BMW Classics

A free open-air concert in the heart of London

Sunday 1 July 2018, Trafalgar Square, London

Trafalgar Square was transformed into a giant free music stage for Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra to present BMW Classics on Sunday 1 July 2018.

Simon Rattle took to the stage to conduct 100 musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra, alongside 70 young musicians from the LSO On Track programme in East London and musicians from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

The programme featured music on a theme of dance and ballet by Dvořák, Massenet, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky and included a world premiere – Sky Dances – by Kate Whitley, founder of Peckham's Multi-Story Orchestra.

This year's performance was part of an exciting new festival promoted by the Mayor of London – Sounds Like London – with a focus on women in music.


DVOŘÁK Slavonic Dances
TCHAIKOVSKY 'Pas de deux' from The Nutcracker
MASSENET Dances from Le Cid
KATE WHITLEY Sky Dances (world premiere) *
STRAVINSKY Selections from The Firebird

Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Paul Rissmann presenter
London Symphony Orchestra
Young musicians from LSO On Track *
Musicians from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama *

download unspecifiedDownload the concert programme


Watch again

You can watch again for free on YouTube at the LSO YouTube channel


Nicole Wilson, violinist, broadcaster, journalist and founder of Musical Orbit, has been following our young musicians from LSO On Track and the Guildhall School as they get ready for a busy and exciting few days ahead. She went down to Trafalgar Square to see how they got on in Kate Whitley's Sky Dances.

> Read the blog


View the embedded image gallery online at:

Behind the scenes


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.

What if it's full?

The lower part of the square will be filled up first; the upper terrace – where there are large screens onto which we will project the performance – will then be filled.

We advise that you should arrive no later than 3.30pm 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.


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.
  • 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 and a lift between the Square and the Upper Terrace.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome.

Please enter the square via the north west entrance.

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.

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 plastic ponchos in case you didn't bring a coat!

What time will it finish?

About 7pm

download unspecifiedMore practical tips