Press release: New digital family concert released with Sir Simon Rattle

Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra invite children to play Mozart from lockdown streaming free from 15 June 2020

The London Symphony Orchestra releases a new film, Where’s Simon? on 15 June 2020, introducing children to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

In six minutes, the film, interspersing live-action and animation, takes viewers on a musical journey as the players rehearse and prepare with Simon Rattle, all of them working from their front rooms, their kitchens, their bedrooms, revealing exactly how an orchestra works, each musician introducing his or her instrument.
The film concludes with a full performance of the Overture to Mozart’s famous comic opera, The Marriage of Figaro, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle from his home. As the grand finale, children are invited to participate in an online quiz.

Where’s Simon? is the brainchild of animator/director Victor Craven and LSO Principal Flute Gareth Davies. It will be available as a free stream from 15 June 2020 from the London Symphony Orchestra’s website on

Sir Simon Rattle said: ‘Although I've been prevented from making music with the orchestra since March, through digital technology, we've been able to share some of our archive performances on the LSO YouTube channel. However, this new project is a little different to our usual broadcasts. The LSO players and I have used our phones and computers to create this new online project. We thought it would be interesting for young people and their families to see how an orchestra like the LSO puts a concert together – an opportunity to meet the orchestra and watch how it all works to create one sublime piece of music by Mozart.’

Gareth Davies co-creator and LSO Principal Flute explains the project: ’This is a response to the period of social distancing and isolation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. There have been wonderful, engaging, beautiful performances from musicians using Zoom, YouTube and other platforms during the lockdown. We wanted to create something different using the tools and materials we have at our disposal, an idea that engages, educates and entertains young children, and some grown-up ones too. As LSO Members we all miss playing live but also taking part in our learning and community programme during this time. So this is what we came up with!’

Where’s Simon? is one of a series of online projects released this summer by the London Symphony Orchestra, continuing their work to engage new audiences worldwide.

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For further information:
Christopher Millard, Head of Press & External Affairs
London Symphony Orchestra
M +44 7545502226 |

Notes to Editors

Where’s Simon? is one of three projects for younger audiences launched by the LSO or by the LSO in partnership with publishers since March 17, the date the LSO’s rehearsals, live concerts in London and overseas, and studio recording sessions ceased due to COVID-19 and the beginning of lockdown.

The LSO’s scheduled key stage schools and family concerts have been cancelled. This new digital content helps to recreate the atmosphere of LSO concerts at home. The material supports some required elements of the Primary National Curriculum for Music, nurturing the development of young people’s musical skills. Other projects are:

How to Build an Orchestra

Written by Mary Auld with illustrations by Elisa Paganelli How to Build an Orchestra is an illustrated children’s book, produced by the LSO in association with Hachette Children‘s Group.

The story follows a conductor who is auditioning each instrument for his orchestra. With accompanying CDs and downloadable music, readers follow the conductor on his journey and uncover every detail of an orchestra, including pictograms of a full-size symphony orchestra, information on all of the music featured, and a foreword by Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director of the LSO.

Other resources include a free, downloadable project pack using Beethoven’s Symphony No 6 and Ravel’s Bolero as a starting point for fun and inventive music-making.
There are two versions: one for families and young people at home, one for teachers to use with Key Stage 2 students either at school or for home learning

Olivia Forms a Band

Olivia Forms a Band is a 30-minute video based on the popular children’s book of the same name by Ian Falconer. Curated and presented by Rachel Leach, it features LSO players Gareth Davies (Flute), David Elton (Trumpet), Sarah Quinn (Violin), Hilary Jones (Cello) and John Alley (Piano). The video includes three original songs, classical music performed by LSO musicians and illustrations from the book.

Created to appeal to families with primary-school-aged children, and teachers of Key Stage 1 or 2 students to use in school.


Victor Craven

Victor Craven is an animator, director and writer with many years’ experience of producing high-quality work for creative arts and corporate clients.

He has a passion for classical music, theatre and film which he combines with his animation, directing and writing skills to collaborate on a variety of exciting projects. He specialises in working with world-class orchestras and ensembles, stage directing, writing scripts and producing animations for live concert performance. He thrives on creating experiences and content that tell an engaging story, educate audiences and communicate a strong and clear message.

Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies has been Principal Flute of the London Symphony Orchestra for 20 years. He has performed all over the world in that time and has recorded both as an orchestral player and soloist on a wide variety from Berlioz and Ravel, to Star Wars and Candy Crush Soda Saga!

He is also a writer and his first book, The Show Must Go On, was a book of the year in the Financial Times in 2013. He also regularly writes for music magazines and has written and presented his own show on Classic FM as well as appearing as a presenter on BBC Radio 3.