Celebrating the Barbican at 40

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.

Quick links

> Buy tickets
> Digital Guide to the pre-concert foyer performances
> Download the Concert Programme

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

Let's Celebrate!

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 musicians, Guildhall Artist Masters:
Orchestral Artistry alumni and LSO East
London Academy Brass

Ayanna Witter-Johnson and LSO Percussion
Ensemble perform Forever and Unconditionally

LSO East London Academy Percussion
perform Karakurenai and Sunrise

Classical Meets Jazz perform ReCreation

LSO Create recorded performance of Create Creation

LSO East London Academy recorded performance of DreamCity

A selection of recorded performances and highlights celebrating the LSO’s residency at the Barbican, including a new recording by the LSO Community Choir

LSO Members perform chamber music in The Curve's exhibition Out and About, which highlights 40 moments and stories in London’s LGBTQ+ history

Digital guide

Full details of performers, performances and locations can be found in our Digital Guide, available here.


The concert

8–10pm, Barbican Hall

Joseph Haydn The Creation (sung in English)

Harry Christophers conductor
Lucy Crowe Gabriel, Eve
Andrew Staples Uriel
Roderick Williams Raphael, Adam
London Symphony Chorus
Simon Halsey chorus director
London Symphony Orchestra


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.

Change of conductor
Sir Simon Rattle had a minor surgical procedure earlier this month which regrettably has not healed as quickly as expected. To allow proper time for recovery he has agreed with his doctors to cancel his conducting engagements with the LSO of Haydn’s Creation on Thursday 3 and Sunday 6 March. The London Symphony Orchestra is delighted to announce that Harry Christophers has agreed to step in to conduct the concerts. We all wish Sir Simon a speedy recuperation.

Souvenir progamme

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
> Download the Souvenir Programme


Complimentary drinks

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

Photo Gallery

Pictoral Timeline

Explore more of the highlights of our 40 years in residence in this timeline.

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

Read Matt's story of his first experience on the Barbican stage...



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

1. Download the ZOME app from the App Store or Google Play
2. Sign up using email
3. Open ZOME at the Barbican Centre and explore. Ensure that Location Service is enabled.

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ZOME01 300 ZOME02 300 ZOMESculpture Court 04 300 ZOME Map 300