Symphony No.8 in F major Opus 93 (4) Ludwig Van Beethoven
Take a journey through the LSO's incredible history with some stunning archive photographs.
The London Symphony Orchestra was originally founded when the Henry Wood Queen's Hall Orchestra demanded that its players become solely contracted to the one ensemble. Understandably miffed, a group of players split off and decided to start what would become one of the most legendary orchestras in the world. Here they are at Queen's Hall in 1911, with their conductor Arthur Nikisch. Photo: LSO Archive
One of the original players in the orchestra, horn player Adolf Borsdorf, was able to convince Hans Richter (pictured here on the right) to be the first official conductor of the LSO. Richter took the orchestra through its first concert in June 1904, where they played works by Wagner, Bach, Mozart and Liszt, as well as Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. Photo: LSO Archive
Taking them on their first ever tour, Edward Elgar began his relationship with the LSO in 1905. After that, Richter was still the orchestra's main conductor, but Elgar was to eventually become Conductor-in-Chief in 1911 after Richter retired. This picture is from the premiere of Elgar's The Apostles in 1932 - can you make him out? Photo: LSO Archive
Sadly, Elgar wasn't exactly a huge hit with audiences, and he was replaced after one season by the flamboyant Hungarian Arthur Nikisch. Ooh, nice pout…
Almost unbelievably, the LSO was originally booked to take the doomed Titanic to begin a tour in New York. However, there was a last-minute change of schedule and they ended up on the RMS Baltic.
Though they usually kept a chief conductor on staff, the LSO's early years saw them conducted by an incredible range of legends, including Edward Elgar, Wihelm Fürtwangler, Otto Klemperer (pictured) and Sir Thomas Beecham among others. Soloists included a young Yehudi Menuhin, and Sergei Rachmaninov.
Albert Coates takes applause in Hereford Cathedral in 1921, with the LSO faithfully behind him. Photo: LSO Archive
Film soundtracks became an important part of the orchestra's financial wellbeing in the 1930s. Their first, Arthur Bliss' soundtrack for Alexander Korda's 1935 film Things To Come (pictured), kicked off their reputation as the world's leading soundtrack orchestra.
One of the Southbank's most iconic venues, Royal Festival Hall, originally was the source of much in-fighting and competition between several London orchestras, all desperate to make themselves the orchestra in residence. In the end, it was decided that the LSO would share it with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
In 1961, conductor Pierre Monteux was contracted to the LSO on a 25-year contract, with the option for renewal at the end of the 25-year period. He was, however, 86 years old at the time, and died three years later. Photo: LSO Archive
Here's the LSO in Osaka with the legendary Georg Solti on the podium, in Osaka in 1963. Photo: LSO Archive
Here's the LSO premiering Benjamin Britten's War Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall in 1963. What a night that must've been. Photo: LSO Archive
Another American legend to have enjoyed a long relationship with the LSO is the great Leonard Bernstein, in full flight here in 1966. Photo: LSO Archive
In 1968, a brand new voice emerged at the head of the LSO when André Previn was made principal conductor (and chief advisor on knitwear, by the look of it). He held the post for 11 years, which is still the longest anyone has held it so far. Photo: LSO Archive
After becoming pioneers in the field of movie soundtracks, the LSO went on to become the go-to orchestra for Hollywood productions. Definitely the most famous, lucrative and legendary was their recording of John Williams' score for George Lucas' Star Wars saga from 1977 onwards.
After joining as principal guest conductor in 1971, Claudio Abbado succeeded André Previn as chief conductor in 1979. Photo: LSO Archive
Shortly after appointing Abbado, the LSO moved into its brand new home in 1982 - The Barbican. It is still resident there today, over 30 years later.
Michael Tilson Thomas was appointed chief conductor in 1988, and his tenure lasted until 1995. However, he continues to have a very close relationship with the LSO to this day, often returning to conduct them. Photo: LSO Archive
The great Sir Colin Davis was appointed chief conductor of the LSO in 1995, after first conducting them back in 1959. He remained in the role until he retired in 2007, when Valery Gergiev took over. Photo: Matt Stuart
And here he is! Gergiev is due to leave the LSO when his contract expires, and speculation is already rife about his replacement... Photo: Amy T Zielinski
Perhaps one of the most iconic images from the LSO's vast and illustrious history came as recently as 2012, when the orchestra played at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle and with Mr Bean on synths. As you can imagine, it didn't quite go to plan…