On 3 March 2022 we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Barbican Centre in the City of London – the internationally-acclaimed multi-arts venue, the largest in Europe, and home to the London Symphony Orchestra.
The LSO has been privileged to be Resident Orchestra at the Barbican since the very beginning. In the past 40 years of our residency, the Orchestra has flourished thanks to the collaboration with the Barbican and financial support from the City of London Corporation. As well as remembering the many rewarding moments we have experienced together, this is as much an opportunity to look ahead to an ambitious future as part of the artistic vision for the Centre, which has creativity, education and inclusion at its heart.
'40 years on, it’s the people who have populated the Barbican Centre who I remember. The many wonderful musicians, the backstage staff, the management, the audience, and our shared experience.'
~Patrick Laurence, LSO Double Bass
On 3 March 2022 we will be celebrating this milestone with a performance of Haydn's The Creation in the Hall, and with a series of live and recorded performances by musicians drawn from our LSO Discovery programme, which looks to the future of music, providing world-class experiences, insights and opportunities to the next generation of musicians and creatives – enriching lives through the transformative power of music.
Before the concert
6.15–6.45pm, The Curve
Chamber music by Daniel Kidane and Benjamin Britten, performed by LSO musicians Steve Doman, Juliana Koch, Maxine Kwok and Julián Gil Rodríguez, as part of the Barbican's exhibition in The Curve, Out and About, which highlights 40 moments and stories in London's LGBTQ+ history.
From 6.30pm, Barbican Foyers
Since it began in 1990, LSO Discovery has been underpinned by the Orchestra’s residency at the Barbican.
Tonight, alongside LSO musicians who are at the heart of this unique programme, we are proud to present contributions from the music-makers who are the future of music.
Fanfares by Cassie Kinoshi, performed by
LSO East London Academy Percussion
Classical Meets Jazz perform ReCreation
LSO East London Academy recorded performance of DreamCity
LSO Members perform chamber music in The Curve's exhibition Out and About, which highlights 40 moments and stories in London’s LGBTQ+ history
Full details of performers, performances and locations can be found in our Digital Guide, available here.
8–10pm, Barbican Hall
Joseph Haydn The Creation (sung in English)
Harry Christophers conductor
Out of chaos comes wonder; from darkness, light. Haydn’s oratorio The Creation is more than just a gloriously tuneful retelling of the Book of Genesis. Inspired by Haydn’s visits to London and the optimism of the Enlightenment, it’s a celebration of the act of creativity itself, overflowing with majesty, humour and the sheer, irrepressible joy of life.
What better way to mark the 40th anniversary of our home, the Barbican, than with the full London Symphony Chorus, an unsurpassable team of soloists, and music that – 224 years after its premiere in Vienna – sounds as fresh as the day it was first imagined.
You can find information on the music and performers, along with details of the Barbican's 40th anniversary celebratory long weekend and an article about the 'modern wonder' that is the Barbican Centre and highlights of our 40 years in residence by Michael White, in our concert programme which is free to download as a PDF
All ticket holders for our concert are invited to celebrate the Barbican’s 40th Anniversary with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. We are delighted to be working with Barbican Bars to offer this as a small gesture of appreciation for the support of our audience over the years. We very much look forward to toasting this special moment in the Orchestra’s and the Barbican’s history with you!
Please visit the Circle bar and dedicated pop-up bar on the Ground Floor, or the Theatre Bar and Stalls bar on Level Minus 1 before the concert and show your concert ticket to receive your complimentary glass of sparkling wine, or non-alcoholic alternative.
- Available pre-concert only, from 6.30pm
- Drinks are not allowed in the concert hall, so please arrive in good time to enjoy your drink
- Offer is limited to 1 drink per ticket holder only
- Non-alcoholic alternatives will only be available from the Stalls bar or Circle bar
- Sparkling wine available to over 18s only
The concert will be broadcast live on Mezzo Live HD, available to subscribers in 60 countries. It will also be recorded for future broadcast on 23 March on BBC Radio 3.
'Being a resident of the Barbican and a member of the LSO for over 20 years I have seen and performed in a fair few concerts, but I have to say the Orchestra’s 100th anniversary concert in 2004 really stands out. It will always remain close to my heart.’'
~Maxine Kwok, LSO First Violin
Highlights and archives
- Viewing the building site Viewing the building site
- The LSO at 90 The LSO at 90
- Centenary concert Centenary concert
- Sir Colin Davis' 75th birthday Sir Colin Davis' 75th birthday
- Official photo, 1990s Official photo, 1990s
- Official photo, 2000s Official photo, 2000s
- Official photo, 2006 Official photo, 2006
- Welcome Sir Simon Rattle! Welcome Sir Simon Rattle!
- LSO Discovery Choirs sing in the foyers LSO Discovery Choirs sing in the foyers
- Family Workshops, Fountain Room Family Workshops, Fountain Room
- Bernard Haitink's 90th birthday Bernard Haitink's 90th birthday
- Viewing the building site Viewing the building site
- Acoustic tests, 1981 Acoustic tests, 1981
- Official opening programme, 3 March 1982 Official opening programme, 3 March 1982
- HM The Queen opens the Barbican Centre HM The Queen opens the Barbican Centre
- Claudio Abbado, LSO Principal Conductor Claudio Abbado, LSO Principal Conductor
- Gruppen, 1983 Gruppen, 1983
- Michael Tilson Thomas, LSO Principal Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, LSO Principal Conductor
- Principal Conductors André Previn & Michael Tilson Thomas Principal Conductors André Previn & Michael Tilson Thomas
An irreverent cut-and-paste journey through the history of the Barbican Estate and Centre, as seen in promotional films, news items, music videos, TV drama and motion pictures:
'With a sudden, awful sinking feeling that went right to the bottom of my stomach I realised that I had left my bass in the Guildhall from the afternoon's rehearsal! And it really wasn't going to magically appear, however much I wanted it to.'
~Matthew Gibson, LSO Double Bass
Explore the London Symphony Orchestra’s 40 years as Resident Orchestra at the Barbican through a free digital treasure hunt around the Centre, powered by the augmented reality app ZOME.
We have set 10 locations around the Barbican Centre and Estate for you to visit, taking you to some of the interesting parts of the building and its environs and helping you to explore the hidden beauties of this amazing and unique place.
At each location you will be able to take a look through some of our archive and video performances, and collect a token. Collect all 10 tokens for a chance to win an exclusive LSO gift pack (10 available)! Winners will be contacted via their registration email address after 13 March.
The treasure hunt will be available until Sunday 13 March.
How to take part