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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At the London Symphony Orchestra, we are committed to sharing world-leading music-making with everyone, and to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in everything that we do.

By embodying and supporting these values, our work becomes stronger through innovation, new ideas and different perspectives, and the widest range of people are able to share in, benefit from, and contribute to it. We believe in creating an inclusive organisational culture, which values and celebrates difference, and we recognise the role and responsibility that we have in the sector to champion diversity, equity and inclusion, and to set an example in this area.

Our Strategy

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Policy and Strategy has been developed by the LSO’s DEI Action Group, with wider involvement from our Board, players and staff. It also incorporates recommendations made following the LSO’s participation in I’M IN in 2020, led by Music Masters.

We recognise that our work and people do not currently reflect the full diversity of society, and that there remain systemic barriers which many groups in our society face in accessing, engaging with, or working in the classical music sector. We know that there is significant scope for us to do more to address these barriers and to make an even greater impact in the years ahead.

Our Strategy is designed to enable us to address this, with five key areas of focus:

  • Our creative programme – the composers and genres of music programmed in our orchestral season, at LSO St Luke’s, and in LSO Discovery; the new music we commission; and where we perform.
  • Our artists and partners – the conductors, guest artists and partners we work with; our initiatives for young musicians and artist development; and our workshop leaders.
  • Audiences and participants – audiences for our orchestral season, at LSO St Luke’s, and online; and the participants we work with in LSO Discovery.
  • Governance and workforce – membership of the Orchestra; our Board; and our staff.
  • Communications and sector leadership – inclusive, accessible communications; and sharing our learnings with the rest of the classical music sector.

We monitor and evaluate our progress in each of these areas regularly.

We understand that the challenges around DEI are complex, and that sustainable change will take time, commitment and new initiatives. However, just as we believe in excellence in every area of our performances and learning activities, we seek to champion excellence in every area of DEI, working in partnership with colleagues, peers and partner organisations to create a more diverse and inclusive classical music sector.

Our Recent Progress

  • We have increased the diversity of our creative programme, with 75% of 21st-century works programmed in the 2022/23 season by composers from under-represented groups; new artistic partnerships at LSO St Luke’s; more diverse repertoire at our Free Friday Lunchtime Concerts, and a relaxed performance once a term.
  • We have increased the number of titled artists, guest artists and conductors from under-represented groups.
  • 12 participants from the first full LSO East London Academy cohort have been offered places on the London conservatoires’ junior schemes.
  • We launched LSO Pathways, a positive action programme supporting progression into the orchestral profession for young musicians from under-represented backgrounds.
  • We launched the LSO Conservatoire Scholarships, a programme for exceptional musicians facing financial barriers, to support their postgraduate study at the world’s leading conservatoires.

If you have any questions about our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy, please contact Chris Millard, Head of Press & External Affairs and Chair of the LSO’s DEI Action Group.

The LSO is a Disability Confident Committed employer.

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