About LCO

100 Years of London Chamber Orchestra

When you go to an LCO concert, you do not go to just listen to a concert, you go to experience a performance.

The onstage rapport between the musicians is palpable and it is a tremendous thrill to be drawn into a very special and jubilant atmosphere. Orchestra and audience genuinely enjoy each other’s company and the vibrancy of the relationship between the musicians, who are totally committed to giving the performance of a lifetime, is beyond belief.

The stage positively sparkles with joyous pride and lively enthusiasm.

History

Founded by Anthony Bernard in 1921, the London Chamber Orchestra is the UK’s longest standing professional chamber orchestra and will be celebrating the remarkable achievement of reaching its centenary across both 20-21 and 21-22 seasons.

Throughout its 100 years, LCO has enjoyed many successes and become one of the UK’s most compelling and inclusive musical organisations.

Music Junction

LCO is proud to have founded and cultivated a unique and empowering educational and outreach project that brings young people together from a range of backgrounds, promotes confidence, nurtures self-esteem, and encourages participants to develop respect for themselves and each other.

Recent highlights

2017

Stand-out concerts – Outstanding soloists such as Benjamin Beilman and Freddy Kempf appeared with the Orchestra and the return of LCO’s President Vladimir Ashkenazy as conductor.

Concerto for Turntables – Gabriel Prokofiev, grandson of Sergei, holds creative loyalties in both classical and electronic music. LCO performed Concerto for Turntables at Cadogan hall, a piece of music in which the turntable player uses the sounds created by the orchestra and manipulates them – like a battle of sounds.

2018

Charity of the year – LCO were awarded charity of the year by the Drapers’ Company, for both their education project, Music Junction, and their main season. A fabulous achievement.

LCO X Jack Coulter – Jack Coulter, artist and synesthete who sees colour in response to hearing music, responded by painting while the Orchestra played on stage at Cadogan Hall, London. The audience watched Coulter live from his studio on a huge screen above the stage. An audio-visual delight!

2019

LCO headquarters move to Queen Mary University of London – The start of the year saw an exciting relationship flourish with Queen Mary University of London. With the new office in the heart of the People’s Palace, there has been a flurry of fantastic joint projects including side-by-side performances and a Music Junction presentation at the Queen Mary Mad Hearts (Mental Health and the Arts) conference in collaboration with Queen Mary researchers.

Summer Serenades – In June, LCO presented an outstanding performance of Vaughan Williams ‘Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis’, Suk ‘Serenade for Strings’, and Dvořák ‘Serenade for Strings’; so good in fact, that the recording is due for release in September 2020 on the Signum Classics label as part of the LCO Live series.

Toyota Classics – in the Autumn, LCO toured Southeast Asia as part of Toyota Classics 30th year celebrating ‘Music that Moves Lives’, giving concerts in Laos, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam with the extraordinary trumpet soloist Lucienne Renaudin Vary. Proceeds from all concerts were donated to supporting local charities. An integral part of the tour was Toyota’s ‘Start Your Impossible’ initiative, offering valuable outreach work with partner schools and local organisations, to share and grow a common passion for music.

Exploring New Frontiers

LCO are committed to pursuing fresh works and new compositions by regularly commissioning and performing UK premieres by living composers. Previous UK and world premieres include works by Stravinsky, Vaughan Williams, Prokofiev, Hindemith, Poulenc, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, James MacMillan and Freya Waley-Cohen. LCO’s 20-21 season will include new commissions by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Gabriel Prokofiev, Freya Waley-Cohen and Nicholas Korth, and repeat performances of recent works by
Timothy Jackson and Graham Fitkin.

Royal Patronage

The Orchestra is privileged to enjoy the Patronage of Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, and performed at the royal wedding in 2011 to two billion people worldwide.

Homecoming

The 20-21 season sees LCO returning to their previous prestigious home, St John’s Smith Square, Westminster, a move which will rekindle many special relationships in the area and will provide an exciting setting for the future vision of London Chamber Orchestra.
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