital programme notes 


Saturday 23 May

Watch  
We were saddened to hear of the death of composer Ezio Bosso last weekend. In his honour, our Movie Night Recommendation this week is Il ragazzo invisibile (The Invisible Boy). A delightful spin on the superhero movie, and a great introduction into foreign films for young teens it features a score by Ezio Bosso which is a thrilling adventure all of its own.

Il ragazzo invisibile is available to watch on Amazon Prime, YouTube and Google Play. 
> Watch a short film featuring the LSO
Read all of our movie night recommendations

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece with a stunning solo part
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes

Read 
Our concert tomorrow night with the LSO Percussion ensemble features music with the great Steve Reich. In this blog from the Barbican Pwyll ap Siôn interrogates how the music of Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams had a lasting transformation on the American musical landscape 
> Read the blog 


Friday 22 May

Listen  
Last night we should have been welcoming Ádám Fischer and Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider to the Barbican stage for a concert featuring Dvořák’s Symphony No 9, ‘From the New World’. We are so sad that we can’t perform for you live, but we love Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony so we wanted to take this opportunity to recommend you listen to it wherever you are.
> Listen on Apple Music

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece that reminds you of home
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes

Explore
May we introduce you to our new LSO Play listening exercises? The award-winning LSO Play is a free interactive and immersive web app, allowing you to experience the LSO on stage at the Barbican – anytime, anywhere. We have just launched new listening exercises for young people at Key Stages 2 and 3 (7 – 11 years old) and if you're a teacher, resource packs to download and use in classroom music lessons.

How to find the resources:
Go to LSO Play and click the menu button in the top left-hand corner of each performance.
Follow the link to Explore Orchestra where you will find all associated free resources for schools, young people, students or those interested in finding out more.
> Visit LSO Play


Thursday 21 May

Read
Last October, ahead of the concert we are broadcasting tonight, we had the pleasure of catching up with Denis Matsuev to talk about the great Russian composers, his good friend Gianandrea Noseda, and even how he can lose up to 3kg during a performance of Prokofiev's Second Piano Concerto!
> Read the full interview on our blog

Read & watch
Tonight we are broadcasting a concert recorded in October 2019, with Denis Matsuev as soloist in Prokofiev's gigantic Second Piano Concerto, plus music from Britten's Peter Grimes and Shostakovich's dramatic Sixth Symphony, conducted by LSO Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda. 
Read the digital programme notes
Watch on YouTube (for 48 hours from broadcast)

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece by a living composer
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes


Wednesday 20 May

Explore 
We are thrilled to launch our new resources ‘How to Build an Orchestra – Creative Projects at Home’ today. Designed to be used alongside our new children’s book How to Build an Orchestra, this collection of creative projects takes Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony and Ravel’s Bolero as the starting point for some fun and inventive home music-making. The book features video how-tos and audio extracts of both works performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, suitable for both teachers and home-schooling.  
> Download the free resources here 

Listen 
This week's recommendations from Philip our discographer are dedicated all those frustrated choristers who were preparing for performances and tours that can no longer take place. Philip would like to dedicate this in particular to the wonderful London Symphony Chorus who have been running rings around Beethoven in lockdown... 
Listen to the recommendations 
Watch the London Symphony Chorus’ Beethoven 9 relay 

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece about an animal
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes


Tuesday 19 May

Read 
From Elgar to Previn and Michael Tilson Thomas to Sir Simon Rattle, the LSO has been blessed with some illustrious Principal Conductors and Music Directors. Take a stroll through our history in our latest blog. 
> Read the blog

Quiz
That’s right… It’s Tuesday, which means that it is time for the LSO Classical Pub Quiz (the pub is out, but we can still have the quiz)! Join in on our Instagram stories from 7pm (BST) tonight.
> Join in on the LSO Instagram 

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece that's full of melancholy
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes


Monday 18 May

Explore  
Our City Together is a collaborative project from the City of London, bringing together cultural organisations and partners across the Square Mile. Drawing on music, art, film, lectures, photography, research, museum collections and more from the City’s world-class attractions, the initiative aims to show how creativity and culture can boost wellbeing and bring people together, and how history can help us make sense of the present. A new theme is explored each fortnight, beginning with ‘Kindness’, to each other and to oneself, marking Mental Health Awareness Week (18–24 May 2020). 
> Explore the new website 

Watch 
This week's edition of the LSO Coffee Sessions features LSO violinists Julián Gil Rodríguez and Alix Lagasse who perform Beeto Diaz's El Caleruno. Grab a coffee, sit back and take a journey to Bogotá, Colombia this Monday. We hope you enjoy.  
> Watch the Coffee Session on Facebook 

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece inspired by a legend
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes


Sunday 17 May

Read  
Tonight we are broadcasting a fascinating and moving concert from our archive featuring music by Mark-Anthony Turnage and Mahler. The performance is conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and you can read the full programme notes online.  
> Read the digital programme notes
> Watch the broadcast (for 48 hours from 7pm BST on Sunday 17 May)

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece that's full of drama
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes


Saturday 16 May

Watch 
Once it gets to the fourth instalment of JK Rowling’s much-loved magical series, we all know not to expect an uneventful year at Hogwarts. Things take a darker turn in the Goblet of Fire, as Harry finds himself the unsuspecting fourth competitor in the Triwizard Tournament... 
Patrick Doyle’s LSO-recorded soundtrack reveals a host of new themes, as well as an ominous twist on the familiar ‘Hedwig’s Theme’. 
Watch a clip
Read all of our movie night recommendations

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece to accompany a storm
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes


Friday 15 May

Listen  
Next week we would have been welcoming conducting great Ádám Fischer and violinist Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider to the Barbican to perform Mozarts Violin Concerto No 2. But, as you know, we are unable to come together to perform live, and so we thought we might suggest this recording of Mozart’s first three Violin Concertos performed by Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider as a Friday lunchtime listening treat. We hope that you enjoy them.  
> Buy or download from LSO Live  
> Listen on Apple Music 

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece about unrequited love
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes


Thursday 14 May

Read & watch
Tonight we take a journey with Sir John Eliot Gardiner for a programme of Mendelssohn's Overture: The Hebrides, 'Fingal's Cave', Mendelssohn Symphony No 3, 'Scottish', and Schumann's Piano Concerto with Maria João Pires.
Read the digital programme notes
Watch on YouTube (for 48 hours from broadcast)

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece about city life
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes 


Wednesday 13 May

Listen
Our (Samuel) Barber recommendation last week seemed to hit a nerve! So if a visit to the barber definitely isn’t on the cards, here are our recommendations for music to listen to while you let your hair down...
> Read our Archivists’ Recommendations 

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece about the woods
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes 


Tuesday 12 May

Watch
Had times been different, the London Symphony Chorus would have been on tour performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. But they are a determined bunch and with the help of modern video editing and keeping a healthy distance they have created this wonderful ‘Beethoven’s 9th Relay’. We really hope that you enjoy this film.
> Watch the London Symphony Chorus’ Beethoven Relay

Quiz
That’s right, it’s Tuesday, so it is time for the seventh weekly LSO Classical Pub Quiz. Get your thinking caps on and head over to our Instagram at 7pm (BST) to test out your classical knowledge…
> Join in with the quiz 

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece that's brand new
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes 


Monday 11 May

Watch
Happy birthday to the Tate Modern, 20 years old today! We had the most wonderful time there in June 2018 when, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, with Matthias Pintscher and Duncan Ward, the LSO performed Messiaen's Et exspecto resurrectionem morturom and Stockhausen's Gruppen for three orchestras for an audience in the Turbine Hall.
> Watch our short film about the performance 

Watch 
LSO Co-Leader Carmine Lauri, invites you into his home for this week's Coffee Session. Performing Henryk Wieniawski's Polonaise de Concert Op 4, accompanied by pianist Simon Hester. Pop the kettle on, and sit back and enjoy.
> Watch on Facebook

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece to play loudly
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes 


Sunday 10 May

Read
What makes Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet so special? Find out by reading this blog, and uncover five things that make this 'choral symphony' unmissable.
> Read our blog 

Read 
Tonight’s concert features Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet, and as always when Berlioz is involved, there is plenty of drama on and off the stage! Read all about in our programme notes.
> Read the digital programme notes 

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece about the ocean
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes 


Saturday 9 May

Watch
This week, we venture into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), for the universe-crossing, action-packed blockbuster, Thor (2011). Taking the Nordic myth and adding a touch of Hollywood magic, director Kenneth Branagh presents a sprawling story of justice, brotherhood (and of course, a little romance!).
> Watch a clip
> Read more

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece for romantics
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes 

Explore
If you enjoyed Thursday's performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No 5 with Michael Tilson Thomas at the helm, you might like to dive into the piece (digitally of course…) LSO Play uses high-definition concert footage, and gives you a view of a performance from different angles, with close ups of specific sections, a camera on the conductor and shots from a musician’s point of view. Plus you can watch up to four different views at once.
> Explore Shostakovich Symphony No 5 on LSO Play

Listen
★★★★★ The Observer
'Bryan Hymel led a cast of principals that could hardly have been bettered.' The Guardian

You can still listen to our 2017 performance of Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust with Karen Cargill and Christopher Purves on BBC Sounds for a few more weeks > Listen here 


Friday 8 May

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece to sing along to
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes 

Read
We have one more Star Wars treat to share with you this week. We are so proud to have worked on the Grammy Award-winning music for Galaxy's Edge with John Williams, so you can imagine we were thrilled to get this letter from him this week in honour of Star Wars Day. We couldn’t not share it…
> Read the letter
> Read an interview with Walt Disney Imagineering

Listen
Earlier this week, we would have been on tour in the US, performing Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle. Discover this operatic horror story with our recording by Valery Gergiev, Elena Zhidkova and Sir Willard White.
> Listen on our Apple Music season playlist 


Thursday 7 May

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece about mornings
Join in on Instagram  
See all the themes 

Watch
Tonight we're broadcasting a concert from 2015 which was a celebration of Michael Tilson Thomas’ 70th birthday. The 2019/20 season also marks the 50th anniversary of his first concert with the LSO. Double Bass player Matthew Gibson caught up with him last autumn to find out about his first experience with the LSO.
> Watch the video on Facebook

Read
Tonight’s concert was a special birthday celebration for Michael Tilson Thomas, performed in 2015. It features his good friend Yuja Wang as soloist in Gershwin’s sparkling Piano Concerto in F followed by Shostakovich’s Symphony No 5. You can read all of the notes and artist biographies in our digital programme notes 
> Read the digital programme notes
> Watch on YouTube (for 48 hours from broadcast)


Wednesday 6 May

Listen
This week our archivist has looked back to another year which was particularly challenging for the Orchestra: 1932. Although there were financial difficulties and increasing competition, the Orchestra still made some of it’s best recordings. Find out more and listen here:
> Read our Archive Recommendations

Watch
'[Michael Tilson Thomas] has an extraordinary gift for talking about music … [He] genuinely sees and feels music, with huge relish.' Some of our players got together to talk about LSO Conductor Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas's impact and legacy on the LSO in this special roundtable.

Catch MTT this Thursday at 7:30pm BST in our broadcast of a very special concert celebrating his 70th birthday back in March 2015.
> Watch the roundtable discussion  
> Watch the concert on YouTube (for 48 hours from broadcast) 

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece with an unexpected instrument
> Join in on Instagram  
> See all the themes 


Tuesday 5 May

Read
Yesterday LSO First Violin Maxine Kwok wrote a blog to continue her series about life for an orchestral musician in lockdown. Seven weeks in and she talks hula-hooping, quizzing, and a race around the world!
> Read the blog

Read her other blogs:
> Maxine Kwok: Finding the 'good' in the past week of lockdown
> Maxine Kwok: Living through lockdown

Quiz
Feeling quizzical? Well it’s a good job it’s Tuesday, because that means … it's LSO Classical Pub Quiz Day! Join us on our Instagram stories. We also have all of the previous quizzes saved on our stories highlights (just in case you missed any … or are in need of some questions for your week's Zoom quizzes!)
> Join in with the quiz

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece that reminds you of summer
> Join in on Instagram
> See all the themes


Monday 4 May

Watch
It is time for our next installment of our Coffee Sessions. These pieces of music chosen by LSO Players and performed and recorded at home are the perfect length for you to grab a cup of coffee and take a short break from everything that is going on right now. In this week's session LSO Violin Rhys Watkins and cellist Rowena Calvert perform Csárdás by Italian composer Vittorio Monti. We hope you enjoy!
> Watch on Facebook

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists.

Today’s theme is: A piece that's epic
> Join in on Instagram
> See all the themes

Star Wars Day

May 4th be with you! It's Star Wars Day and, as we have a long history and connection with the films, we have a few ways for you to celebrate with us!

Watch
LSO First Violin Maxine Kwok talks about how Star Wars brought her to the LSO.
> Watch the video on Facebook

Read
The LSO hasn’t just been involved in recording film soundtracks for Star Wars, but also music for theme park attractions!This year John Williams received his 25th Grammy for the Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite as Best Instrumental Composition. So we decided to take a closer look at the how the music for theme park attractions is created, and were thrilled to interview Matt Walker, head of the Walt Disney Imagineering Music Studio, and arranger/conductor William (Bill) Ross.
> Read the article


Sunday 3 May 

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists. 

Today’s theme is: A piece to help you sleep
Join in on Instagram
See all the themes 

Read
Tonight you can watch an all Mozart performance recorded at LSO St Lukes. These initmate chamber pieces will be a delightful companion to your Sunday evening. 
> Read our digital programme notes here


Saturday 2 May

Watch
We think that this short film from a concert broadcast at LSO St Luke’s of the Mozart Serenade No 10, performed by the LSO Wind Ensemble, is the perfect way to get you in the mood for tomorrow evening’s concert broadcast.
> Watch now on Facebook

Watch
It's almost May 4, which means it's almost Star Wars Day! To commemorate this, we're dedicating this week's Movie Night recommendation to this legendary franchise. Let John Williams’ score, first recorded with the LSO in 1977, transport you to a galaxy far, far away…
> Read more and watch the original trailer
> Read all of our previous recommendations

Suggest
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists. 

Today’s theme is: A piece that reminds you of nature 
Join in on Instagram
See all the themes 


Friday 1 May

Listen
Our lunchtime listening suggestion this Friday is Mahler's Symphony No 4, which we should have been playing in London, Vienna, New York, Chapel Hill, Barcelona and Madrid in April and May. We hope that you enjoy this recording with Valery Gergiev at the helm!
> Listen on Apple Music

Listen
If you can’t wait until our broadcast of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust on Friday 31 May, there is an opportunity to listen to it tonight on BBC Radio 3 in concert at 7.30pm (BST).
> Listen to the concert (available for 30 days from broadcast)

Suggest 
In May we are inviting you to take part in our ‘30 Day Classical Challenge’. Each day we are selecting a theme and we want you to pick a piece of music that fits that theme for you. You can post your choice to any social media channel using the hashtag #AlwaysPlaying or let us know what you have chosen to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can share it in our playlists. 

Today’s theme is: A piece that makes you want to dance!  
> Join in on Instagram
See all the themes


Thursday 30 April

Read & Watch
Tonight we are broadcasting a performance of John Adams’ Harmonielehre and Berlioz’ Symphonie fantastique in a concert which was performed live at the Barbican Centre, London, on Sunday 5 May 2019. Delve deeper into these two remarkable pieces in our digital programme notes.
> Read the digital programme notes

Contemplate
Created before the current crisis, The Hidden City is a photography commission by photographer Emile Holba that aims to change perceptions of the City and showcase the everyday creativity that takes place behind the scenes. The LSO is featured in a triptych of images alongside other organisations ranging from The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers to Barts Pathology Museum.
> View the full digital exhibition


Wednesday 29 April

Listen
Desperate for a haircut but can't get to the barber? Well... we can't help much with that but Philip our discographer, has got some suggestions so that you can be pampered by Samuel Barber!
> Read and listen to the LSO discography recommendations

Watch
Almost exactly a year ago we were rehearsing for performances of John Adams’ Harmonielehre. We went into the rehearsal to find out what it is like to rehearse with Sir Simon Rattle and made this short film.
> Watch the film on Facebook


Tuesday 28 April 

Quiz 
It's Tuesday which means... It's Quiz Day! Join us on our instagram stories for the LSO Classical Pub Quiz. We also have all of the previous quizzes saved on our stories highlights (just in case you missed any... or your are in need of some questions for this week's Zoom quiz...)
> Join in with the quiz

Read
This week we would have been performing Mahler's fourth Symphony in London, Vienna and New York. Find out more about this composer in our new timeline of his extraordinary life.
> Read the timeline 


Monday 27 April 

Watch
We are pleased to introduce our new series of Monday morning 'Coffee Sessions'. Each week we will feature a piece of music specially chosen by our players and recorded from home. We hope that you will be able to take a short a coffee break and soak up these small musical offerings. Our players have been so overwhelmed by all of the support that they have received from you, our wonderful audience. They are eager to get back to performing as a full orchestra, but in the meantime we hope that these will provide moments of calm and a distraction from this strange time. 
Today's clip features LSO violinists Alix Lagasse and Julian Gil Rodriguez who perform an arrangement of the last movement of Vivaldi's Concerto grosso in D minor.
> Watch the video

Read
Our Thursday night broadcast is a programme exploring works inspired by the strange hallucinations of night time.... Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and John Adams' Harmonielehre. In Harmonielehre, John Adams draws on dreams he had as a young man, including a vision of an oil tanker in the waters of San Francisco Bay blasting into space. How much do you know about Harmonielehre? Here are five facts:
> Read our blog


Sunday 26 April 

Read
Tonight we are streaming a blockbuster concert featuring works by Webern, Ligeti, Stravinksy and Berg! Read all about the music, composers and artists in our digital programme notes.
> Read the programme notes


Saturday 25 April

Watch
Our Movie Night recommendation this week is something small which packs a big punch! Honey, I Shrunk the Kids features an energetic and boisterous, yet tender, score by James Horner, recorded by the LSO.
> Read more and watch a clip
> Read all of our previous film recommendations

Watch
Just sneaking in at the end of Trombone Week (19–26 April) we wanted to bring this amazing performance recorded as part of the Barbican Sessions in 2018. It features our now Principal Trombone Peter Moore performing 'Doolallynastics – a brief torture for solo trombone’ by Brian Lynn.
> Watch the video


Friday 24 April 

Listen
In happier circumstances we would have recently performed Bruckner’s Symphony No 5 at the Barbican. As we are unable to perform live we hope that you might be able to listen to this recording with Lance Friedel and read the digital programme notes.

> Listen
> Read the digital programme notes 


Thursday 23 April 

Read
Tonight’s broadcast from the archive features two fascinating pieces: Tippett’sThe Rose Lake which was inspired by a trip to Senegal and features the most fantastic array of percussion instruments, and Mahler’s Tenth Symphony in a version completed by Deryck Cooke. Read more about the history and influences of these pieces in our digital programme notes. 
Read the digital programme notes
Watch on YouTube (until 7.30pm BST on Saturday 25 April)

Read
Ahead of tonight’s streaming of Tippett’s The Rose Lake which features over 30 rototom drums, Jari Kallio has been looking into some of the stranger instruments which have graced the Barbican stage in recent years...
> Read ‘Bells, whistles and... clocks’ on our blog 


Wednesday 22 April 

Listen
‘You can’t avoid Beethoven in 2020’ says our discographer Philip Stuart, and if you can’t avoid Beethoven's music, you might as well listen to the best! Read on to find out his recommendations from the LSO’s recordings in our weekly installment of inspiration from the archives. 
> Find out more and listen 

Listen
We are looking forward to the stream of our archive performance on Thursday which feature's Mahler's final, unfinished, symphony.
In preparation why not listen to this podcast from the Barbican Centre which features Edward Seckerson and Sir Antonio Pappano discussing Mahler and his music.
> Listen to 'Nothing Concrete' the Barbican podcast 


Tuesday 21 April 

Quiz
It’s that time again – the weekly LSO Classical Pub Quiz. This week’s theme is Weird and Wonderful Classical Facts. Join us on our instagram stories at 7pm tonight to play along.
> Join the quiz

Listen
On Sunday evening Scala radio had an LSO themed programme playing several works recorded by the LSO including Debussy’s Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune and other calming works by Tchaikovsky and Mahler.You can listen to Scala radio shows online for seven days after they are broadcast. 
> Listen here


Monday 20 April 

Listen or Read
This week's book club recommendation from Nathan Budden is the Time Traveller's Guide series by Ian Mortimer: 'I got through the whole Restoration Britain one in a day on my way back from Luxembourg in February.' These Lonely Planet style guides will give you all the information you need to navigate the past... 
> Listen to the audiobooks
Find out more and see our previous recommendations

Listen 
We are looking forward to the stream of our archive performance on Thursday which feature's Mahler's final, unfinished, symphony. 
In preperation why not listen to this podcast from the Barbican Centre which features Edward Seckerson and Sir Antonio Pappano discussing Mahler and his music. 
> Listen to 'Nothing Concrete' the Barbican podcast


Sunday 19 April 

Read
A splash of LSO history today. Find out about the works that had its first-ever performances with the LSO, and the conductors that made it happen.
> Read our blog

Read
Tonight we are broadcasting a rip-roaring concert from our archive featuring music by Bernstein, Bartók, Stravinsky and the list goes on! With five pieces by five composers and three soloists there is plenty to read about in our digital programme notes! 
Read the digital programme notes


Saturday 18 April 

Watch
Our Saturday night film recommendation is a tale of worlds colliding in 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Alan Silvestri’s jazz-flecked score follows the zany adventures of a gumshoe detective and femme fatale, where animation meets real life. The iconic performances of the music themes written for Jessica Rabbit were entirely improvised by the LSO.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is available to buy or stream on NowTV, Sky, iTunes, Amazon and other platforms.
> Watch a clip here

Watch 
This week we broadcast two performances featuring the London Symphony Chorus - Mahler's Symphony No 2 on Thursday 16 April and tomorrow you can see them in Szymanowski's Harnasie. They are the most fantastic choir, catch a sneak peek of what you can expect tomorrow here: 
> Watch a clip of the London Symphony Chorus


Friday 17 April 

Listen 

Next week we should have been performing Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra live at the Barbican Centre. Unfortunately we can't be there but why not listen to this LSO recording of the piece, conducted by Solti and follow our digital programme notes: 
> Listen online
> Read the programme notes 


Thursday 16 April

Read
‘It’s over a month since we sat down together as an orchestra’ LSO First Violin Maxine Kwok has been looking back on Easters past and talks a little more about life as a socially-distanced musician in the second installment of her blog.
> Read Maxine’s Easter blog
> Read Maxine’s blog about the first week of lockdown 

Sing
Tonight we are broadcasting a performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony. Following the success of our singalong to Verdi’s Requiem, Simon Halsey, Director of the London Symphony Chorus would like to invite you all to sing along from home.

Thank you so much to Goodmusic Publishing who have kindly provided a special, free edition of the choral score for you to sing along with the performance from home.
Please note that this free choral score is only for use for this performance and should be deleted from your files or destroyed after you have 'sung along'. 
A score is available to purchase for just £3.

Download a free temporary choral score of Mahler's Symphony No 2
Purchase a choral score

Read
Read our digtial programme notes

Watch
> Watch the concert on YouTube (until 7.30pm on Friday 17 April)


Wednesday 15 April 

Listen
Scala Radio presenter Sam Hughes has curated a playlist of music for mindfulness: ‘When life is chaotic and full of noise, music can transport you to a place of tranquillity and peacefulness.’
> Find out more and listen to the playlist 

Listen
This week our Discographer Philip Stuart has some recommendations from two of the Orchestra’s previous Principal Conductors: Pierre Monteux and Colin Davis. 
> Read the recommendations and listen 


Tuesday 14 April 

Quiz 
Have you been brushing up your Boulez? Reading up on Ravel? We hope you have because it's back: the LSO Classical Music Pub Quiz! Join us on our Instagram Stories at 7pm for a short quiz to test your musical knowledge. 
Also check out the highlights section where you can take part in our previous quizzes. 
Join here


Monday 13 April 

Listen or Read 
Nathan's recommendation in the LSO Truck Drivers' Book Club this week is Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream by Neil Young. Nathan listened to this when driving through France on the way to Barcelona early this year. Find out why he recommends it and read our previous suggestions on the Truck Drivers' Book Club page. 
> Listen to the audio book
> Find out more and see our previous recommendations

Read
Classic FM might be counting down to the nation's favourite piece of music tonight, but we've really got down to the nuts and bolts of the matter. In 2017 we ran a poll to find out what is the world's favourite note! But what do you think... do you agree?
> Read our blog 


Sunday 12 April

Listen
Tonight Scala Radio are dedicating some of their Sunday Night Scala show to the LSO! Tune in at 8pm BST to hear music recorded by the Orchestra in this show which gets stuck into the classics in full.
> Listen online here

Read
Our broadcast from the archive today is a concert featuring a firm favourite plus two pieces that might not know so well! Read all about Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 2, Shostakovich Symphony No 1 and Balairev's Islamey in our digital programme notes.
> Read the digital programme notes


Saturday 11 April

Read
Tomorrow evening we are streaming an archive broadcast of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 2 performed by Seong-Jin Cho. Widely enjoyed, but played only by the most skillful pianists, it has been performed in concert halls consistently since 1901. But how much do you really know about this landmark piece?
> Read 'Eight things you didn't know about Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 2' on our blog

Watch
This weekend's film recommendation tells the heart-wrenching but ultimately liberating story of a woman seeking to live her most authentic life. Desplat's delicate yet rousing score guides us through the emotional highs and lows of The Danish Girl.
The Danish Girl is available to buy or rent on major platforms including Amazon Prime, YouTube and Sky Go.
Watch a clip here
Read all of our Movie Night recommendations


Friday 10 April

Listen
Last Sunday we should have been at the Barbican presenting a performance of Sir James MacMillan's St John Passion. We hope that instead you will enjoy our suggestion of listening along to this wonderful piece of music in the comfort of your own home, making use of the programme notes to create something of a concert experience.
> Listen to St John Passion conducted by Sir Colin Davis
> Read the digital programme notes

Watch
Our recording of Schumann's Overture, Scherzo & Finale with Sir John Eliot Gardiner is out today. In this video Gardiner talks about how Schumann as possibly been misunderstood…
> Watch the video here


Thursday 9 April

Read
Tonight we are streaming a concert we performed at the Barbican in September 2017. It is a feast of Stravinsky, featuring his music to the ballets The Rite of SpringThe Firebird and Petrushka. Tune in a 7.30pm BST with these handy digital programme notes.
> Read the digital programme notes

Watch
'This is the point where Prince Ivan opens the casket and he finds the egg, which he needs to destroy, because the evil sorcerer Kashchei's immortality will go if he does.' Not sure what Rhys Watkins is talking about? Don't worry, LSO musicians explain the music and the amazing story of Stravinsky's The Firebird in this video.
> Watch LSO musicians on The Firebird

Watch
Rachel Gough, our Principal Bassoon, performs the iconic bassoon solo which opens Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in our concert broadcast this evening. In this archive interview with Rachel Leach she reveals what it is like to perform this amazing piece and helps you get under the skin of a bassoon player...
> Watch Rachel Gough on The Rite of Spring


Wednesday 8 April

Watch
Tomorrow evening we are broadcasting an archive recording of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. There was a moment in the original concert concerning trumpets and empty bottles that cause quite a stir… Watch this clip to find out more!
> Watch the clip on Facebook

Listen
This week our discographer Stuart brings to our attention a piece of Elgar's that took nearly a century to complete. Listen to the piece below and see his previous weekly recommendations from the archive.
> Listen to this and previous recommendations


Tuesday 7 April

Quiz
Back by popular demand, it’s the LSO Classical Music Pub Quiz! Join us on our Instagram Stories at 7pm for a short quiz to test your musical knowledge.
> Join here


Monday 6 April 

Listen or Read
This week we have our second recommendation in the LSO Truck Drivers Book Club: Between the stops: The view of my life from the top of the Number 12 bus by Sandi Toksvig. Nathan Budden says: I was listening to this when I had a few overnight drives to do on our January tours. Toksvig uses the stops on the Number 12 bus from her house to BBC Broadcasting House to relate to stories and events from her life. It was almost like she was sat there telling you a story, which was really helpful in keeping the brain going when you’re driving through the night.
> Listen to the book 
> Read previous recommendations

Watch 
If you missed yesterday's broadcast of an archive recording of Verdi's Requiem, there is still time to watch! The full performance is available on our YouTube channel until 7.30pm BST today. 
Watch the concert (until 7.30pm on Monday 6 April)
View the digital programme notes 
Download the score


Sunday 5 April

Read
Many composers through the years have found ingenious ways to self-isolate, to remove themselves temporarily from the noise and activity of domestic life for the sake of their music. Richard Bratby leads us down the garden path to the secluded world of the composer's hut…
> Music born in silence: Composers in self-isolation

Read
Tonight we are streaming a concert from our archive: LSO Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda conducting Verdi's Requiem.
> Read the digital programme notes


Saturday 4 April

Watch
Our Saturday night film recommendation is a gripping story which shines a light on the imperative underground work of mathematician Alan Turing, The Imitation Game. Listen out for the arpeggios (broken up chords) played on the piano in Oscar award-winning composer Alexandre Desplat's score – these are representative of Turing's thinking and of the workings of the Enigma machine.
The Imitation Game is available to stream on Amazon Prime and to buy on other major online platforms.
Watch a clip here 
> Read all of our Movie Night recommendations

Read
Tomorrow night we are streaming an archive concert of Verdi's Requiem, recorded at the start of the 2016/17 season, in the same year the London Symphony Chorus was celebrating its 50th anniversary. We took a look at some of the LSC's most memorable performances of the Requiem across their now 54-year history!
> The London Symphony Chorus and the Verdi Requiem


Friday 3 April 

Listen 
Today marked the release of Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 5 & 1, the third album in Gianandrea Noseda's ongoing cycle of the composer's complete Symphonies with the Orchestra. 
Listen on LSO Live

Watch
Last night we broadcast a performance of Szymanowski and Brahms which was performed in the Barbican Centre in October 2012. You can still watch the performance until 7.30pm BST on our YouTube channel. 
Read the Digital Programme Notes


Thursday 2 April 

Quiz
We set a bit of a brain teaser today on our facebook... How well do you know your fashion? Can you guess when and where this picture of a famous conductor was taken??
> Have a guess here

Watch
Tonight's live stream is conducted by Valery Gergiev. We ask LSO Principal Percussion Neil Percy to tell us what it was like to work with him. 
> Watch the video here


Wednesday 1 April 

Watch
Rachmaninoff was born on this day in 1873. As a celebration we invite you to listen to his Vespers a virtuosic showcase for the wonderful London Symphony Chorus. 
> Find out more in this video with Chorus Director Simon Halsey
> Listen to the Vespers on Apple Music 

Listen
Today we are launching a new series: each week until normal service can be resumed, our discographer, Philip Stuart, will offer some suggestions for exploring the LSO’s history in sound. The LSO's history of recording goes back over 100 years, and he will be delving into the archive to guide your listening. 
Naturally we are opening with an overture and an epic ... our musical journey starts with Leonard Bernstein. 
> Read more and listen to our recommendations


Tuesday 31 March 

Quiz
Tonight we will be hosting our first virtual 'pub' quiz. Questions will have a classical theme and you can join in from 7pm on the LSO Instagram page. When you are on our profile page just click on the LSO logo to be taken to our Stories - that is where we will be hosting the quiz. 
> Go to the LSO instagram page

Listen
'I smile every time I hear it, and right now that counts for a lot.' We asked writer Richard Bratby to tell us about his favourite LSO Live recording and what makes him listen time and time again. Would you have chosen the same?
Read Richard's thoughts on Sir Simon Rattle's exploration of Haydn


Monday 30 March

Listen
This week we are starting a new series where we bring you a recommendation of an audio book from Nathan Budden, one of our Stage Manager and Truck Drivers. He says: 'I’m big on Audiobooks while driving. I add them to my wishlist as I see ones I like, then when the time comes, I get the longest one. I’ve certainly got the time to get through them.'

This week's suggestion is Iron Man: My journey through heaven and hell with Black Sabbath – Tony Iommi 
'I was listening to this in the leadup to our concert in Birmingham. I’ve been into metal music for a long time. Given Birmingham is where Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath are from, I thought the run up to that gig was a good time to listen to it. I also noticed that the bridge over the canal just outside Symphony Hall on Broad Street is actually called 'Black Sabbath Bridge'!' - Nathan Budden
> Listen on Audible

Read
'The LSO is so much a part of me … I need to still feel it running through my blood.' LSO First Violin Maxine Kwok tells us all about her first week living through lockdown, and how she's keeping positive with memes and recipe recommendations from her fellow first violins, a daily cultural fix and #shoesasorchestralworks...
> Read Maxine's Blog


Sunday 29 March

Watch & Listen
Ever wondered what a conductor would have wanted his music to sound like? In this alternate version of 'Jupiter' from Holsts' The Planets from 1926, Gustav Holst himself conducts the LSO so you can hear it as he intended.
> Watch the video on YouTube

Read
Tonight we are streaming a concert from our archive featuring two great early 20th century masterpieces; Janáček’s Sinfonietta and Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony.
> Read the digital programme notes


Saturday 28 March 

Read
Between 1967 and 1977 Glenn Gould produced a trio of radio documentaries, the Solitude Trilogy, where he explores the experience of being an outsider in the physical world. We find out more about this exploration of social distance. 
The idea of North: a musician investigates social distance

Over on our instagram stories we've been looking to the classical greats for a little advice at this time... 
> Take a look at Sibelius' tips for social distancing 

Watch
Our Saturday night film suggestion is a feast for the eyes and ears as seven of the naughtiest children imaginable get their comeuppance in the surreal Nanny McPhee. The lurid colours of the cinematography are reflected in Patrick Doyle’s playful score, matching the mischievous antics of the children.
Nanny McPhee is available to stream on Now TV and to buy on other major online platforms.
> Watch a clip here
Read all of our Movie Night recommendations


Friday 27 March 

Read & Listen
With a greater number of us working from home than ever, one of our team has been thinking about the long history of music for private spaces. 
> Read our blog 'Music to stay in to'
> Listen to the playlist

Listen
This Sunday we would have been performing at the Barbican, but you don't have to miss out on the concert completely. We'll be highlighting LSO recordings of pieces from many of our cancelled events to listen along to at home and providing the programme notes you'd have in the concert hall too.
First up is Sibelius' Fourth Symphony and a recording with former LSO President and Principal Conductor, Sir Colin Davis.
> Listen on Apple Music (Tracks 5–8)
> Read the digital programme notes

Watch
A benchmark in the canon of note-perfect nun films, Black Narcissus of 1947 is frequently ranked among the greatest movies ever made. The LSO recorded Brian Easdale’s unnerving score shortly after World War II, which perfectly captures a ferocious wind howling through a mountain monastery, driving its sisters to violence and despair.
Black Narcicuss is available to stream via Amazon
> Watch a clip
Read all of our Movie Night recommendations


Thursday 26 March 

Read 
Tonight we are broadcasting a concert which was originally performed at the Barbican and broadcast live on 7 February 2019. Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout in Weber, Mendelssohn and Schumann.
View the digital programme notes

Today would have been our Panufnik Composers Scheme Workshop. Created around 15 years ago, the scheme supports early-career composers to write music for an orchestra, develop their skills and have it performed.
> Find out about the scheme and some of it's composers


Wednesday 25 March 

Listen 
Today marks 139 years since composer Béla Bartók was born. Musically he was a maverick, but also fascinated by musical tradition and folk culture. Budapest's movers and shakers thought he'd cut a good figure as a Hungarian Stravinsky, commissioning him to write ballets like The Miraculous Mandarin and The Wooden Prince – and on the music's surface, there are similarities. 
Listen to the Spotify playlist 'This is Bartók'

Read 
The concert we are broadcasting tomorrow features Isabelle Faust as soloist in Mendelssohn's Double Concerto for Violin and Piano, with keyboard player Kristian Bezouidenhout. Isabelle's 'Sleeping Beauty' Stradivarius has quite the story behind it...
Read about it, and other Stradivari in our blog

Watch
Tomorrow's concert was one of our most memorable concerts of 2019, when Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducted Schumann's Third Symphony, 'Rhenish', and works by Mendelssohn and Weber. The Orchestra were on their feet, and we were joined by a dynamic duo of soloists. 
Watch a clip of the concert on our facebook page 


Tuesday 24 March

Read 
In 2018, Sir John Eliot Gardiner launched his Schumann cycle, recorded for LSO Live, with concerts at the Barbican and on tour in Germany. In an excerpt from a conversation with David Nice, he introduced us to Robert Schumann's orchestral music, which we are bringing to your living rooms this Thursday (26 March 2020).
Read the blog

Short read
What do Burnham Beeches, the Barbican Centre and Mendelssohn all have in common?
Find out on our Facebook page

Listen
Something calming to listen to tonight: 'Nuages' from Debussy's Nocturnes, conducted by André Previn
Listen on Spotify


Monday 23 March

Read
Today we would have been visiting our friends at the Paris Philharmonie to perform a concert, conducted by François-Xavier Roth, with Alisa Weilerstein performing the Elgar Cello Concerto. It's a piece that we have a long history with...
Read about the LSO and the Elgar Cello Concerto

Watch
If you or a friend have been getting into classical music lately, you might be interested in digging deeper with some LSO revision videos. This one's about cadences – basically the full stops and commas of classical music.
Watch the video


Sunday 22 March 

We would have been performing with our Principal Guest Conductor at the Barbican Centre tonight, this offering of musical interests is in lieu of that performance. Plus catch a streamed concert with François-Xavier Roth at 7pm. Details in the 'Full Length Concerts' section, see above. 

Watch 
LSO Principal Guest Conductor François-Xavier Roth sits down with Rachel Leach for a deep-dive conversation into the conductor's life, career, and mission as a conductor. The perfect way to spend 25 minutes on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea. 
Watch the interview on YouTube

Read 
We'll be streaming a concert of Debussy, Bartók and Bruckner at 7pm. Have a read of the programme notes, first produced for the original concert in April 2017 and now in a new digital format. 
Read the digital programme notes

When we first performed tonight's programme in 2017, François-Xavier Roth had just been announced as our new Principal Guest Conductor. In this blog from the archive he spoke about his relationship with the LSO and the music of Debussy, Bartók and Bruckner. 
Read the blog

Listen 
Luci Holland investigates music from gaming in her programme on Scala Radio. On Saturday 21 March she included selections from the scores of Final Fantasy, composed by Nobuo Uematsu and recorded by the LSO on the Final Symphony album, released in 2015/16. 
Listen to the radio programme here (available for one week from broadcast)


Saturday 21 March 

Watch 
Saturday night is movie night, so we have another LSO-scored film recommendation for you. If you are looking for an uplifting story of triumph through adversity, Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut Unbrokenwith a score by Alexandre Desplat, is the perfect choice for you. Although make sure you have a box of tissues at the ready because this incredible true story gets worse before it gets better... 
Unbroken is available to stream on Netflix and to buy on other major online platforms. 
Watch a clip here
Read all of our Movie Night recommendations

Listen 
On World Mental Health Day last October, we asked our Instagram followers what music they listened to when they wanted to relax and clear their minds. We had so many great suggestions and used them to create this 'Self Care Playlist'.
Listen to the playlist on Spotify


Friday 20 March 

Watch 
In difficult times, music can help spark joy. Though it mightn't feel like #InternationalDayOfHappiness, we wanted to share a clip from Bernstein's Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, performed by Chris Richards, Katia & Marielle Labèque and the LSO conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
Watch the clip on facebook

Read
The LSO has a long history of recording scores for films. Each Friday and Saturday we will be recommending a film for you to watch that weekend. By way of introduction, have a read of this article all about our association with moving pictures. 
Read The LSO and Film

Watch 
Our Friday night film suggestion is one for all the family (could make a great Saturday matinee as well!). Disney/Pixar’s Brave, has all the hallmarks of a classic fairytale, but with a contemporary twist. 
You can stream or buy Brave on all major online platforms. 
Watch a clip here
Read all of our Movie Night recommendations


Thursday 19 March 

Today we were scheduled to perform at the Barbican Centre with François-Xavier Roth leading a programme of Bartók and Stravinsky with violinist Isabelle Faust. Here are a few ways to delve into that music:

Read
Richard Bratby has opened a door onto the world of Béla Bartók - his influences, his travels and why he deserves even more love than he gets at the moment.
Read the article here

Watch 
François-Xavier Roth (or FXR as he is affectionately known) is a firm favourite of our audience and it is not hard to see why. This special encore, performed with Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, will hopefully warm your cockles. 
Watch the video here

Listen
While we can't be together with you in the concert hall for now, you can still enjoy the music we would've been performing with our 2019/20 season playlist. 
Listen to the playlist here

Schools, Families and Young People

LSO Discovery resources for Schools, Families and Young people

Looking for fun and interesting music-based tasks for young people, to continue learning at home or in school? LSO Discovery has a number of resources available for free online, allowing you to get closer to the music and to the orchestra. More will be added in the coming weeks, so do keep checking back.

Let us know if you have been using these resources and if you have found them useful. You can get in touch on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and use #AlwaysPlaying or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

With the London Symphony Orchestra members at its heart, LSO Discovery aims to develop creativity in people of all ages and to allow them to reach their highest musical potential, give young people the thrill of live orchestral music and provide access to a creative musical experience relevant to the widest range of people.
> Find out more about LSO Discovery

LSO Play

The award-winning* LSO Play is a free interactive and immersive web app, allowing you to experience the LSO on stage at the Barbican – anytime, anywhere. View the orchestra from four camera angles simultaneously, and switch between them during the performance. You can focus on anything from the tips of a drumstick to the violinists' fingers. Choose from six performances, all filmed live in HD.

You'll also find masterclasses with LSO players, listening guides with contextual information on the musical background, listening exercises for young people at Key Stages 2 and 3 and if you're a teacher, resource packs to download and use in classroom music lessons.

Choose from six performances, all filmed in HD during the LSO’s Barbican season.

> Visit LSO Play

How to find the resources
Go to LSO Play and click the menu button in the top left-hand corner of each performance. 
Follow the link to Explore Orchestra where you will find all associated free resources for schools, young people, students or those interested in finding out more.

* Awards include gold and silver in the 2018 Lovie Awards (Cultural Insitutions and Best User Experience categories respecitvely), the 2014 Webby Awards (Music category), a silver in the 2014 Lovie Awards (Best User Experience category) and the FWA's coveted Site of the Day.

Resources for Key Stage 2 and 3 Teachers and Young People

Teacher Resource packs and Listening Tasks for Key Stage 2 and 3 for six pieces of music are all available to download for free. Designed to be used in collaboration with LSO Play, they can be found on tes.com, Apple iBooks store and LSO Play itself (all are free downloads).

View the LSO resources on tes.com
> View the LSO resources on Apple iBooks store: Search “LSO Discovery” in the iBooks app on Mac, iPad or iPhone

How to Build an Orchestra

Discover everything about orchestras and their instruments with our beautifully illustrated childrens' book How to Build An Orchestra, produced in association with Hachette Children‘s Group. 
Click here to buy the book and to find free resources for young people and families at home, or teachers in school. Suitable for ages 7+.

Find out more

iTunes U channel

LSO Discovery maintains an active and rich iTunes U channel, featuring resources more tailored to those wanting a deeper understanding of music. Video series include A-Level seminars; Artist Conversations; and Compose Yourself, a collection of resources for composers.

> Visit the LSO iTunes U channel

A-level Music Revision

A playlist of revision shorts from LSO Discovery to support students studying Music A-level.

> Watch revision videos

A-level Music Seminars

Seminars to support students studying for A-level Music. With in-depth analysis of set works and performances from LSO Players.

> Watch seminars

Where can you find us?

Living Music

Living Music is the LSO's magazine, published twice a year.
Click here to view the latest issue.