Mahler & Vienna series programme cover 1985

Mahler & Vienna series programme cover 1985

1980s & 1990s

<< Previous page: 1960s & 1970s


The Barbican Centre opens. The LSO takes up first ever London orchestral residency

BBC TV documentary series Life of an Orchestra produced by Jenny Barraclough

The highly successful Mahler, Vienna and the Twentieth Century Festival conceived by Claudio Abbado heralds a new format of themed concert series for the LSO and London

Outside Directors are admitted to the LSO Board for the first time, including a representative of the Arts Council

The LSO mounts a Bernstein Festival

Leonard Bernstein becomes President of the Orchestra until his death in 1990

60th birthday series of Mstislav Rostropovich, who forms a close relationship with the LSO

The LSO establishes education policy and founding of LSO Discovery

Michael Tilson Thomas takes up the position of Principal Conductor (1988–95)

The LSO wins the first ever Royal Philharmonic Society Orchestral Award for ‘excellence in playing and playing standards’

Concert performances of Bernstein’s Candide, conducted by the composer and video-recorded by Deutsche Grammophon


The LSO visits Japan with Leonard Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas, creating the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo with teaching and masterclasses for young musicians from all around the world

Colin Matthews appointed Associate Composer

Mstislav Rostropovich conducts the Prokofiev Centenary Festival

Enhanced Funding Award from the Arts Council matched by the Corporation of London, enabling Joint Principal players policy

LSO wins five Gramophone awards, and also shares Grammy award for Candide

Richard McNicol appointed as LSO Discovery’s Music Animateur

The LSO records Concerto! with Michael Tilson Thomas – a major TV series made for Channel 4 with Dudley Moore, which wins an Emmy Award

Messiaen: A Commemoration – with Pierre Boulez, Kent Nagano, Elgar Howarth and the London Sinfonietta

Bernard Haitink conducts the LSO for the first time

The LSO receives the first ever Evening Standard Classical Music Award for ‘Outstanding Ensemble Performance’

Classic FM broadcasts The LSO – 90 Glorious Years, a 13-part history of the LSO, sponsored by Shell UK

Sir Colin Davis takes up position as Principal Conductor

LSO website is launched

Arts Council stabilisation award for new flexible membership conditions throughout the Orchestra

Annual New York residency established – the first by a British orchestra

WQXR in New York begins an annual series of radio features about the LSO to coincide with the Orchestra’s New York residency

Online booking is established on the LSO website – the first British orchestra to offer this service

Sir Colin Davis conducts the Berlioz Odyssey – a series of all Berlioz’s major works. The Festival continues through 2000, when a performance of Les Troyens is given to wide acclaim. Many of the performances, including Les Troyens in 2000, are recorded for the LSO’s new CD label, LSO Live

>> Next page: 2000s & 2010s

Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts