BMW Classics 2022

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A free open-air concert in the heart of London

Sat 11 Jun 2022 5.00pm - 6.40pm
Trafalgar Square, London

George Gershwin Cuban Overture
Max Bruch
Kol Nidrei *
Ernest Bloch
Prayer from Jewish Life *
Ayanna Witter-Johnson
FAIYA! (world premiere) +
George Gershwin
An American in Paris

Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello *
LSO On Track Musicians +
London Symphony Orchestra

FREE ENTRY – take your place from 3.45pm for a 5pm start

No glass or furniture in the Square.

 

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On Saturday 11 June 2022, a giant temporary stage in the Square will once again host Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra for a free concert for an audience of thousands in one of the world’s most iconic public spaces, Trafalgar Square, and to thousands more watching the live stream on YouTube.

The 2022 BMW Classics concert programme opens with George Gershwin’s evocative sunny Cuban Overture. For the central section of the concert, in contrasting mood, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason marks his debut live performance with the Orchestra, playing two sublime masterpieces for cello and orchestra, Bruch’s Kol Nidrei and Bloch’s Prayer from Jewish Life.

This is followed by the world premiere of FAIYA! a specially commissioned work by Ayanna Witter-Johnson. This dance inspired piece written for a mixed-ability orchestra brings together LSO musicians with 55 young musicians from east London as part of the LSO On Track partnership, and 18 students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. For the final work the upbeat tempo returns with a second Gershwin classic, An American in Paris.

For our audiences around the world, the concert will also be live-streamed on our YouTube channel and made available for a limited time.

FAQs

Getting in and out
Entry and exit to Trafalgar Square is via the Upper Terrace in front of The National Gallery at either end, and via the south east corner towards the entry for Charing Cross Tube station. The south west corner towards the Mall is for exit only. Entrances will open from 3.45pm.

If you have drinks in glass bottles with you, you will be asked to decant these into biodegradable plastic jugs provided at the entrance points.

What if it's full?
The lower part of the square will be filled up first; the upper terrace will have a very limited view of the stage.

We advise that you should arrive early to secure a place. Entrances will open from 3.45pm. Should the square fill completely, we will need to close the entrance barriers and it’s unlikely any further entry will be granted.

Please be aware that if you leave the Square and it fills up while you are out, you will not be able to get back in.

Accessibility
We have implemented the following measures to make the event as accessible and inclusive as possible for a wide range of audience members:

  • A step-free level access area in the centre of the Upper Terrace with wheelchair spaces, companion seats, and seats for those who may have other access requirements. The best entry points for this area are either side of The National Gallery.
  • Capacity is limited and places in the access area can be booked in advance here. There will also be a small number of places available on the day on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • You may find it easiest to enter the square via the north west corner, which is normally slightly less busy.
  • The area also has a hearing loop.
  • Large print programmes are available.
  • There is a portable accessible toilet near this area in addition to the accessible toilet within the permanent toilet block on lower part of the Square.
  • Please note that the lifts between the Upper Terrace and lower part of the Square are not currently in operation.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome.

Not comfortable?
Furniture is not allowed in the Square. Cushions are available to hire from carts at just £2.50 each. Toilets are located on the lower terrace towards the back.

Can we bring a picnic?
You are welcome to bring food and drink in, although please do not bring glass for safety reasons. If you have drinks in glass bottles with you, you will be asked to decant these into biodegradable plastic jugs provided at the entrance points.

There are no refreshment facilites within the Square. Please be aware that if you leave the Square and it fills up while you are out, you will not be able to get back in.

Please don't bring furniture with you, but rugs for the floor are fine.

What if it rains?
We’ll play on for as long as we can, but if the rain gets too heavy we’ll have to stop. There will be messages on the big screens and announcements made, so sit tight and we’ll keep you posted. We have biodegradable plastic ponchos in case you didn't bring a coat!

What time will it finish?
About 6.30pm. We will update this estimate closer to the concert.

Concert Guide

View the digitial concert guide and read more about the music and performers.

Live stream

This concert will be streamed live on the LSO's YouTube channel and will be available on demand for a limited time.

Video

The ending of Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, performed by Leia Zhu at the 2021 BMW Classics.