Autumn 2020 Season

Haydn & Beethoven

London Symphony Orchestra: Autumn Season
LSO St Luke's Jerwood Hall

© Matthew Weinreb

LSO St Luke's Jerwood Hall with a socially distanced orchestra

© Mark Allen

LSO St Luke's Jerwood Hall with a socially distanced orchestra

© Mark Allen

LSO St Luke's Jerwood Hall

© Matthew Weinreb

© Mark Allen

© Mark Allen

Tuesday 17 November

Bacewicz, Haydn & Beethoven

Grażyna Bacewicz Concerto for String Orchestra
Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat major
Beethoven Symphony No 8

Paavo Järvi
Roman Simovic violin
Olivier Stankiewicz oboe
Rebecca Gilliver cello
Daniel Jemison bassoon
London Symphony Orchestra

Tonight's concert is broadcast by Idagio

Thank you for listening online.

Whilst audiences are currently unable to join us at LSO St Luke's, we are pleased that the Orchestra can continue to record performances and provide live music digitally to everyone during the coming weeks. A warm welcome to the numerous guest conductors and artists who continue to join the LSO in the Jerwood Hall, and welcome back to our family of conductors. We are particularly grateful to those who have stepped in to conduct at short notice as we continue to adapt to the latest government advice on travel restrictions.

It is a pleasure to invite you to watch and listen today online, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the concert hall when we are able to. I hope you enjoy the performance.

Kathryn McDowell CBE DL; Managing Director

Kathryn McDowell CBE DL; Managing Director

Visit our website for information on how we are ensuring activity at our venue LSO St Luke’s is COVID-19 secure.

The support of our audience has truly never been more important for the Orchestra and its world-class artistic programme. By supporting us now and in the months to come, you will help us to continue to adapt our music-making and activities to meet the challenges of these times, including sharing the gift of music with our local communities through our LSO Discovery programme.

The London Symphony Orchestra is hugely grateful to all the Patrons and Friends, Corporate Partners, Trusts and Foundations, and other supporters who make its work possible.

Arts Council England logo
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The LSO’s return to work is supported by Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne and DnaNudge.

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This performance is generously supported by our Technical Partner, Yamaha Professional Audio.

Grażyna Bacewicz

Concerto for String Orchestra


1. Allegro
2. Andante
3. Vivo

Grażyna Bacewicz was the second Polish female composer to achieve international recognition, after Maria Szymanowska (1789–1831). Along with Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki and Andrzej Panufnik, Bacewicz played a major role in the renaissance of Polish music following World War II. She was a professional violinist as well as a composer, and wrote prolifically for strings. The Concerto for String Orchestra dates from 1948, when she began to prioritise composing over performing. Many musicians regard it as one of her finest works.

Bacewicz was one of several 20th-century composers – including, most famously, Stravinsky – who were strongly influenced by 18th-century musical aesthetics and structures. She is thus often cited as a neo-Classical composer (neo-Classicism being the 20th-century trend of returning to musical concepts typical of the 18th century), though she herself resisted the label. Bacewicz modelled her Concerto for Orchestra on the Baroque form of the Concerto Grosso, in which the musical material is passed between full orchestra and a group of soloists rather than a single soloist.

The first-movement Allegro contains three main themes: a purposeful opening line featuring pulsating rhythms, a graceful interchange for solo violin and cello, and an energetic, folk-like melody for low strings with pizzicato (plucked) violin accompaniment. The wistful Andante contrasts the rich textures of full orchestra (at one point the strings divide into 17 parts) with the delicacy of solo instruments, and includes a lyrical cello melody. The dance-like, rhythmically intricate Vivo – with its unexpectedly haunting episodes for solo viola and violin – brings the piece to a spirited conclusion.

Note by Kate Hopkins

Grażyna Bacewicz

The composer Grażyna Bacewicz

Born to a Polish mother and Lithuanian father in 1909, Grażyna Bacewicz started her musical studies from an early age with violin, piano and theory lessons taken at home alongside her siblings. She showed prodigious talent, giving concerts from the age of seven – accompanied by her brothers – and writing her first piece Preludes for Piano at 13.

In 1928 Grażyna went to Warsaw to study violin, piano and composition. On graduating, Karol Szymanowski, a professor at the Conservatory, encouraged her and other young Polish composers to go to Paris to further their studies under the leading teacher and composer Nadia Boulanger. Splitting her time between France and Poland, she developed as both a composer and a performer. In 1936 she became Principal Violin of the Polish Radio Orchestra, using the opportunity to hear many of her own works performed.

During World War II, Bacewicz remained in Warsaw looking after her young family and continuing to compose, sometimes giving secret underground concerts in the occupied city to premiere her works. After the war she returned to her birthplace of Łódź and became a professor at the State Conservatory of Music.

Bacewicz was still performing and recording as both a violinist and pianist at this time, however her own music was getting more and more attention through a series of significant prizes and commissions. The decision to focus solely on composing was all but made for her following serious injuries she suffered in a car accident 1954.

The awards continued and she became an established musical figure in Poland and beyond, including becoming the first woman vice-president of the Union of Polish Composers and serving on many international competition juries, before her death in 1969.

Franz Joseph Haydn

Sinfonia Concertante
in B-flat major Op 84 (Hob I:105)


1. Allegro
2. Andante
3. Finale: Allegro con spirito

Roman Simovic violin
Olivier Stankiewicz oboe
Rebecca Gilliver cello
Daniel Jemison bassoon

Haydn wrote his Sinfonia Concertante Op 84 for performance on his London concert tour of 1792. He intended it in part to be a challenge to his former pupil Ignaz Pleyel, who had written many works of this kind, and who considered himself Haydn’s rival. The form of the Sinfonia Concertante evolved from the Baroque Concerto Grosso and is essentially a concerto for a group of soloists. Haydn scored his piece for small orchestra with a solo quartet of violin, oboe, cello and bassoon. This enabled him to enjoy combining and contrasting a variety of musical sonorities.

The Sinfonia Concertante was commissioned by the violinist and impresario Johann Peter Salomon for his London concert series. The premiere on 9 March 1792 at the Hanover Square Rooms in London – with Salomon as the violin soloist – was a great success, and repeat performances took place the following week, in May 1792 and during Haydn’s subsequent London visit in 1794.

The piece opens with a buoyant Allegro in which the soloists unconventionally join in the initial orchestral material. They go on to dominate the ensuing music, which culminates in an elegant extended cadenza for all four. The orchestra plays a minimal role in the pastoral Andante, which has the intimacy of chamber music, and features gracefully embellished melodic material passed between the soloists. The Finale is a spirited interchange between the orchestra and the solo group, in which the violin plays a prominent role, more than once interrupting the orchestra in mock-operatic style. The mood throughout the work is one of playful good humour, perhaps a reflection of Haydn’s happiness during this period.

Note by Kate Hopkins

Franz Joseph Haydn

Composer Franz Joseph Haydn

Most general histories of music emphasise Joseph Haydn’s achievements as a composer of instrumental works, a pioneer of the string quartet genre and the so-called ‘father of the symphony’. In short, he was one of the most versatile and influential composers of his age. After early training as a choirboy at Vienna’s St Stephen’s Cathedral and a period as a freelance musician, Haydn became Kapellmeister to Count Morzin in Vienna and subsequently to the music-loving and wealthy Esterházy family at their magnificent but isolated estate at Eszterháza, the ‘Hungarian Versaillles’. Here he wrote a vast number of solo instrumental and chamber pieces, masses, motets, concertos and symphonies, besides at least two dozen stage works.

In old age Haydn fashioned several of his greatest works, the oratorios The Creation and The Seasons, his six Op 76 String Quartets and his so-called ‘London Symphonies’ prominent among them. ‘I am forced to remain at home … It is indeed sad always to be a slave, but Providence wills it thus,’ he wrote in June 1790. Haydn was by now tired of the routine of being a musician in service. He envied his young friend Mozart’s apparent freedom in Vienna, but was resigned to remaining at Eszterháza Castle. The death of Prince Nikolaus prompted unexpected and rapid changes in Haydn’s circumstances. His son and heir, Prince Anton, cared little for what he regarded as the lavish and extravagant indulgence of music. He dismissed all but a few instrumentalists and retained the nominal services of Haydn, who became a free agent again and returned to Vienna.

Haydn was enticed to England, attracting considerable newspaper coverage and enthusiastic audiences to hear his new works for London. Back in Vienna, Haydn was feted by society and honoured by the imperial city’s musical institutions.

Composer profile by Andrew Stewart

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No 8 in F major Op 93


1. Allegro vivace e con brio
2 .Allegretto scherzando
3. Tempo di menuetto
4. Allegro vivace

Beethoven himself called his Eighth Symphony ‘little’, a careless description which over the years has hindered its reputation compared to those of its undeniably grander companions. The suggestion is that this is the composer ‘resting’ after the heroic physical efforts of the Seventh Symphony, ‘relaxing’ (perhaps even ‘lapsing’) into the playful, Haydn-esque musical world of the 18th century.

In truth, its first Viennese audience was not enormously impressed by it. One reviewer noted after its premiere in the Grosser Redoutensaal in February 1814, that ‘it did not create a furore’, its effect weakened as a result of being heard straight after a performance of the more powerful Seventh Symphony. But he also declared that ‘if [the Eighth] Symphony should be performed alone hereafter, we have no doubt of its success’. The style of the music may be essentially conservative, but structurally the work is bursting with ideas. As the 20th-century music writer Hans Keller once put it, ‘when a great composer is complex in one dimension, he tends to be proportionately simple in another, in order to facilitate comprehension’, and the humorous demeanour of the Eighth Symphony does not alter the fact that it is a highly original composition in which Beethoven tries out a number of the formal procedures and concerns that would surface in his later works.

He composed it in the space of a few months in 1812, immediately after completing the Seventh, and right from the start it is clear that he is not in a mood to hang around. The first movement begins without preliminaries, launching in with the first theme and striking off confidently for the second. It takes only 30 seconds or so for the music to lose its way and grind to a standstill before the violins present the rising second theme in what, technically speaking, is the ‘wrong’ key, a faux-pas which the woodwind soon rectify. The central development section is surprisingly stormy and leads to a noisy return of the main theme in which upper strings play tremolando while the theme itself is transferred to the lower instruments. It is the theme’s last appearance however, right at the end of the movement, which is the most delightful and witty.

There is no slow movement as would be expected next; instead, an Allegretto whose monotonous repeated notes are said to have been inspired by the recent invention by one of Beethoven’s acquaintances of the metronome. The veracity of this story is questionable – though it is fun to see in the brusquely scrubbed string interruptions the impatient winding of the mechanism (Beethoven was reportedly not very skilled at operating the new machine).

The Allegretto is followed by an elegantly flowing third movement enriched by touches of graceful counterpoint intertwining multiple melodies and, in the middle section, courtly writing for clarinet and horns. The symphony ends with a scampering, pell-mell finale groaning with jokes, from the startling ‘wrong note’ which interrupts the main theme, to the very sudden, almost accidental arrival at the serene second theme, to any number of stop-start, what-happens-next moments. Formally, this is the most adventurous movement in the symphony, but it is also such a hoot that the listener can be forgiven for neither noticing nor caring.

Note by Lindsay Kemp

Ludwig van Beethoven

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven showed early musical promise, yet reacted against his father Johann’s attempts to train him as a child prodigy. The boy pianist attracted the support of the Prince-Archbishop, who supported his studies with leading musicians at the Bonn court. By the early 1780s Beethoven had completed his first compositions, all of which were for keyboard. With the decline of his alcoholic father, Ludwig became the family breadwinner as a musician at court.

Encouraged by his employer, the Prince-Archbishop Maximilian Franz, Beethoven travelled to Vienna to study with Joseph Haydn. The younger composer fell out with his renowned mentor when the latter discovered he was secretly taking lessons from several other teachers. Although Maximilian Franz withdrew payments for Beethoven’s Viennese education, the talented musician had already attracted support from some of the city’s wealthiest arts patrons. His public performances in 1795 were well received, and he shrewdly negotiated a contract with Artaria & Co, the largest music publisher in Vienna. He was soon able to devote his time to composition or the performance of his own works.

In 1800 Beethoven began to complain bitterly of deafness, but despite suffering the distress and pain of tinnitus, chronic stomach ailments, liver problems and an embittered legal case for the guardianship of his nephew, Beethoven created a series of remarkable new works, including the Missa solemnis and his late symphonies, string quartets and piano sonatas. It is thought that around 10,000 people followed his funeral procession on 29 March 1827. Certainly, his posthumous reputation developed to influence successive generations of composers and other artists.

Composer profile by Andrew Stewart

Artist Biographies

Paavo Järvi

Conductor Paavo Järvi

Estonian Grammy Award-winning conductor Paavo Järvi enjoys close partnerships with the finest orchestras around the world. During the 2020/21 season, Järvi commenced his second season as Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich with the Swiss premiere of a new version of Arvo Pärt’s La Sindone. His sixth season as Chief Conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra builds on the success of their tour of Europe in February and March 2020, followed by a nomination for Orchestra of the Year by Gramophone magazine. He reunites with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, where he is long-standing Artistic Director, for prominent residencies of the complete Beethoven symphonies cycle in Bremen and Frankfurt.

Each season concludes with a week of performances and conducting masterclasses at the Pärnu Music Festival in Estonia, which Järvi founded in 2011 together with his father, Neeme Järvi. He is also Conductor Laureate of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Music Director Laureate of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Advisor of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.

In 2019, Järvi was named Conductor of the Year by Germany’s Opus Klassik and received the 2019 Rheingau Music Prize for his artistic achievements with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Other prizes and honours include a Grammy Award for his recording of Sibelius’ Cantatas with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Artist of the Year by both Gramophone (UK) and Diapason (France) in 2015, and Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. He was awarded the Order of the White Star by the President of Estonia in 2013, and in 2015 was presented with the Sibelius Medal in recognition of his work in bringing the Finnish composer’s music to a wider public. In 2012 he also received the Paul-Hindemith-Preis of the city of Hanau.

Roman Simovic

Violin soloist Roman Simovic

Roman Simovic’s virtuosity and musicality have taken him throughout all continents, performing on many of the world’s leading stages including the Carnegie Hall, Mariinsky Hall St Petersburg and Grand Opera House Tel-Aviv. As soloist, he has appeared with world-leading orchestras and conductors.

Roman has been awarded prizes at numerous international competitions, among which are Premio Rodolfo Lipizer, Sion-Valais, Yampolsky Violin Competition and the Henryk Wieniawksi Violin Competition, placing him among the foremost violinists of his generation. A sought-after artist, he has been invited and continues to perform at various distinguished festivals.

Roman has released a comprehensive list of recordings, most notably two CDs directing the LSO String Ensemble for LSO Live, and Tchaikovsky and Glazunov concertos with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, as well as a CD of complete Paganini caprices for violin solo.

Roman plays a 1709 Antonio Stradivari violin, generously given to him on loan by Jonathan Moulds.

Olivier Stankiewicz

Oboe soloist Olivier Stankiewicz

Olivier Stankiewicz has given recitals at Wigmore Hall, Snape Maltings and the Louvre, collaborating with Alasdair Beatson, the Doric and Castalian String Quartets. He performed Attahir's Concerto Nur with the Orchestre de Lille and took part in the Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival with Renaud Capuçon. Previous solo highlights include recitals at the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston, the Morgan Library in New York and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany.

He has performed Berio’s Chemins IV with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Bernd Alois Zimmerman's Concerto with the French National Orchestra broadcast by Radio France Musique, and appeared as soloist with the Tokyo Sinfonietta in Suntory Hall. Olivier has commissioned and premiered pieces by Benjamin Attahir, Tonia Ko and Laurent Durupt.

LSO Principal Oboe since 2015, Olivier's awards include First Prize at the International Oboe Competition in Japan. He was selected by YCAT in London in 2016.

Rebecca Gilliver

Cello soloist Rebecca Gilliver

Rebecca Gilliver studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and Royal Northern College of Music where her teachers included Melissa Phelps, Moray Welsh and Ralph Kirshbaum. She also spent a year studying mostly contemporary music in Basel with Thomas Demenga. Originally joining the LSO as Co-Principal in 2001, Rebecca became Principal in 2009. She has played as Guest Principal with orchestras all over the world, including with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, New Sinfonietta Amsterdam and the World Orchestra for Peace.

Rebecca has played extensively as a recitalist including at the Wigmore and Carnegie Weill Hall. As a chamber musician Rebecca has played and recorded with major artists such as the Nash Ensemble and is a regular participant at the renowned IMS Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music (playing in their Wigmore Hall concert to a socially distanced audience this October!). A professor at the Guildhall, Rebecca has also given classes at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College amongst others. She runs her own cello course, The Dorset Cello Classes, and is a regular coach at Alpinekammermusik and the Aboyne Cello Festival.

Daniel Jemison

Bassoon soloist Daniel Jemison

Daniel Jemison studied music at Clare College, Cambridge before deciding to pursue a career as a bassoonist. He was taught by Sergio Azzolini, Robin O’Neill, Graham Sheen and Ian Denley. Before joining the LSO, Daniel was Principal Bassoon with the English National Opera, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Co-Principal Bassoon with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. He has recorded the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the RPO, and can be heard on many film soundtracks, including Harry Potter, Marvel’s Avengers and Star Wars. When not scraping reeds, Dan enjoys going for a run and trying to catch his dog.

London Symphony Orchestra

On Stage

Players of the London Symphony Orchestra

© Ranald Mackechnie

© Ranald Mackechnie

Roman Simovic

First Violins
Carmine Lauri
Clare Duckworth
Ginette Decuyper
Laura Dixon
Gerald Gregory
Maxine Kwok
William Melvin
Elizabeth Pigram
Claire Parfitt
Laurent Quenelle
Sylvain Vasseur

Second Violins
David Alberman
Thomas Norris
Sarah Quinn
Miya Väisänen
Matthew Gardner
Naoko Keatley
Csilla Pogany
Belinda McFarlane
Andrew Pollock
Paul Robson

Edward Vanderspar
Gillianne Haddow
Anna Bastow
German Clavijo
Stephen Doman
Julia O'Riordan
Robert Turner

Rebecca Gilliver
Alastair Blayden
Jennifer Brown
Noel Bradshaw
Daniel Gardner
Laure Le Dantec

Double Basses
Colin Paris
Patrick Laurence
Joe Melvin
José Moreira

Gareth Davies
Sharon Williams

Christopher Cowie
Rosie Jenkins

Chris Richards
Chi-Yu Mo

Rachel Gough
Helen Simons

Timothy Jones
Angela Barnes
Alexander Edmundson
Flora Bain

Jason Evans
Matthew Williams

Nigel Thomas

On Our Label: LSO Live

Our Principal Guest Conductor François-Xavier Roth presents a new album of music by Debussy and Ravel. You can order it now from the LSO Live store.

Debussy and Ravel on LSO Live

LSO St Luke's exterior

© Neil Wilkinson

LSO St Luke's exterior

© Neil Wilkinson

LSO St Luke's exterior

© Neil Wilkinson

© Neil Wilkinson

© Neil Wilkinson

© Neil Wilkinson

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Keep Exploring

What's next?

A concert featuring Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No 1 for Two Solo Violins, Sasha Siem's Ojos Del Cielo and Mozart's ‘Jupiter’ Symphony will be available to watch for free on our YouTube channel at 7pm GMT on
Sunday 22 November

LSO Discovery
Free Friday Lunchtime Concert: Relaxed Performance

Friday 20 November 12.30pm, LSO St Luke's

Ewan Mackay Final movement from
'Scenes of Aden' (world premiere)
Chevalier de Saint Georges First movement from
String Quartet No 3
Ravel Second movement from String Quartet
Borodin Notturno from String Quartet No 2
Beethoven Presto from String Quartet No 3

Clare Duckworth violin
Tom Norris violin
Malcolm Johnston viola
Eve-Marie Caravassilis cello
Rachel Leach presenter