2020/21 Season

September 2020–July 2021, Barbican Centre

Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano

‘In the 2020/21 season we are launching something completely new. Our theme is ‘Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano’, a phrase Alban Berg and others used to describe the febrile atmosphere in Germany in the 1930s, as Europe lay on the cusp of fascism. It’s an extraordinary expression, one that inspires us to explore what was happening in the musical world in the first half of the 20th century.'

Sir Simon Rattle OM CBE
LSO Music Director

Priority Booking - 2020/21 season

Priority booking week begins on Monday 2 March 2020 for LSO Ambassador Friends, and on Wednesday 4 March for Benefactor, Associate and Supporter Friends

Public booking opens on Monday 16 March 2020. 

Click here to find out more on how to become an LSO Friend and take advantage of priority booking for the next LSO season before tickets go on sale to the public.


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Sir Simon Rattle
Berg, Wagner, Hindemith, Bartók

'In my concerts I will explore music by Berg – including two concert performances of one of the seminal works of the era, his opera Wozzeck – plus Webern, Bartók, Hindemith and others.

The era inspired some of the darkest music possible. Webern’s Six Pieces, prefigure the future catastrophes: rich, but tiny and intense with the power of concentrated hydrochloric acid, they go to the heart of absolutely everything. And that’s exactly where we hope to take you this season.’

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François-Xavier Roth
Varèse, Berlioz, Bartók & Strauss

‘Varèse and Berlioz work very well together. Varèse found new ways of making a symphony orchestra sound like it had never sounded before, and Berlioz was a radical person, someone who thought that music could change our lives.’

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Michael Tilson Thomas
Joel Järventausta, Shostakovich & Sibelius

'If music could sound like a Scandinavian sunrise, it would sound like Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony. It's one of those pieces that you already know without realising it, crowned with a tune so simple, and so good, that when you hear it for the first time, you feel like you’ve known it your whole life.'

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Gianandrea Noseda
Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky & Mark Simpson

'Shostakovich speaks to me, and I’m sure he speaks to the soul of 21st-century people. He lived his whole life with this dualism of, ‘Should I be myself, or should I say what the Soviets want me to say?'

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LSO Artist Portrait: Christian Tetzlaff
Elgar, Shostakovich & Syzmanowski

'In this series, we will be playing three of my favourite pieces, all from the 20th century – Elgar’s Violin Concerto, Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto and Syzmanowski’s First Violin Concerto – as well as a chamber music series of BBC Radio 3 Concerts at LSO St Luke’s.'

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Barbican Concerts

Most concerts begin at 7.30pm, or 7pm on Sundays. Please carefully check for start times as some differ.

September 2020
> Sun 13 Sep: Sir Simon Rattle/season opening concert
> Tue 15 Sep: Sir Simon Rattle/Wozzeck
> Thu 17 Sep: Sir Simon Rattle/Wozzeck
> Wed 23 Sep: Sir Simon Rattle/Melodic Revolutions

October 2020
> Thu 15 Oct: Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Stravinsky
> Wed 21 Oct: Christian Tetzlaff Artist Portrait/Robin Ticciati
> Wed 28 Oct: Half Six Fix/Varèse
> Thu 29 Oct: François-Xavier Roth/Symphonie Fantastique

November 2020
> Sun 1 Nov: Christian Tetzlaff Artist Portrait/Sir Antonio Pappano
> Thu 5 Nov: Christian Tetzlaff Artist Portrait/Susanna Mälkki
> Sun 8 Nov: Gianandrea Noseda/Shostakovich 'Babi Yar'
> Wed 11 Nov: Half Six Fix/Shostakovich 'Babi Yar'
> Thu 12 Nov: Gianandrea Noseda/Prokofiev Fifth Symphony
> Fri 20 Nov: Soweto Kinch: The Black Peril
> Sun 29 Nov: Sir Simon Rattle/Tristan and Isolde

December 2020
> Tue 1 Dec: Sir Simon Rattle/Tristan and Isolde
> Thu 3 Dec: Sir Simon Rattle/Beethoven Piano Concertos 1 & 2
> Sun 6 Dec: Sir Simon Rattle/Beethoven Piano Concerto 3
> Wed 9 Dec: Sir Simon Rattle/Beethoven Piano Concertos 4 & 5
> Thu 17 Dec: Sir Simon Rattle/Beethoven Piano Concerto Marathon
> Sun 20 Dec: Gianandrea Noseda/Carmina Burana
> Tue 22 Dec: Gianandrea Noseda/Carmina Burana



January 2021
> Thu 7 Jan: Sir Simon Rattle/Haydn, Schubert & Unsuk Chin 
> Sun 10 Jan: Sir Simon Rattle/The Dream of Gerontius 
> Tue 12 Jan: Sir Simon Rattle/The Dream of Gerontius 
> Thu 14 Jan: Sir Simon Rattle/Weill, Schumann & Schubert 
> Thu 21 Jan: John Wilson/Letters from America 
> Wed 27 Jan: Half Six Fix/Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances 
> Thu 28 Jan: Marin Alsop/Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances
> Sun 31 Jan: Elim Chan/Ravel, Saint-Saëns & Rimsky-Korsakov 

February 2021
> Thu 11 Feb: Duncan Ward/La Mer
> Wed 17 Feb: Half Six Fix/Varèse & Bartók
> Thu 18 Feb: François-Xavier Roth/Varèse, Bartók & Strauss
> Thu 25 Feb: Gianandrea Noseda/Shostakovich 'The Year 1905' 
> Sun 28 Feb: Gianandrea Noseda/Shostakovich 'The Year 1905'

March 2021
> Mon 1 Mar: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Final
> Sun 7 Mar: Thomas Adès/50th Birthday Concert
> Thu 11 Mar: François-Xavier Roth/ Ravel, Stravinsky & Francisco Coll
> Wed 17 Mar: Half Six Fix/Rachmaninoff Third Symphony
> Thu 18 Mar: Sir Simon Rattle/Rachmaninoff Third Symphony
> Sun 21 Mar: Sir Simon Rattle/Correspondances

April 2021
> Thu 8 Apr: Half Six Fix/Tchaikovsky ‘Pathétique’
> Sun 11 Apr: Gianandrea Noseda/Tchaikovsky, Debussy & Mark Simpson
> Thu 15 Apr: Sir Simon Rattle/Mahler Sixth Symphony
> Thu 22 Apr: Sir Simon Rattle/Stravinsky Ballets

May 2021
> Wed 26 May: Half Six Fix/Sibelius Fifth Symphony
> Thu 27 May: Michael Tilson Thomas/Sibelius Second Symphony

June 2021
> Thu 3 Jun: Michael Tilson Thomas/Sibelius Fifth Symphony
> Sun 13 Jun: François-Xavier Roth/Varèse, Ravel & Berlioz

Family Concerts
Barbican Hall

All concerts start at 2.30pm
Suitable for 7- to 12-year-olds

> Sun 18 Oct
> Sun 14 Mar
> Sat 8 May

Musical Storytelling for Under-5s
LSO St Luke's

Two performances on each day at 10am & 11.30am

> Sat 14 Nov 10am
> Sat 14 Nov 11.30am
> Sun 7 Mar 10am
Sun 7 Mar 11.30am
> Sun 11 Jul 10am 
> Sun 11 Jul 11.30am

Free Friday Lunchtime Concert series
LSO St Luke's

All concerts start at 12.30pm (except 24 Apr 2020)

> Fri 18 Sep
> Fri 9 Oct
> Fri 13 Nov
> Fri 27 Nov
> Fri 8 Jan
> Fri 12 Feb
> Fri 26 Feb
> Fri 19 Mar
> Fri 23 Apr
> Fri 28 May
> Fri 11 Jun
> Fri 18 Jun
> Fri 16 Jul


Singing Days
LSO St Luke's

All Singing Days start at 11am

> Sun 27 Sep
> Sun 22 Nov
> Sun 21 Mar

Discovery Days
Barbican Hall & LSO St Luke's or Guildhall School

All Discovery Days begin at 10am 

> Sun 13 Sep
Sun 6 Dec 
> Sun 28 Feb
> Sun 13 Jun

Soundhub Showcases
LSO St Luke's

All Showcases begin at 7pm

> Sat 13 Feb
> Sat 17 Jul

Panufnik Composers Workshop
LSO St Luke's

> Mon 8 Mar

Jerwood Composer+ Showcases
LSO St Luke's

> Sat 17 Oct
> Sat 31 Oct

Special Concerts 

> Mon 4 Jan: National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Thu 13 May: London Symphony Chorus/A Roar of War

BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime and Rush-Hour Concerts
LSO St Luke's

All Lunchtime concerts start at 1pm; Rush-Hour concerts at 6.30 or 7.30pm


Brahms and Beyond

> Fri 4 Sep
> Fri 25 Sep
> Fri 2 Oct
> Fri 16 Oct

LSO Artist Portrait: Christian Tetzlaff

> Fri 23 Oct
> Fri 30 Oct
> Fri 6 Nov, lunchtime
> Fri 6 Nov, rush hour



Elgar Plus

> Fri 15 Jan
> Fri 22 Jan
> Fri 29 Jan
> Fri 5 Feb

Artist Spotlight

> Fri 12 Mar
> Fri 26 Mar
> Fri 9 Apr
> Fri 7 May

Baroque Travels

Fri 30 Apr
> Fri 14 May
> Fri 21 May
> Fri 4 Jun

Booking fees

Booking fees are per transaction and not per ticket. The fee includes the first class postage of your tickets if time permits.

Barbican Centre: £3 online booking fee, £4 telephone booking fee 
LSO St Luke's: £0.60 online booking fee, £0.70 telephone booking fee

Full details of ticket prices, multibuy discounts, booking fees and group booking discounts

Create your season

Whether you are a familiar face or trying a classical concert for the first time, we have a range of ticket prices available alongside a variety of different ways to save.

 Icon Wildcard 71 100

Wildcard Tickets for £15/£10


 Icon HSF 71 100

Half Six Fix


 Icon Groups 100

Great for Groups


Icon Students U18s 100

Young People

How to book


Reduced booking fee per transaction: £3.00 (Barbican Centre) or £0.60 (LSO St Luke's)

Click on the links below to browse the listings, or for online booking instructions for LSO Friends:

download generic2020/21 season listings (PDF)

download genericInstructions for LSO Friends Priority Booking (PDF)

By phone

Booking fee per transaction: £4.00 (Barbican Centre) or £0.70 (LSO St Luke's)

Call +44 20 7638 8891

In person

No booking fee

At Advance Box Office, Level G, Barbican 

Always Moving

The feature artwork in the film and on this page has the LSO's music directly embedded within it. Sir Simon Rattle was filmed conducting Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with the LSO in concert. His baton movement was captured and used to choreograph a dance sequence following his movement. The dancer and choreographer Ella Robson was filmed dancing with fabric, flares, chalk and smoke. These layers of footage were combined to create a short film. 

LSO Visual Identity and Concept: Superunion
Feature Artwork & Photography: Found