Classic FM Partner Orchestras Week: London Symphony Orchestra

Our week-long celebration of some of Classic FM's partner orchestras continues with Jane Jones featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, Classic FM’s Orchestra in the City of London.

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. Taking them on their first ever tour, Sir Edward Elgar began his relationship with the LSO in 1905. He was to eventually become Conductor-in-Chief in 1911 after Hans Richter retired. 

History of the London Symphony Orchestra in pictures >

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, kicked off their reputation as the world's leading soundtrack orchestra. It's hard to imagine John WilliamsStar Wars score working without the LSO's awesome brass sound.

Tonight we hear the LSO under some of its illustrious conductors: Sir John Barbirolli, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink (pictured with the LSO above) and the legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.

Richard Wagner: The Mastersingers of Nuremberg – Prelude

John Barbirolli conducts the London Symphony Orchestra

Maurice Ravel: Bolero
Valery Gergiev conducts the London Symphony Orchestra

Bernhard Crusell: Clarinet Concerto No.2 in F minor Opus 5
Clarinet: Thea King 
Alun Francis conducts the London Symphony Orchestra

Max Bruch: Kol Nidrei Opus 47
Cello: Han-Na Chang
Mstislav Rostropovich conducts the London Symphony Orchestra

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.2 in D major Opus 36
Bernard Haitink conducts the London Symphony Orchestra