Delve deeper into the music with interviews, performances and behind-the-scenes clips.
We have also been recommending a film with an LSO-recorded soundtrack each week.
Wednesday 9 December: Archive Dive Extra!
Usually we share Discographer Philip Stuart's weekly rummage through our recordings archive on the Listen page, but today we posted a special video from 1964 on Facebook and asked the question: "how many players can you recognise?" Here is the full list of players on that session for you to check your answers (click to download as a PDF):
How did you do? Check your rating:
0: excused - you're probably too young to remember
1-3: good - you have their Mozart Clarinet and Horn Concertos in your record collection?
4-6: very good - you spotted the violinist wearing dark glasses
7-9: excellent - you didn't just identify the section principals
10+: incredible - you must have been there
In February 1964 the London Symphony Orchestra spent a day at Associated-Rediffusion’s Studio 5 in Wembley recording a fifty-five minute programme that was never broadcast.
ELGAR Enigma Variations Op.36 : W.N. & Nimrod
BEETHOVEN Symphony No.3 in E flat Op.55 “Eroica”
A copy was recently donated to our archive and after an initial disappointment - two variations from “Enigma” had barely begun when the orchestra disappeared from the screen, to be replaced by stock shots of the Malverns - once the “Eroica” got under way Sir Adrian Boult was seen presiding over an orchestra full of famous LSO names. Virtually unknown for half a century, it can now be viewed as a significant addition to surviving video both of the conductor and of the Monteux-era LSO. It is not available as a commercial release, but you can obtain a DVD-R copy in basic packaging by going to https://crqeditions.co.uk/lsoff.php
Monday 20 July
Lockdown hasn't dampened the spirits of the LSO Community Choir! While they can't be singing together in the same room right now, they're still singing. Here's some of their members singing 'A Little Bit of Love' by Graham Kendrick, arranged by Craig McLeish and conducted by David Lawrence.
Wednesday 15 July
Instead of playing in person at Festival d'Aix-en-Provence we recorded for them a special socially distanced performance at LSO St Luke's, which you can now watch on the Festival website.
Playing together again for the first time since March was indescribable, and we give our thanks to the many people who worked so hard to make the building and orchestra layout safe for us to return.
> Watch the broadcast (available for 90 days)
Sunday 5 July
The London Symphony Chorus have been working during lockdown with composer Howard Goodall on a commission, Never To Forget, a virtual, visual and acoustic memorial project dedicated to UK health and care workers who have died in the Covid-19 pandemic. It pays tribute to 122 health and care workers who were among the first to have died from Covid-19. The text of this new piece is made up entirely of the names of these health and care workers, and when complete, “Never To Forget” will be extended to include all names of those health and care workers who have died by the time of its first live performance. Currently this stands at over 300 names.
Thursday 25 June
LSO Jerwood Composer+ participant Emma-Jean Thackray released her EP Rain Dance back in March this year and we've been enjoying her track Movementt in this sunny weather.
Monday 15 June
We are pleased to launch Where’s Simon? today. This new online concert, suitable for families and carers with children aged 5+, features Sir Simon Rattle and musicians from the LSO.
Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra have been adjusting to life at home, but they have missed playing together. Simon was supposed to have been attending the wedding of his old friend Figaro but sadly couldn't travel there. The LSO players suggested doing a special online concert for him and Simon agreed to conduct!
Once you've enjoyed the Where's Simon? concert, test out what you have learnt by trying out our quiz and explore some listening recommendations directly from the LSO players.
Wednesday 10 June
In tomorrow evening’s broadcast you can watch a performance of Emily Howard’s Antisphere which opened our 2019/20 season at the Barbican. In this film she talks all about the complicated shape which inspired her to write the piece.
Thursday 4 June
We are pleased to announce the launch of our new online, interactive chamber concert for 'Olivia Forms a Band' for families with primary school-aged children. Featuring LSO musicians, curated and presented by Rachel Leach in collaboration with Simon & Schuster, it is based on Ian Falconer's well-loved children's book Olivia Forms a Band, we invite young people and their families to undertake a musical journey with Olivia!
Sunday 31 May
Tonight we are broadcasting our 2017 performance of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust which included this, now infamous, oboe moment...
Friday 29 May
On this day in 1913 Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring had its 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.
Wednesday 27 May
'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.
Saturday 23 May
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.
Friday 16 May
Mark-Anthony Turnage talks with Rachel Leach about the story behind his piece 'Remembering'. See the piece on Sunday as part of our #AlwaysPlaying archive concert broadcasts, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle alongside Mahler's Symphony No 6.
Tuesday 12 May
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.
Monday 11 May
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.
LSO Choral Director Simon Halsey invites us into his home to explore Berlioz's Romeo & Juliet, in depth. Watch the full concert until 7.30pm (BST) on Tuesday 12 May 2020.
Saturday 9 May
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.
Thursday 7 May
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.
Wednesday 6 May
'[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.
Monday 4 May
Star Wars Day
May 4th be with you! It's Star Wars Day! LSO First Violin Maxine Kwok talks about how Star Wars brought her to the LSO.
Saturday 2 May
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.
Wednesday 29 April
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.
Saturday 25 April
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.
Friday 24 April
Although we are unable to physically play and practice together, our second violin section have been keenly keeping up with each other. LSO second violin Bindi McFarlane shared the following words: 'The hardest thing for us all as musicians during lockdown has been the sudden and devastating evaporation of being able to do what we do: to make music together. This cannot really be replaced by an online virtuality. As lockdown progressed, and our group LSO second violin WhatsApp messaging intensified, it was clear that we were all missing each other. We wanted to play together, but also wanted to make a statement of our own individual lockdown scenarios. Hopefully we have done this with a little humour, a little artistry, and maybe even a sense of poignancy – that life is not the same for us as we are forced to play 'apart', and not 'together'. The LSO second violins are a close knit section. Being a second violinist is a true calling – often the unsung heroes of the string section, it brings with it a certain sense of camaraderie, and is widely acknowledged as attracting a certain 'type'. Our section has members aged 27–61 hailing from 8 countries across the globe. What binds us together is definitely our style of music making, as well as a love of section birthday cakes, convivial, (occasionally raucous!) on tour dining experiences, and our sense of humour... some would say the latter an essential quality to bring a second violin!'
Saturday 18 April
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:
Friday 10 April
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…
Thursday 9 April
'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.
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...
Wednesday 8 April
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!
Thursday 2 April
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.
Wednesday 1 April
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.
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.
Wednesday 25 March
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.
Monday 23 March
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.
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.
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.
Friday 20 March
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.
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:
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.