The London Symphony Orchestra is built on the belief that extraordinary music should be available to everyone, everywhere. From orchestral fans in the concert hall to first-time listeners across the UK, Europe and the world.
The London Symphony Orchestra was established in 1904, as one of the first orchestras shaped by its musicians. Since then, generations of remarkable talents have built the LSO’s reputation for uncompromising quality, and inspirational repertoires.
Today, the LSO is ranked among the world’s top orchestras, with a family of artists that includes Music Director Sir Simon Rattle, Principal Guest Conductors Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth, and Conductor Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas. In March 2021 it was announced that Sir Antonio Pappano will take up the role of Chief Conductor of the LSO from September 2024.
The LSO is Resident Orchestra at the Barbican in the City of London. The Orchestra reaches international audiences through touring and artistic residencies – including with the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara – and through digital partnerships and an extensive programme of live-streamed and on-demand online broadcasts.
Through a world-leading learning and community programme, LSO Discovery, the LSO connects people from all walks of life to the power of great music. Based at LSO St Luke’s, the Orchestra’s community and music education centre and a leading performance venue on Old Street, LSO Discovery’s reach extends across East London, the UK and the world through both in-person and digital activity.
LSO musicians are at the heart of this unique programme, leading workshops, mentoring bright young talent, performing at free concerts for the local community and using music to support adults with learning disabilities. LSO musicians also visit children’s hospitals and lead training programmes for music teachers.
The ambition behind all of this work is simple: to share the transformative power of classical music with people who would not normally experience it. The impact is unrivalled, and every year, LSO Discovery reaches thousands of people of all ages.
In 1999, the LSO formed its own recording label, LSO Live, and revolutionised how live orchestral music is recorded, with over 150 recordings released so far. Overall, the LSO has made more recordings than any other orchestra.
As a leading orchestra for film, the LSO has entertained millions with classic scores for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Shape of Water, and many more. The LSO also uses streaming services to reach a worldwide audience totalling millions of music-lovers who listen online every month.
Through inspiring music, educational programmes and technological innovations, the LSO’s reach extends far beyond the concert hall. Thanks to the generous support of The Corporation of the City of London, Arts Council England, corporate supporters and individual donors, the LSO is able to continue sharing extraordinary music with as many people as possible, across London, and the world.
Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music.
For some years Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdam and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, in 1980 he became Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, stepping up to Music Director from September 1990 until August 1998. He is also Founding Patron of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and since the early 1990s, has been a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
In September 2002 Sir Simon became Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker, where he remained until June 2018.
In September 2017, Simon took up the position of Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Antoine Tamestit is recognised internationally as one of the great violists – soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. In addition to his peerless technique and profound musicianship, he is known for the depth and beauty of his sound with its rich, deep, burnished quality. His repertoire is broad, ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary, and he has performed and recorded several world premieres.
Together with Nobuko Imai, Antoine Tamestit is co-artistic director of the Viola Space Festival in Japan, focusing on the development of viola repertoire and a wide range of education programmes.
Born in Paris, Antoine Tamestit studied with Jean Sulem, Jesse Levine, and with Tabea Zimmermann. He was the recipient of several coveted prizes including first prize at the ARD International Music Competition, the William Primrose Competition and the Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions, as well as BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Scheme, Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2008.
Antoine Tamestit plays on a viola made by Stradivarius in 1672, loaned by the Habisreutinger Foundation.