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François-Xavier Roth conducting the LSO at the Barbican

François-Xavier Roth on the 2023/24 Season

‘As a conductor, I always want to have contact with new music. Reading and studying a new score is like musical fitness – it’s stimulating for my eyes, for my brain, and for my music-making, and it affects my reading of the older music.’

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By François-Xavier Roth

5-minute read

François-Xavier Roth, Principal Guest Conductor, introduces his programmes in the LSO’s 2023/24 season.

As a conductor, I always want to have contact with new music. Reading and studying a new score is like musical fitness – it’s stimulating for my eyes, for my brain, and for my music-making, and it affects my reading of the older music.

LSO Futures is a festival championing new music – not just the music of our time, but also music from the last decades, and something the LSO and I have been working together on for years and years. I often say that I love contemporary music from all periods of music history. All music was modern music at the time. And I think that as a society, as an audience, as artists, the more we have close contact to the music written today, the better. There’s a risk in something you don’t know; something that shakes us or provokes us is healthy. And I think that music should keep going, inventing and showing the world of tomorrow.

There’s a risk in something you don’t know; something that shakes us or provokes us is healthy. And I think that music should keep going, inventing and showing the world of tomorrow.

I’ve always felt that that Beethoven’s symphonies work very well with modern music, maybe because his symphonies are an amazing example of radical, modern music, that changed the basis of composing and of the role of music in our life. We can hear Beethoven’s music with different ears, in dialogue with contemporary music from our time.

I feel I am privileged to be a part of this family, because the LSO saw me as a young conductor, and I learned a lot with them during those early years – and I still learn today. It’s a real joy to have a long-term relationship with this Orchestra; I am still inspired by their playing, but also by how the LSO thinks an orchestra should be in our time.

I’ve known Unsuk Chin for about 15 years. I premiered her work Cantatrix Sopranica in Paris, and have conducted her music ever since. She’s an amazing composer. She invents every time she creates a new work. She takes risks. I love her virtuosic way of writing for the orchestra, and it will be a great joy to collaborate with her and the LSO.

The Concerts

Beethoven and Unsuk Chin
François-Xavier Roth smiles at the audience from the stage
Barbican

Beethoven and Unsuk Chin

LSO Artist Portrait: Bertrand Chamayou

Thursday 14 March 2024 • 7pm

A concert brimming with flare: Beethoven's Symphony No 2 and Symphony No 8 with François-Xavier Roth, and Unsuk Chin's Piano Concerto.

LSO Panufnik Composers Workshops
The LSO playing new music at a Panufnik Composers Workshop
LSO St Luke's

LSO Panufnik Composers Workshops

LSO Discovery

Thursday 4 April 2024 • 10am

In these free public workshops, witness a pivotal point in the process of writing a new three-minute orchestral piece, as the LSO play works by the latest cohort of Panufnik composers.

Limited Tickets

The Music of Tomorrow – LSO Futures with François-Xavier Roth
Conductor François-Xavier Roth
Barbican

The Music of Tomorrow – LSO Futures with François-Xavier Roth

Fresh. Volatile. Glittering.

Sunday 7 April 2024 • 7pm

Vivid, moreish music by Unsuk Chin and Donghoon Shin, plus beguiling works by emerging talents, conducted by François-Xavier Roth.