Sir Edward Elgar becomes Principal Conductor (1911–12).


Arthur Nikisch is appointed Principal Conductor (1912–14).

The LSO is the first British orchestra to visit the United States of America, conducted by Nikisch (narrowly avoiding travelling on the Titanic due to a last minute change of schedule). Read more about this tour.


The LSO makes its first recordings, for HMV, conducted by Artur Nikisch.


World War I breaks out in August: initially concerts continue, although a few foreign conductors and soloists cancel because travel from Europe is impossible.

The first LSO players to join the Army, trumpeters Sydney Moxon and Ernest Hall, prompt the Board to waive the payment of deputies fees for members in uniform. Read more about the LSO in World War I.


Thomas Beecham is Principal Conductor for one season, although never officially given the title.


Founder member Adolf Borsdorf is gradually demoted from Principal Horn because of his German heritage, and is eventually fired. Anti-German protests call for LSO to play less German music, especially Brahms.

Sydney Moxon is killed at Ypres.

Thomas Beecham gives financial assistance to the Orchestra to allow it to continue its own-promoted concert season.


An Extraordinary General Meeting is held at which the Orchestra agrees that 'no further symphony concerts be given until the termination of the war' due to financial difficulties. Sunday League Concerts at the Palladium continue as these are paid for by a promoter.


Adrian Boult and Richard Strauss conduct the LSO for the first time.


Albert Coates, making his debut with the LSO, is appointed Principal Conductor (1919–22). He conducts the first own-promoted series since 1917.

Contact the Archivist

Libby Rice LSO Archivist

Tel: +44 20 7382 2533