BMW Classics 2023
A free open-air concert in the heart of London
Saturday 10 June 2023 • 5pm
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Saturday 10 June 2023 • 5pm
Igor Stravinsky Fireworks
John Adams First movement from ‘Harmonielehre’
Eloise Gynn Light Dancing (world premiere) *
Claude Debussy La mer
Maurice Ravel Boléro
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
LSO On Track & Guildhall School Musicians *
London Symphony Orchestra
The concert will finish at approximately 6.40pm
No ticket required, take your place from 3.45pm for a 5pm start
No glass or furniture in the Square
The concert will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel and then be available on demand for a limited time.
On Saturday 10 June 2023, a giant temporary stage once again hosted Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra for a free concert for an audience of thousands in one of the world’s most iconic public spaces, Trafalgar Square, and to thousands more watching the live stream on YouTube.
The 2023 BMW Classics concert opened with Igor Stravinsky’s four minute ‘orchestral fantasy’ Fireworks, followed by the first movement of John Adams’ energetic and explosive masterpiece, Harmonielehre.
At the heart of the programme is the world premiere of Eloise Gynn’s new work, Light Dancing, specially commissioned for the concert. 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 of Music & Drama.
For the final half of the concert, Sir Simon and the LSO performed two popular French Impressionist masterpieces brimming with orchestral colour, Claude Debussy’s La mer and Maurice Ravel’s Boléro.
For our audiences around the world, the concert was also live-streamed on our YouTube channel and is be available on demand for 90 days.
Header Image © Doug Peters
Live Stream on YouTube
Digital Concert Guide
More Information & Practical Tips
Getting in and out
Entry and exit to Trafalgar Square is via the Upper Terrace in front of The National Gallery at either end, and via the south east corner towards the entry for Charing Cross Tube station. The south west corner towards the Mall is for exit only.
If you have drinks in glass bottles with you, you will be asked to decant these into plastic jugs/cups provided at the entrance points.
What if it’s very busy or full?
The lower part of the square will be filled up first; the upper terrace will have a very limited direct view of the stage but there will be screens relaying the concert.
We advise that you should arrive early to secure a place. Gates open from 3.45pm. Should the square fill completely, we will need to close the entrance barriers and it’s unlikely any further entry will be granted, even if people leave during the show.
Please be aware that if you leave the Square and it fills up while you are out, or you leave once the entrances are closed, you will not be able to get back in.
Furniture is not allowed in the Square. You are welcome to bring rugs and cushions are available to hire from carts at just £2.50 each. Toilets are located on the lower terrace towards the back (20 pence charge applies, contactless card payment is available).
Can we bring a picnic?
You are welcome to bring food and drink in, although please do not bring glass for safety reasons. If you have drinks in glass bottles with you, you will be asked to decant these into plastic jugs/cups provided at the entrance points.
There will be a concession on the lower terrace of the Square selling hot and cold drinks and wrapped snacks. Please be aware that if you leave the Square to go to other outlets and it fills up while you are out, you will not be able to get back in.
Please don’t bring furniture with you, but rugs for the floor are fine. Cushions are also available to hire.
What if it rains?
Be prepared for any weather! Raincoats are preferred over umbrellas because these block the view of those behind you.
We’ll play on for as long as we can, but if the rain gets too heavy we’ll have to stop and restart if we can. There will be messages on the screens and announcements made, so sit tight and we’ll keep you posted. We will have biodegradable plastic ponchos available from the info point and the volunteers.
Please also be prepared for sunshine if the forecast is favourable! Bring a hat, sunscreen and extra water.
What time will it finish?
Can I take photos?
Photography and posting to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are very much encouraged! Use the hashtag #LSOBMWClassics
We have implemented the following measures to make the event as accessible and inclusive as possible for everyone:
- A step-free level access area in the centre of the Upper Terrace with wheelchair spaces, seats for those who may have other access requirements and spaces for companions. The best entry points for this area are either side of The National Gallery.
- Due to limited capacity, entry is limited to groups of two.
- Places in the access area can be reserved in advance from 10am on Tuesday 6 June. There will also be a small number of places available on the day on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Those with reservations should arrive in by 4.30pm, otherwise their places will be added to the first-come, first-served allocation.
- You may find it easiest to enter the square via the north west corner, which is normally slightly less busy.
- The area also has a hearing loop.
- Large print programmes are available.
- There is a portable accessible toilet near this area in addition to the accessible toilet within the permanent toilet block on lower part of the Square.
- Please note that the lifts between the Upper Terrace and lower part of the Square are not currently in operation.
- Assistance dogs are welcome.
This free annual 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, and to thousands more around the globe watching on YouTube.