Always Playing

While we are unable to perform at the Barbican Centre and our other favourite venues around the world, we are determined to keep playing.

Join us online for a programme of full-length concerts twice a week, artist interviews, playlists to keep you motivated at home, activities to keep young music fans busy and much much more.

Full-length concerts

Each Sunday and Thursday (from 22 March) we will be streaming a concert from our archive on our YouTube channel.

We will provide digital programme notes and we hope that you will be able to sit down and watch at the same time as friends and family, wherever they are.

Remember to get in touch on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the #AlwaysPlaying and show us your living room concert halls.

Sunday 29 March 2020, 7pm BST
Sibelius Symphony No 5 

Janáček Sinfonietta
Sibelius
 
Symphony No 5 

Sir Simon Rattle conductor

> View the digital programme notes
> Watch the concert on YouTube


Thursday 2 April 2020, 7.30pm BST
Brahms Symphony No 1

Szymanowski Symphony No 1
Szymanowski 
Violin Concerto
Brahms 
Symphony No 1

Valery Gergiev conductor
Janine Jansen violin


Past concerts

Sunday 22 March, 7pm BST
After Romanticism

Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune 
Bartók Viola Concerto
Bruckner Symphony No 4

François-Xavier Roth conductor
Antoine Tamestit viola

View the Digital Programme notes

Thursday 26 March, 7.30pm GMT
Schumann Symphony No 3

Weber Euryanthe Overture
Mendelssohn 
Concerto for Violin and Piano
Schumann 
Symphony No 3

Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Kristian Bezuidenhout piano
Isabelle Faust violin

View the digital programme notes


Read, watch and listen

Sunday 29 March 

Watch & Listen
Ever wondered what a conductor would have wanted his music to sound like? In this alternate version of 'Jupiter' from Holsts' The Planets from 1926, Gustav Holst himself conducts the LSO so you can hear it as he intended.
> Watch the video on YouTube

Read
Tonight we are streaming a concert from our archive featuring two great early 20th century masterpieces; Janáček’s Sinfonietta and Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony.
> Read the digital programme notes

Saturday 28 March 

Read
Between 1967 and 1977 Glenn Gould produced a trio of radio documentaries, the Solitude Trilogy, where he explores the experience of being an outsider in the physical world. We find out more about this exploration of social distance. 
The idea of North: a musician investigates social distance

Over on our instagram stories we've been looking to the classical greats for a little advice at this time... 
> Take a look at Sibelius' tips for social distancing 

Watch
Our Saturday night film suggestion is a feast for the eyes and ears as seven of the naughtiest children imaginable get their comeuppance in the surreal Nanny McPhee. The lurid colours of the cinematography are reflected in Patrick Doyle’s playful score, matching the mischievous antics of the children.
Nanny McPhee is available to stream on Now TV and to buy on other major online platforms.
> Watch a clip here

Friday 27 March 

Read & Listen
With a greater number of us working from home than ever, one of our team has been thinking about the long history of music for private spaces. 
> Read our blog 'Music to stay in to'
> Listen to the playlist

Listen
This Sunday we would have been performing at the Barbican, but you don't have to miss out on the concert completely. We'll be highlighting LSO recordings of pieces from many of our cancelled events to listen along to at home and providing the programme notes you'd have in the concert hall too.
First up is Sibelius' Fourth Symphony and a recording with former LSO President and Principal Conductor, Sir Colin Davis.
> Listen on Apple Music (Tracks 5–8)
> Read the digital programme notes

Watch
A benchmark in the canon of note-perfect nun films, Black Narcissus of 1947 is frequently ranked among the greatest movies ever made. The LSO recorded Brian Easdale’s unnerving score shortly after World War II, which perfectly captures a ferocious wind howling through a mountain monastery, driving its sisters to violence and despair.
Black Narcicuss is available to stream via Amazon
> Watch a clip
> Read about more films with LSO-recorded soundtracks in our 'Movie Nights' section above


Thursday 26 March 

Read 
Tonight we are broadcasting a concert which was originally performed at the Barbican and broadcast live on 7 February 2019. Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, violinist Isabelle Faust and pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout in Weber, Mendelssohn and Schumann.
View the digital programme notes

Today would have been our Panufnik Composers Scheme Workshop. Created around 15 years ago, the scheme supports early-career composers to write music for an orchestra, develop their skills and have it performed.
> Find out about the scheme and some of it's composers


Wednesday 25 March 

Listen 
Today marks 139 years since composer Béla Bartók was born. Musically he was a maverick, but also fascinated by musical tradition and folk culture. Budapest's movers and shakers thought he'd cut a good figure as a Hungarian Stravinsky, commissioning him to write ballets like The Miraculous Mandarin and The Wooden Prince – and on the music's surface, there are similarities. 
Listen to the Spotify playlist 'This is Bartók'

Read 
The concert we are broadcasting tomorrow features Isabelle Faust as soloist in Mendelssohn's Double Concerto for Violin and Piano, with keyboard player Kristian Bezouidenhout. Isabelle's 'Sleeping Beauty' Stradivarius has quite the story behind it...
Read about it, and other Stradivari in our blog

Watch
Tomorrow's concert was one of our most memorable concerts of 2019, when Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducted Schumann's Third Symphony, 'Rhenish', and works by Mendelssohn and Weber. The Orchestra were on their feet, and we were joined by a dynamic duo of soloists. 
Watch a clip of the concert on our facebook page 


Tuesday 24 March

Read 
In 2018, Sir John Eliot Gardiner launched his Schumann cycle, recorded for LSO Live, with concerts at the Barbican and on tour in Germany. In an excerpt from a conversation with David Nice, he introduced us to Robert Schumann's orchestral music, which we are bringing to your living rooms this Thursday (26 March 2020).
Read the blog

Short read
What do Burnham Beeches, the Barbican Centre and Mendelssohn all have in common?
Find out on our Facebook page

Listen
Something calming to listen to tonight: 'Nuages' from Debussy's Nocturnes, conducted by André Previn
Listen on Spotify


Monday 23 March

Read
Today we would have been visiting our friends at the Paris Philharmonie to perform a concert, conducted by François-Xavier Roth, with Alisa Weilerstein performing the Elgar Cello Concerto. It's a piece that we have a long history with...
Read about the LSO and the Elgar Cello Concerto

Watch
If you or a friend have been getting into classical music lately, you might be interested in digging deeper with some LSO revision videos. This one's about cadences – basically the full stops and commas of classical music.
Watch the video


Sunday 22 March 

We would have been performing with our Principal Guest Conductor at the Barbican Centre tonight, this offering of musical interests is in lieu of that performance. Plus catch a streamed concert with François-Xavier Roth at 7pm. Details in the 'Full Length Concerts' section, see above. 

Watch 
LSO Principal Guest Conductor François-Xavier Roth sits down with Rachel Leach for a deep-dive conversation into the conductor's life, career, and mission as a conductor. The perfect way to spend 25 minutes on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea. 
Watch the interview on YouTube

Read 
We'll be streaming a concert of Debussy, Bartók and Bruckner at 7pm. Have a read of the programme notes, first produced for the original concert in April 2017 and now in a new digital format. 
Read the digital programme notes

When we first performed tonight's programme in 2017, François-Xavier Roth had just been announced as our new Principal Guest Conductor. In this blog from the archive he spoke about his relationship with the LSO and the music of Debussy, Bartók and Bruckner. 
Read the blog

Listen 
Luci Holland investigates music from gaming in her programme on Scala Radio. On Saturday 21 March she included selections from the scores of Final Fantasy, composed by Nobuo Uematsu and recorded by the LSO on the Final Symphony album, released in 2015/16. 
Listen to the radio programme here (available for one week from broadcast)


Saturday 21 March 

Watch 
Saturday night is movie night, so we have another LSO-scored film recommendation for you. If you are looking for an uplifting story of triumph through adversity, Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut Unbrokenwith a score by Alexandre Desplat, is the perfect choice for you. Although make sure you have a box of tissues at the ready because this incredible true story gets worse before it gets better... 
Unbroken is available to stream on Netflix and to buy on other major online platforms. 
Watch a clip here
> Read about more films with LSO-recorded soundtracks in our Movie Nights section above

Listen 
On World Mental Health Day last October, we asked our Instagram followers what music they listened to when they wanted to relax and clear their minds. We had so many great suggestions and used them to create this 'Self Care Playlist'.
Listen to the playlist on Spotify


Friday 20 March 

Watch 
In difficult times, music can help spark joy. Though it mightn't feel like #InternationalDayOfHappiness, we wanted to share a clip from Bernstein's Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, performed by Chris Richards, Katia & Marielle Labèque and the LSO conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
Watch the clip on facebook

Read
The LSO has a long history of recording scores for films. Each Friday and Saturday we will be recommending a film for you to watch that weekend. By way of introduction, have a read of this article all about our association with moving pictures. 
Read The LSO and Film

Watch 
Our Friday night film suggestion is one for all the family (could make a great Saturday matinee as well!). Disney/Pixar’s Brave, has all the hallmarks of a classic fairytale, but with a contemporary twist. 
You can stream or buy Brave on all major online platforms. 
Watch a clip here
> Read about more films with LSO-recorded soundtracks in our Movie Nights section above


Thursday 19 March 

Today we were scheduled to perform at the Barbican Centre with François-Xavier Roth leading a programme of Bartók and Stravinsky with violinist Isabelle Faust. Here are a few ways to delve into that music:

Read
Richard Bratby has opened a door onto the world of Béla Bartók - his influences, his travels and why he deserves even more love than he gets at the moment.
Read the article here

Watch 
François-Xavier Roth (or FXR as he is affectionately known) is a firm favourite of our audience and it is not hard to see why. This special encore, performed with Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, will hopefully warm your cockles. 
Watch the video here

Listen
While we can't be together with you in the concert hall for now, you can still enjoy the music we would've been performing with our 2019/20 season playlist. 
Listen to the playlist here

 

Movie Night

What to watch tonight?

Decisions, decisions… What are you in the mood for?

Something badly-behaved…
‘Motherless, ruthless and nanny-less. There is only one solution for children like these. And it will not be pretty!’ Seven of the naughtiest children imaginable get their comeuppance in the surreal Nanny McPhee, as Emma Thompson’s frighteningly ugly ‘government nanny’ arrives to dish out some magical punishments. A bit like Mary Poppins – but much more bizarre (don’t miss the part where Celia Imrie chows down on a worm sandwich and indulges in some frogspawn tea). The lurid colours of the cinematography are reflected in Patrick Doyle’s playful score, matching the mischievous antics of the children. Standout moments from the soundtrack include the excellently-titled ‘They’ve Eaten the Baby!’, which you can listen to on Apple Music!
Nanny McPhee is available to stream on Now TV and to buy on other major online platforms.
> Watch a clip here

 

Something to lift the spirits…
Witchcraft! Archery! Spooky forests and animal transformations! All the hallmarks of a classic fairytale are here in Disney/Pixar’s Brave, but with a contemporary twist.

The blockbuster broke new ground back in 2012 – It was Pixar’s first feature film with a lead female heroine (and the first to be scored outside of Los Angeles). Set in medieval highland Scotland, princess and archer Merida faces off against elemental forces when her rebellious spirit brings chaos to the kingdom. ‘The movie captured the essence of the soul of Scotland,’ said soundtrack composer Patrick Doyle. ‘I was keen to make it current and I suppose ‘cool’ – and to honour the Celtic tradition that I’m intrinsically part of.’ With lullabies, laments, and music that draws from quintessentially Scottish folk sounds, Doyle’s score is bold and brave-hearted when needed, and tender in its most uplifting moments.

You can stream or buy Brave on all major online platforms. 
Watch a clip here


Something to make your jaw drop…

If you’re looking for an uplifting story of triumph through adversity, Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut Unbroken has to be it.

A story so extraordinary it must be true, the 2014 film tells the real-life tale of a soldier who miraculously survives a crash when his plane is shot down over the ocean. Stranded for months in shark-infested waters, things seem like they can’t possibly get any more challenging, but they’re about to! The LSO recorded Alexandre Desplat’s stirring and melodic score, one of many times the Orchestra has worked with the multi-Oscar-winning composer. Rich, resonant and warm, Desplat’s score is sure to leave you feeling misty-eyed in this jaw-dropping tale of survival.

Unbroken is available to stream on Netflix and to buy on other major online platforms. 
> Watch a clip here


Something classic…

A benchmark in the canon of note-perfect nun films (Sister Act anyone?), the 1947 classic Black Narcissus is frequently ranked among the 100 greatest movies ever made. The LSO recorded Brian Easdale’s unnerving score shortly after World War II, with music that perfectly captures a ferocious wind howling through a mountain monastery, driving its sisters to violence and despair. Seventy years later, Black Narcissus still had the power to shock and captivate - the iconic climax where two nuns fight it out on a cliff edge is not easily forgotten…

Black Narcicuss is available to stream via Amazon
Watch a clip here

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