LSO Discovery Family Concert: Wonderland


Suitable for 7- to 12-year-olds

Sun 8 Nov 2015 2.30pm - 3.30pm
Barbican Hall, London

BEETHOVEN Overture to Prometheus
ELENA KATS-CHERNIN The Dance of the Paper Umbrellas*
TCHAIKOVSKY Excerpts from The Nutcracker Suite
PAUL RISSMANN Wonderland Suite
JOHN WILLIAMS Selections from Harry Potter

Ben Gernon conductor
Paul Rissmann
LSO Discovery Choirs
London Symphony Orchestra


Tickets: £5 under-18s; £10 adults

£3 online booking fee, £4 telephone booking fee per transaction - click here for more information on booking fees


*The Dance of the Paper Umbrellas appears on the album Hush Collection Volume 13, which will be available to buy at the Family Concert on 8 November. The Hush Music Foundation is an Australian charity which produces music to soothe children undergoing treatment in hospital: read more.


You might also like...

Sun 25 Oct 2015
Family Open Day: Alice in Wonderland

Thu 29 Oct 2015
Family Workshop: Reveal Ravel

Sun 7 Feb 2016
LSO Discovery Family Concert

Sun 12 Jun 2016
LSO Discovery Family Concert

RecClassicfm 110 2013

150 years after Lewis Carroll penned his mind-bending tale, the LSO is proud to present this Family Concert inspired by Alice and her Wonderland.

Beethoven stirs us from our slumber and chases us down the rabbit hole where we’re faced with Elena Kats-Chernin’s Dance of the Paper Umbrellas, shimmering with the excitement of a new land. From one dance to another: we find ourselves in the equally fantastical world of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, with the Sugar Plum Fairy as our guide. Then it’s time for the main event: presenter and award-winning children’s composer Paul Rissmann’s Wonderland, a 20-minute orchestral and choral imagining of Carroll’s most famous story, and a world premiere! Before we return to reality, there’s just time for a quick visit to Hogwarts, for some wonder of a more wizardly kind …


Foyer Activities

Pre-concert workshops
10.30am–12.45pm, main foyers & Fountain Room
Get into the spirit for the main performance with these music and arts & crafts workshops themed around the concert. 

Tickets: £5 per person, open to Family Concert ticket holders only, advance booking essential – call the Box Office on 020 7638 8891

Free foyer activities
1.10–2.20pm, main foyers & Fountain Room
Arrive early to join in with The Mad Hatter's Tea Party! Run in conjunction with Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning, this will include crazy arts & crafts and games as well as trying out instruments with LSO musicians. There will also be a singing workshop in The Queen’s Garden, where you can practice the participation piece; a music workshop in The Musical Rabbit Hole; and storytelling in The Pool of Stories!

Tickets: Free entry, no need to book


From 2pm, Stalls Lounge
For children under seven, be sure to book a place at the free crèche in The Caterpillar's Den.

Tickets: Free. Open to concert bookers only, advance booking essential – call the Box Office on 020 7638 8891

Audience Participation

Wonderland Suite is brand new piece of music inspired by Alice in Wonderland and composed especially for this Family Concert by presenter Paul Rissmann. The LSO Discovery Choir will feature as soloists during the suite, but we’d love it if you joined in singing at key moments too.

There are five short musical phrases for you to learn, and all the words are available in the document to download below. Have a listen to how each section sounds using our special practice tracks. Then, once you have learned to sing each part, listen to the entire piece and sing along! Don’t worry if you can’t learn it all. There will be words available on the day and a drop-in singing workshop from 1.10pm in the foyer if you want to practice some more.

For this concert there will be no instrumental participation piece so instruments will not be played in the hall. Please do bring your instruments though, if you’d like to play them in our drop-in music workshop from 1.10pm on the foyer.

Good luck!

 download generic
Wonderland Suite lyrics (PDF)







Calling all budding artists!

Although many of us have a visual sense of Alice thanks to Disney – either in her cartoon form from 1951 or in Tim Burton’s 2010 digital guise – the first ever visual representation of Wonderland was drawn by Sir John Tenniel.

During our concert in the Barbican, we will project all the lyrics the children sing above the Orchestra, but there are also some purely instrumental sections in the Suite. So it would be great to have some nice bold, images to show on screen as the Orchestra plays!

We would love to receive artwork inspired by:

  • The Cheshire Cat
  • The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party 

Why not read some excerpts from the book and then make your own artwork inspired by these characters or scenes?

Please send your work to the LSO via email and we will try and show as many pictures as possible on screen during these movements during the concert. For best results the pictures should:

  • Be as colourful as possible – pen, paint, crayon all project brilliantly, pencil is not so successful
  • Be in A4 landscape format with a margin 17mm from the edge
  • Have no names appear on the drawing (it gets far too exciting if we project young people’s names on screen!)

Please email your artwork, preferably as a PDF, to [email protected] before Monday 2 November 2015.