What We Do
Inspiring music-making for everyone, everywhere.
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.
Performing On Stage: Music That Inspires
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 we’re ranked among the world’s top orchestras. As Resident Orchestra at the Barbican since the Centre opened in 1982, we perform some 70 concerts there every year. Our family of artists includes Chief Conductor Designate Sir Antonio Pappano, Conductor Emeritus Sir Simon Rattle, Principal Guest Conductors Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth, Conductor Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas, and Associate Artists Barbara Hannigan and André J Thomas.
We also perform over 50 concerts a year to audiences throughout the UK and worldwide, and deliver a far-reaching programme of recordings, live streams and on-demand broadcasts, reaching millions every year. We have major artistic residencies in Paris, Dortmund, Tokyo and Aix-en-Provence, a growing presence across Australasia and Latin America, and a transatlantic partnership with the Music Academy in Santa Barbara.
Learning and Community: Music That Unites
Through our world-leading learning and community programme, LSO Discovery, we share the transformative power of music with everyone, including those who would not normally experience it. Through both in-person and digital activity, our reach extends across East London, the UK and the world, connecting with thousands of people of all ages every year.
At the heart of this programme are our musicians, who lead workshops, mentor bright young talent, work with emerging composers, perform at free concerts for the local community and use music to support adults with learning disabilities. We also visit children’s hospitals and support training programmes for teachers.
LSO St Luke’s, our venue on Old Street, is home to this unique programme. LSO Discovery contributes to a full schedule of public concerts and events through the year, which also includes chamber music concerts – including our regular series with BBC Radio 3 – contemporary and cross-artform gigs, showcases of young talent, music lectures and more.
Recordings and Film: Music That Innovates
In 1999, we formed our own recording label, LSO Live, and revolutionised how live orchestral music is recorded. We’ve released over 150 recordings so far – and overall we have made more recordings than any other orchestra.
As a leading orchestra for film, we’ve entertained millions with classic scores for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Shape of Water and many more. We also reach a worldwide audience through streaming, with millions of music-lovers listening online every month, and viewers around the world tuning into full orchestral concerts streamed on YouTube and through our broadcast partners.
Looking To The Future: Music That Lives
We champion new music, regularly commissioning some of the foremost British composers to write new works for full orchestra and mixed-ability ensembles, while LSO Discovery’s programmes give emerging composers opportunities to collaborate, experiment and write for the Orchestra.
Through inspiring music, learning programmes and digital innovations, the LSO’s reach extends far beyond the concert hall. And thanks to the generous support of The Corporation of the City of London, Arts Council England, corporate supporters, trusts and foundations, and individual donors, we’re able to continue sharing extraordinary music with as many people as possible, across London, and the world.
Header © Mark Allan