BMW Classics

A free open-air concert in the heart of London

After a year away, and with the renewed support of our partner, BMW, the LSO is thrilled to announce the return of BMW Classics – our free summer concert in Trafalgar Square, showcasing the next generation of music stars.

On Sunday 15 August 2021, a giant temporary stage in the Square will host Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, joined by young musicians from the LSO’s pioneering East London Academy and teenage violin prodigy Leia Zhu, guest soloist for Saint-Saëns’ great showpiece, Introduction and Rondo capriccioso.

The programme features music inspired by the theme of dance and ballet, with Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances and music from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, in addition to the first live performance of Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s DreamCity, for which the young East London musicians join the ranks of the LSO.

For our audiences around the world, the concert will also be live-streamed on our YouTube channel and made available for a further 90 days.

Entry is free and the concert begins at 6.30pm – we advise that you arrive early to secure a place. The capacity of this year's event has been lowered to allow for additional space in the Square for the comfort and safety of the audience, however we encourage all those attending to wear a face covering in any crowded or inside areas.

The stage in Trafalgar Square   BMW Classic 10 
 BMW Classic 1    BMW Classic 5
BMW Classic 4    Bushra El-Turk and Sir Simon Rattle 

 Pictures from BMW Classics 2019



Sunday 15 August 2021, 6.30pm
Trafalgar Square

Dvořák Slavonic Dances Op 46 – Nos 1 & 3
Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo capriccioso
Ayanna Witter-Johnson DreamCity *
Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker – Ballet: Act II

Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Leia Zhu violin
London Symphony Orchestra
LSO East London Academy Young Musicians *

FREE ENTRY – take your place early for a 6.30pm start

No glass or furniture in the Square.

Further event information
Sign up to our email list to receive updates.


Behind the scenes

Get a flavour of this unique event by looking behind the scenes at the last concert in 2019.

Live stream

Watch the concert on our YouTube channel, available on demand for 90 days.


BMW Classics Lockup


Event FAQs

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 biodegradable plastic jugs provided at the entrance points.

What if it's full?

The lower part of the square will be filled up first; the upper terrace will have a very limited view of the stage.

We advise that you should arrive early to secure a place. Should the square fill completely, we will need to close the entrance barriers and it’s unlikely any further entry will be granted.

Please be aware that if you leave the Square and it fills up while you are out, you will not be able to get back in.

Safety measures

  • Please do not attend if you or someone in your household is experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19, even if these symptoms are mild, or if you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Anyone attending is encouraged to take a rapid lateral flow test the evening or morning before the event to check if they may have Covid-19 without showing any symptoms.
  • The capacity of this year's event has been lowered to allow for additional space in the Square for the comfort and safety of the audience.
  • There is no restriction on group sizes, however you are encouraged to keep your distance from other audience groups attending the concert.
  • Wearing a face covering is recommended in any crowded areas and inside the toilets and café.
  • For your safety please follow any directional signage and any instructions given by the event staff.
  • Anyone attending is encouraged to check in to the event using the NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app or to inform staff at the information points if they wish to check in and do not have access to a smartphone.


We have implemented the following measures to make the event as accessible and inclusive as possible for a wide range of audience members:

  • A step-free level access area in the centre of the Upper Terrace with wheelchair spaces, companion seats, and seats for those who may have other access requirements. The best entry points for this area are either side of The National Gallery.
  • 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.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome.

Not comfortable?

Furniture is not allowed in the Square. Cushions are available to hire from carts at just £2.50 each. Toilets are located on the lower terrace towards the back; there’s a café in the square too.

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 biodegradable plastic jugs provided at the entrance points.

There is a café located inside the Square if you wish to buy refreshments when you arrive.

Please don't bring furniture with you, but rugs for the floor are fine. 

What if it rains?

We’ll play on for as long as we can, but if the rain gets too heavy we’ll have to stop. There will be messages on the big screens and announcements made, so sit tight and we’ll keep you posted. We have biodegradable plastic ponchos in case you didn't bring a coat!

What time will it finish?

About 8pm at the latest.

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