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LSO On Track musicians performing on-stage in Trafalgar Square as part of BMW Classics

Press Release: BMW Classics 2023

Sir Simon Rattle conducts BMW Classics 2023, a free summer open-air concert in Trafalgar Square by the London Symphony Orchestra.


Sir Simon Rattle conducts BMW Classics 2023, a free summer open-air concert in Trafalgar Square by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) perform live in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 10 June 2023 at 5pm.

This free summer concert highlights the continued partnership between BMW Group and the London Symphony Orchestra, which for the last twelve years has brought superlative live orchestral music to audiences in one of the world’s most iconic public spaces, Trafalgar Square, and to thousands more around the globe watching on YouTube.

The 2023 BMW Classics concert programme opens with Igor Stravinsky’s four minute ‘short orchestral fantasy’ Fireworks, followed by the first movement of John Adams’ energetic and explosive masterpiece for large-scale orchestra, Harmonielehre. For the central section of the concert, the LSO play the world premiere of Eloise Gynn’s new work, Light Dancing, specially commissioned for this occasion. This dance inspired piece written for a mixed-ability orchestra brings together LSO musicians with 55 young musicians from east London as part of the LSO On Track partnership, and 18 students from the Guildhall School . For the final half of the concert, Sir Simon and the LSO will perform two popular French Impressionist masterpieces, Claude Debussy’s La mer and Maurice Ravel’s Boléro.

Commenting today, Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director of LSO said: ‘These BMW Classics concerts are a highlight of my summer; nothing quite beats performing to a crowd of appreciative music fans on a sunny evening in London with the Orchestra joined by young musicians from the LSO On Track partnership. This year I am particularly looking forward to bringing the opening part of John Adams’ epic Harmonielehre to a broader audience, for me this is one of the great big scale 20th century orchestral masterpieces, which never fails to gain new fans with every outing. The audience will be blown away. On behalf of the LSO and our audiences in Trafalgar Square and online, a big thank you to BMW and the Mayor for London for making this possible.’

Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, People and Real Estate, Labour Relations Director: ‘Thanks to our 12-year partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, this summer Trafalgar Square will once again be transformed into London’s biggest concert hall. BMW’s commitment to great music is an integral part of our global cultural engagement, which has been inspiring people around the world for more than half a century. I am very much looking forward to seeing Sir Simon Rattle, the LSO and young musicians on stage in one of the world’s most famous public spaces.’

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: ‘This summer Trafalgar Square will once again be transformed into the capital’s biggest open-air classical concert venue allowing Londoners and visitors to enjoy an inspiring performance by Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra.

‘I’m delighted these outstanding young East London musicians will join the world-renowned orchestra for the performance, showcasing the next generation of musical talent and firmly reiterating our position as a global city of music as we build a better and more vibrant London for everyone.’

Composer, Eloise Gynn said: ‘It is a huge privilege to have my new piece ‘Light Dancing’ played by the LSO and this great group of young London musicians. I look forward to spending time with them over the forthcoming months as we bring the piece to life. The prospect of it being part of the BMW Classic concert in Trafalgar Square is beyond thrilling.’

BMW Classics
Saturday 10 June 2023 5pm, Trafalgar Square, London

For audiences around the world, the concert will be live streamed and available to watch on demand for up to 90 days on the London Symphony Orchestra’s YouTube channel:

More Information


Media Enquiries

Christopher Millard, Head of Press & External Relations
London Symphony Orchestra
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
D +44 20 7382 2550 |
M +44 7545 502226

Doris Fleischer, BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs
Cultural Engagement
Telephone: +49 89 382 27806

Notes to Editors

About the London Symphony Orchestra

The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) was established in 1904 and has a unique ethos. As a musical collective, it is built on artistic ownership and partnership. With an inimitable signature sound, the LSO’s mission is to bring the greatest music to the greatest number of people. The LSO has been the only Resident Orchestra at the Barbican Centre in the City of London since it opened in 1982, giving 70 symphonic concerts there every year. The Orchestra works with a family of artists that includes some of the world’s greatest conductors – Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director, Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth as Principal Guest Conductors, and Michael Tilson Thomas as Conductor Laureate. In March 2021 the LSO announced that Sir Antonio Pappano will take up the role of Chief Conductor from September 2024.

Through LSO Discovery, it is a pioneer of music education, offering musical experiences to 60,000 people every year and over 100 live events at its music education centre LSO St Luke’s on Old Street. With the formation of its own record label LSO Live in 1999 the LSO pioneered a revolution in recording live orchestral music. The LSO strives to embrace new digital technologies – having successfully moved into digital film, Blu-Ray Audio, downloads, streaming and virtual reality – and it continues to innovate with platforms such as LSO Play, a web-based video player that allows people to observe the Orchestra from different angles. The LSO is also a highly successful creative enterprise, with 80% of all funding self-generated.

About LSO On Track

LSO On Track is a partnership between the LSO and ten east London Music Services, in collaboration with the Barbican and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. This partnership puts the LSO at the heart of the Music Education Hubs in east London, in the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest.

Find out how you can get involved in projects – as a young person taking part in music making projects, a school coming to see the LSO perform at the Barbican or LSO St Luke’s, or as a teacher through our Music in the Classroom programme for teachers.

This year the London Symphony Orchestra will welcome 15,000 young people to amazing concerts at the Barbican and LSO St Luke’s. In addition, over 2,000 young East Londoners will get together with musicians from the LSO to showcase their incredible musical talent.

Since the launch of LSO On Track in 2008 students and practitioners have accessed LSO musician visits to schools, creative workshops, coaching on written music, schools concerts dedicated to East London schools, opportunities to perform in world-class venues.

BMW Group Cultural Engagement

Why Culture? Why not! Culture is knowledge, a sanctuary of beauty and depth, of meaning and peace. An inspiring escape. Tranquil at best, even unsettling sometimes. As corporate citizen, the BMW Group takes social responsibility seriously, as part of which it has been involved in hundreds of cultural initiatives worldwide for over half a century, both in the arts, music & sound, architecture as well as in design. As a long-term partner, creative freedom is key – and as essential for groundbreaking works as it is for major innovations within a business enterprise like ours.


Header image © Doug Peters