BMW Classics

Saturday 11 June 2022
Trafalgar Square & live on YouTube

Concert starts 5pm BST

BMW Classics is an annual open-air concert with the London Symphony Orchestra, live from London's iconic Trafalgar Square. You can join us in the Square or watch the live stream on YouTube, but wherever you are, the concert is free for everyone to enjoy!

Read all about the music and performers in today's concert in this digital guide. Navigate using the menu or menu icon (≡) at the top of the screen. Click any highlighted text to find out more.

> Click here to find answers to some BMW Classics FAQs
> Click here for the live stream on YouTube

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> Click here if you were in the Square
> Click here if you watched online

BMW and YouTube logos

In partnership with BMW, streamed live on YouTube.

In partnership with BMW, streamed live on YouTube.

Mayor of London logo and Let's Do London logo
A woman walks towards a new BMW car


Dr Nicolas Peter © Rainer Häckle

On behalf of the BMW Group, I am delighted to welcome London’s residents and visitors to this year’s BMW Classics concert in Trafalgar Square. 

Now in its tenth iteration, this concert highlights the long-standing partnership between the BMW Group and the London Symphony Orchestra. Whether you join us in Trafalgar Square or watch online, the BMW Group is proud to provide access to this outstanding event. 

We are especially pleased that Sir Simon Rattle is once again conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and that the acclaimed cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason will make his live debut with the Orchestra playing two pieces. The catchy work An American in Paris by George Gershwin and the world premiere of FAIYA! by Ayanna Witter-Johnson will be two of the many highlights of this concert. 

This concert series has truly become an annual highlight of London's cultural calendar. For more than 50 years, the BMW Group has supported over 100 cultural initiatives, organisations and events worldwide – ranging from modern and contemporary art, architecture and design to classical music and jazz. We strive to make art and culture accessible for everyone. Events like the BMW Classics concert are a vivid example of our approach.  

The past two years have been challenging for all of us. That is why I am thrilled that the BMW Classics concert can finally take place on the usual scale again.  

I hope you have a wonderful time and a memorable experience! 

Nicolas Peter signature

Dr Nicolas Peter Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance

Dr Nicolas Peter Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance

Kathryn McDowell © Ranald Mackechnie

A warm welcome to this BMW Classics concert. Since 2012 this event has entertained over 100,000 in London's Trafalgar Square and around the world through online streaming with inspiring and free live music. We thank BMW for joining with us in our commitment to share great music with everyone, both in their ongoing support of this event, and as our long-standing Principal Partner.

LSO Music Director Sir Simon Rattle conducts this year's programme, which starts and ends with gloriously upbeat music by George Gershwin. For the central section of the concert, we are delighted to welcome cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, performing with the LSO for the first time in front of a live audience following a recent recording project. We also celebrate the next generation of musical talent, as young musicians from LSO On Track and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama give the first performance of FAIYA! by Ayanna Witter-Johnson, a past member of the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme.

Thank you to all who have made this event possible, in particular to Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, for the opportunity to perform in this iconic London square, and to YouTube, our streaming partner, for enabling us to reach audiences worldwide.

I hope you enjoy the performance.

Kathryn McDowell signature

Kathryn McDowell CBE DL Managing Director, London Symphony Orchestra

Kathryn McDowell CBE DL Managing Director, London Symphony Orchestra

Sadiq Khan © Greater London Authority

Welcome to London, the greatest city in the world, and to those watching online. You’re joining a global audience as the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle return to Trafalgar Square.

BMW Classics provides a chance for you to experience some of the world’s finest music from the heart of the capital.

It’s great to see Sheku Kanneh-Mason make his live performing debut with the Orchestra today. And I’m thrilled that Londoner Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s music is featuring again in this year’s programme.

The highlight of these events for me is the opportunity they give to the stars of the future. Good luck to the more than 50 talented young Londoners who will be joining members of the Orchestra on stage.

Enjoy the concert.

Sadiq Khan signature

Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Dr Nicolas Peter

Dr Nicolas Peter © Rainer Häckle

Dr Nicolas Peter © Rainer Häckle

Kathryn McDowell

Kathryn McDowell © Ranald Mackechnie

Kathryn McDowell © Ranald Mackechnie

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan © Greater London Authority

Sadiq Khan © Greater London Authority

Today's Programme & Performers

George Gershwin Cuban Overture
Max Bruch Kol Nidrei *
Ernest Bloch arr Palmer Prayer from 'From Jewish Life' *
Ayanna Witter-Johnson FAIYA! (world premiere) +
George Gershwin An American in Paris

Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello *
LSO On Track Musicians +
Guildhall School Musicians +
London Symphony Orchestra

The London Symphony Orchestra is joining with other leading arts venues and organisations to support the Disaster Emergency Committee’s (DEC’s) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. DEC charities, and their local partners, are working to meet the immediate needs of people and will also help people affected by the conflict to rebuild their lives in the months and years to come. Please join us in supporting the DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

To donate visit or text ARTS to 70150 to donate £10.

George Gershwin
Cuban Overture
✒️ 1932 | ⏰ 10 minutes

You might find your hips twitching à la Strictly Come Dancing listening to this music.

Composed after a holiday in Cuba, George Gershwin had not only soaked up the musical atmosphere there, but also picked up on the growing popularity at the time of all things Hispanic, quoting as he does, Ignacio Piñeiro's 1930 hit Échale Salsita, as well as the traditional folk song La Paloma (The Dove). Originally named Rumba, the Cuban Overture received its premiere at a wildly popular all-Gershwin gig performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. 'It was … the most exciting night I have ever had,' raved Gershwin. '17,845 people paid to get in and at the gate 5,000 were … trying to fight their way in.' And the critics liked it too prompting Gershwin to change the title to the more 'concert-friendly' Cuban Overture, and avoid the possibility that it might be seen as a novelty item. He also felt that it gave 'a more just idea of the character and intent of the music'.

It is a thrilling and exciting piece. We are immediately transported to the Caribbean with brass and wind. The joyous work has a quiet bluesy middle section in the wind section, as if a lazy languor has come over the performers with hypnotic strings, clarinet and oboe, but the carnival mood soon swings back into action. While the 'Tijuana Brass' sound firmly places us in the Caribbean, it is the rhythm section that really highlights its character, with syncopated beats from unmistakable claves, bongos and maracas. The percussionists have the time of their lives. In fact, they are so fundamental to the work that Gershwin even suggested in the score that the players be placed at the front of the stage!

George Gershwin
1898 to 1937 (United States)

Black and white photo of George Gershwin

Handsome, debonair, with an eye for the ladies. Almost 100 years ago you may have found George Gerswhin, toast of the jazz scene, darling of Broadway, sat in his glamorous penthouse at midnight in silk pyjamas and an elegant robe, cigar to hand, noodling at his Steinway piano, searching for another flawless melody and the next fat cheque. 

He had come a long way from his Brooklyn origins. Born to Jewish heritage, the Gershwins bought a piano for George's older brother Ira. Ira turned out to be more of a wordsmith, penning lyrics to his brother’s tunes, but George took to the piano like a duck to water and was soon bashing out his first songs, making his first paycheck in 1916 from composing the snappily titled number When You Want ‘Em, You Can’t Get ‘Em, (When You’ve Got ‘Em, You Don’t Want ‘em). Plenty of hits followed.

He was a truly original crossover artist, studying contemporary classical music and combining it with popular jazz, blues and ragtime of the era. While writing hit musicals such as Girl Crazy and Oh, Kay!, and producing songs that would become part of the American Song Book he continued to write for the concert stage, most famously Rhapsody in Blue, which caused a stir at the premiere. He was also proud of his only opera, Porgy and Bess, from which the song Summertime is a perennial favourite.

He died tragically young aged just 38. A huge shock, he left a legacy of jazz classics and a world wondering what musical treasures had been lost forever.

Note & composer profile by Sarah Breeden

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Max Bruch
Kol Nidrei
✒️1881 | ⏰11 minutes

Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello

The gloriously seductive cello is often said to be the closest instrument to the human voice because of its tone. Today’s soloist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, has quoted famous cellist Beatrice Harrison (who famously dueted with a nightingale in her garden) as an influence, not only because of the vocal quality of her playing but because of the way she made the instrument 'talk'. So it is apt that composer Max Bruch chose the cello to take centre stage in Kol Nidrei, inspired as it is by the Jewish prayer of the same name sung by a leading cantor on the eve of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

On the surface it seems surprising that he wrote such a heart-wrenching and beautiful work of Jewish sentiment. Bruch was a staunch German Lutheran and has even been accused of anti-Semitic mutterings. But the piece has become so popular that it has been assumed he was, indeed, Jewish. Bruch wrote it during his time in Liverpool when, at the height of his career, he conducted the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He knew the city’s leading cantor, Abraham Lichtenstein, who introduced him to the hypnotic melodies of Jewish prayers, and Bruch fell in love with them.

He did have some ethical concerns and was keen not to plagiarise the tune, as he noted in a letter to his publisher, Simrock:  'I am still obliged to indicate from where I’ve got the material – so I would think: 'Kol Nidrei – From Hebrew Melodies [added in the page margin: 'Freely used, that is, are two melodies']  – by MB.' (not 'composed by').' The second melody he refers to is an extract from a musical setting of the Byron poem Those that Wept on Babel’s Stream.

Yom Kippur is emotionally intense and this is not lost in translation in Bruch’s work. A curtain of soft chords opens to the first soulful renditions of the cello’s prayer. The more joyful mid-section makes much of the cello’s extraordinary range, from its velvety bass notes to its keening stratospheric top register. The tune returns to wax and wane between a passionate, desperate cry to a final reconciliation.

Max Bruch
1838 to 1920 (Germany)

Black and white photo of Max Bruch

Like numerous composers before and after him, Max Bruch was a precocious child prodigy whose starry career seemed set in stone. He had already scribed his first music at the tender age of ten and written in several genres before he was in his mid-teens.

He was 30 when he wrote what is considered to be his masterpiece – his Violin Concerto – a fundamental work in any budding solo violinist's repertoire. But then what could follow? The concerto seemed to overshadow all else to the point of irritation for the composer: 'They can all go to the Devil!' he complained bitterly of wannabe students who just wanted to play that work. 'As if I hadn’t written other good concertos!' And indeed he had, but it is just that no one can name them. A 19th-century victim of that 'difficult second album'.

So, the stars were not quite aligned as hoped. He was also seen as quite a conservative composer and his rather outspoken conservative views did him no favours with the New German School of composers Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt. Perhaps his works would have suited a different era, although he was not without recognition during his lifetime: his choral works were particularly popular and his opera Loreley was also welcomed only to disappear. He did, however, enjoy an illustrious career as a teacher whose pupils of note included Ottorino Respighi and Ralph Vaughan Williams and he continued to compose – his output was extensive and, if Kol Nidrei is anything to go by, is worthy of a reappraisal.

Note & composer profile by Sarah Breeden

Ernest Bloch arr Palmer
Prayer from 'From Jewish Life'
✒️1924 | ⏰5 minutes

Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello

Once again today, we hear music that was inspired while the composer was out of their home country – a common theme in today’s concert and evidently a recipe for inspiring creativity. In this case, Ernest Bloch was on holiday in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is the first of a set of three short pieces titled From Jewish Life, originally composed for piano and cello.

While Bruch was himself not Jewish, but adopted Jewish sentiment in his music, Bloch was born to Jewish parents, and the influence clearly runs through his music. There are similarities in the two pieces: the use of the melancholic cello, the deep yearning and, of course, the prayer element. But there is somehow something about Bloch's Prayer that is, for want of a better word, more 'authentic'. From the four opening notes that become a motif, explored on the whole cello, it communicates all it needs to in just four short minutes. A glorious blanket of emotional intensity that ends with its fervent prayer.   

It is, perhaps, for this reason why this piece was chosen to be performed at the German Parliament's commemoration of the Holocaust in 2018. Auschwitz survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch spoke at the event: she escaped certain death only because she was a cellist and was required to play in the makeshift orchestra at the camp. Her son, the famous cellist Rafael Wallfisch, performed Prayer on that moving occasion.  

Ernest Bloch
1880 (Switzerland) to 1959 (United States)

Black and white photo of Ernest Bloch

At the height of his powers Ernest Bloch was considered to be the fourth ‘B’ after the great Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Born to Jewish parents in 1880 in Geneva he started playing the violin aged nine, although his memory of later lessons with renowned violinist Eugène Ysaÿe is a little hazy, overshadowed by trying to impress the neighbour’s daughter, 'the beautiful Letitia Picard', with brilliant violin passages. Letitia was non-plussed. It was, however, another teacher, Schillings, who prompted Bloch’s love affair with Jewish music after having criticised his music for having no national identity: from then on Bloch looked to his heritage for inspiration. 'Spiritual values never die', Bloch would later contemplate. 'The universal idea must prevail. This crucial idea has permeated all my life and most of my works', and indeed the Hebrew spiritual influence of his Jewish background is at the forefront of many of his works, including today’s Prayer.

In 1916 Bloch travelled to the US and never left, albeit with brief forays back to Switzerland, only interrupted by having to return due to growing anti-Semitism. It was while he was teaching in New York that many of his orchestral works were premiered. He finally settled on the coast in Oregon where he lived out the rest of his life, revelling, alongside composing, in his other loves of photography, nature and mushroom hunting!

Note & composer profile by Sarah Breeden

The LSO has made over 150 recordings through our record label LSO Live, and featured on many more, including some classic film scores like Star Wars. You can find us on Apple and Spotify.

Ayanna Witter-Johnson
(world premiere)
✒️2020 | ⏰10 minutes

LSO On Track Musicians
Guildhall School Musicians

FAIYA! is a dramatic dance suite for large multi-ability symphony orchestra. The initial inspiration was the story of Hans Christian Andersen's The Red Shoes. I found a Magyar-Germanic version of the story and was taken with the idea of the young girl being seduced away from her own creative process by a pair of fine bright red leather shoes that ultimately dance her to her death, and away from her destiny.  It made me think of all the distractions of modern life that can seduce us away from our natural talents and unique pathways if we let them. 

This piece is the first large-scale work I’ve composed for multi-ability orchestra, where I had to consider a variety of stages of musical ability of the players from grade 4 up to professional level, and how they could all engage equally in the same piece of music.  It really challenged me and gave me the opportunity to consider what the fundamental and essential elements of the piece were, and how each voice would have an opportunity to shine and feel fully immersed in the experience of playing it. Through this process, I realised that the foundation of the piece was rhythmical and dance-based, and so I chose to bring in rhythms from my Jamaican heritage, weaving together traditional Nyabinghi rhythms with more modern Dancehall rhythmic influences.  

FAIYA! is Jamaican patois for the English word 'fire'.  'Fire' being something that can escalate quite quickly, become destructive and is often depicted as the colour red, like the colour of the shoes the girl wears. The '!' exclamation mark gives it a sense of urgency and thrill, to echo the sense of deliria the girl feels as she is danced to death.  After a two-year delay (due to lockdown), I’m incredibly excited to hear the piece come to life with the wonderful London Symphony Orchestra and young musicians in Trafalgar Square, in the magical hands of Sir Simon Rattle. 

Note by Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Ayanna Witter-Johnson
b 1980s

Ayanna Witter-Johnson holding cello bow

Ayanna Witter-Johnson © Misan Harriman

Ayanna Witter-Johnson © Misan Harriman

Some composers defy succinct definition, and shoehorning Ayanna Witter-Johnson into a tidy profile is no mean feat. Her music blurs boundaries between classical and alternative RnB – two genres that rarely coexist – and you are just as likely to find her singing while playing the cello, as you are to find her poring over an orchestral score. This remarkable confluence of styles stems from a childhood that was saturated with music of every shape and colour. ‘My dad and uncle are DJs and my mum loves to sing,’ says Ayanna, ‘so I embraced a pretty healthy diet of classical piano and cello studies while absorbing pop culture, soul, jazz, reggae, hip-hop and RnB music throughout my childhood and until now.’

Witter-Johnson was just three years old when her mother spotted an aptitude for music and took her to her first piano lesson, and she took up the cello as her second instrument (now very much her first) when she was 13. She went on to graduate with a first from both Trinity Laban and the Manhattan School of Music, and in 2009 was featured as an Emerging Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre. Since then, she has been commissioned by the Ligeti Quartet, Kronos Quartet and London Symphony Orchestra, collaborated with Anoushka Shankar and Courtney Pine, and been nominated for a MOBO award.

She cites Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder among her greatest influences as readily as she does Bach and Debussy, and while many of her works chronicle her experience as a female artist in the 21st century, she is also no stranger to tackling issues of social oppression and globalisation. Her music is impossible to label (and why should we?) but its guiding principle is one of authenticity and personal truth.

Composer profile by Jo Kirkbride

There are almost 600 videos on the LSO's YouTube channel, from performances to interviews and masterclasses, with new videos released regularly.

George Gershwin
An American in Paris
✒️1928 | ⏰16 minutes

Gershwin seemed to have the midas touch. By 1928 he had composed dozens of popular songs and was still basking in the sunny success of his 1924 piece Rhapsody in Blue. Money was starting to roll in and life was good, but one thing was niggling him: he really felt he needed some 'serious' compositional training, so he packed his bags and headed for Europe. Paris was certainly a highlight: it was the place to be during the Roaring Twenties; it veritably sizzled with artists pushing boundaries and forging new paths to a riotous backdrop of booze and jazz. Here he jostled with leading composers including Maurice Ravel, Alban Berg and Sergei Prokofiev, and sought advice – mostly to be met with a 'you don’t need it!' response.

It is also not beyond the realms of possibilities that he could have met Edgar Varèse (1883–1965), the co-founder of the International Composers’ Guild. A French émigré living in the US, he had returned to Paris to complete Amérique – his wild evocation of a Parisian in America complete with a huge range of percussion instruments including sleigh bells, a wind machine and sirens. A completely different style, but surely this had some influence on Gershwin.

Gershwin’s resulting musical homage to the 'City of Light' is full of joie de vivre – as is so much of his music. Subtitled 'A Tone Poem for Orchestra' Gershwin referred to it as a 'rhapsodic ballet':  its mesmerising jazz and blues rhythms inspired Gene Kelly to produce a film version of it in 1949, the climax a whole ballet section performed to this work. It helps that it has a very specific story attached to it devised by Gershwin and the critic and composer Deems Taylor. It tells of an American walking down the Champs-Elysees – you can almost see his confident swagger – to the sound of bustling traffic and blasts on horns (in the original performance the horns used were ones that Gershwin found rummaging around in garages). The jaunty, jazzy carefree world of the American turns into a sultry, blues number on a lonesome trumpet. The mood is interrupted by a Charleston-esque pastiche (more trumpets), and the American and the orchestra 'in a riotous finale decides to make a night of it'.

Note by Sarah Breeden

The LSO's home is at the Barbican in the City of London, and has been since 1982. We perform concerts there almost every week from September to June, with Wildcard tickets starting at just £10 + booking fee. Bag a seat at a discount price, and find out
exactly where when you get to the concert.

Sir Simon Rattle
LSO Music Director

Sir Simon Rattle © Oliver Helbig

From 1980 to 1998, Sir Simon was Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was appointed Music Director in 1990. In 2002 he took up the position of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, where he remained until the end of the 2017/18 season. Sir Simon took up the position of Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra in September 2017 and will remain there until the 2023/24 season, when he will take the title of Conductor Emeritus. From the 2023/24 season Sir Simon will take up the position of Chief Conductor of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich. He is a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Founding Patron of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

Sir Simon has made over 70 recordings for EMI (now Warner Classics) and has received numerous prestigious international awards for his recordings on various labels. Releases on EMI include Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (which received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance), Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker – Suite, Mahler’s Symphony No 2 and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. From 2014 Sir Simon continued to build his recording portfolio with the Berlin Philharmonic’s new in-house label, Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, which led to recordings of the Beethoven, Schumann and Sibelius symphony cycles. Sir Simon’s most recent recordings include Rachmaninoff's Symphony No 2, Beethoven's Christ on the Mount of Olives and Ravel, Dutilleux and Delage on Blu-Ray and DVD with LSO Live.

Music education is of supreme importance to Sir Simon, and his partnership with the Berlin Philharmonic broke new ground with the education programme Zukunft@Bphil, earning him the Comenius Prize, the Schiller Special Prize from the city of Mannheim, the Golden Camera and the Urania Medal. He and the Berlin Philharmonic were also appointed International UNICEF Ambassadors in 2004 – the first time this honour has been conferred on an artistic ensemble.

Sir Simon has also been awarded several prestigious personal honours which include a knighthood in 1994, and becoming a member of the Order of Merit from Her Majesty The Queen in 2014. Most recently, he was bestowed the Order of Merit in Berlin in 2018. In 2019, Sir Simon was given the Freedom of the City of London.

Sir Simon Rattle © Oliver Helbig

Sir Simon Rattle © Oliver Helbig

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Sheku Kanneh-Mason © Jake Turney

Sheku Kanneh-Mason © Jake Turney

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Sheku Kanneh-Mason © Jake Turney

Sheku Kanneh-Mason is in great demand from major orchestras and concert halls worldwide. He became a household name in 2018 after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle, his performance having been greeted with universal excitement after being watched by nearly two billion people globally. Sheku initially garnered renown as the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, the first Black musician to take the title. He has released two chart-topping albums on the Decca Classics label, Inspiration in 2018 and Elgar (featuring the LSO) in 2020. The latter reached No 8 in the overall UK Official Album Chart, making Sheku the first cellist in history to reach the UK Top 10.

Since his debut in 2017, Sheku has performed every summer at the BBC Proms, including in 2020 when he gave a recital performance with his sister, Isata, to an empty auditorium due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During the Covid-19 lockdown in spring 2020, Sheku and his siblings performed in twice-weekly livestreams from their family home in Nottingham to audiences of hundreds of thousands around the globe. He has performed at the BAFTA awards ceremony twice in 2017 and 2018, is the winner of Best Classical Artist at the Global Awards in 2020 and 2021 (the latter as part of the Kanneh-Mason family), and received the 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists’ Award.

Sheku was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List. He plays a Matteo Goffriller cello from 1700 which is on indefinite loan to him.

Advert for cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason's new album

LSO On Track

On Track at BMW Classics © Doug Peters

LSO On Track puts young East Londoners on a world-class stage with LSO musicians to create inspirational performances.

LSO On Track is a partnership between the LSO and ten East London Music Services, in collaboration with the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music & Drama. This partnership puts the LSO at the heart of the Music Education Hubs in East London, in the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

LSO On Track has a key objective of creating environments for young people to progress in music – wherever they started from musically, socially, economically and culturally. Like an orchestra, LSO On Track aims to build communities made up of people and organisations, greater than the sum of their parts. It provides a diverse programme which reflects the variety of individuals who make up the communities of East London, which bring together the skills and expertise of many individuals. The programme includes activities for primary school teachers and their pupils, for special schools and young people with learning disabilities, for young musicians to both devise their own new music and receive high-level coaching from LSO musicians, plus opportunities to perform in world-class venues, and much much more.

On stage today, young musicians represent all ten LSO On Track partner Music Education Hubs, and include members of the newest part of LSO On Track – the LSO East London Academy.

Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Guildhall School is a vibrant, international community of musicians, actors and production artists in the heart of the City of London. Ranked as one of the top ten performing arts institutions in the world (QS World University Rankings 2022), as well as the top conservatoire in the Guardian University Guide music league table, they deliver world-class professional training in partnership with distinguished artists, companies and ensembles.

A global leader in creative and professional practice, they promote innovation, experiment and research, and are also one of the UK’s leading providers of lifelong learning in the performing arts, offering inspiring training for children, young people, adult learners, and creative and business professionals.

Guildhall School partners with the LSO through the postgraduate Orchestral Artistry programme, as well as other performance
opportunities, ensuring that students benefit from links with the profession before they graduate.

Young musicians on stage in Trafalgar Square

On Track at BMW Classics © Doug Peters

On Track at BMW Classics © Doug Peters

LSO On Track Musicians On Stage

First Violins
Michelle Téibo
Elio Aliaj
Eliana Kidane
Natalie Ferreira
Mary Youssef
Geethika Manmohan

Second Violins
Chloe Merlin
Leila Wilkinson
Holy Pretty
Tobyn Chappell
Raahi Patel
Marfa Kostsina
Sophia Perera

Jed Thwala
Amanah Amin
Noam Vojic
Isaac Bornat

Adelina Sirghi
Cerian Bright
Michael Green
Angel Kelly
Emily Moore

Double Basses
Joel Elonge
Joshitha Vogireddy
Ridhisha Patel

Mia Arthur
Adeola Ogunmokun
Honey Hill
Imogen Watkins

Eoin Gough
Morayo Ogunmokun
Natalie Denley
Daniel Sedlacek

Safya Campbell
Eleanor Hickford
Meredita Roscenkovaite
Michelle Egot

Izzy Laing
Nahuel Angius-Thomas
Tom Parkes

Vanisha Marcelene
Martin Aroca VEntoso
Caitlin Alsford

Mikel Emele
Thomas Hanford
Samuel Perkins
Phoebe Robinson

Malaika Kabeya
Molly Devlin
Filip Zajdler

Daniel Pryce
Jeshurun Nanjo

Yuma Angius-Thomas
Nathan-Asher Toluwanimi Oriakhi
Keran Owusu-Bennoah
Frances Oguh

Guildhall School Musicians On Stage

First Violins
Yuriko Matsuda
Anna Kosinska
Joana Rodrigues
Tilman Fleig

Second Violins
Abbie Jackson
Liz Merrifield
Mariana Cabral

Hannah Roberts
Elena Sanchez

Lavinnia Rae

Double Basses
Catharina Feyen
Yat Hei Lee

Fiona Sweeney

Emily Crichton

Cara Doyle

Hazalen Tang

Frances Gordon
Tabitha Bolter

Maciej Kropidlowski

Adam Quilter

London Symphony Orchestra

The London Symphony Orchestra strives to inspire hearts and minds through world-leading music-making. We were established in 1904, as one of the first orchestras shaped by its musicians. Today, we're ranked among the world's top orchestras. We are Resident Orchestra at the Barbican, and we reach international audiences through touring, online broadcasts and streaming services.

Through our world-leading g learning and community programme, LSO Discovery, we’re connecting people of all ages and walks of life to the power of great music. In 1999, we formed our own recording label, LSO Live, and revolutionised how live orchestral music is recorded, with over 150 recordings released so far.

Through inspiring music, educational programmes and technological innovations, our reach extends far beyond the concert hall.

London Symphony Orchestra on stage in Trafalgar Square

BMW Classics 2021 © Mark Allan

BMW Classics 2021 © Mark Allan

On Stage

Guest Leader
Benjamin Gilmore *

First Violins
Julia Ungureanu
Ginette Decuyper
Laura Dixon *
Maxine Kwok *
William Melvin *
Claire Parfitt
Elizabeth Pigram
Laurent Quénelle
Harriet Rayfield
Sylvain Vasseur
Caroline Frenkel
Grace Lee
Julia Rumley

Second Violins
Julián Gil Rodríguez *
Thomas Norris
Miya Väisänen
Matthew Gardner *
Naoko Keatley
Belinda McFarlane *
Iwona Muszynska
Csilla Pogany
Paul Robson
Alexandra Lomeiko
Gordon MacKay
Jan Regulski

Edward Vanderspar
Gillianne Haddow *
Malcolm Johnston
German Clávijo
Steve Doman *
Julia O'Riordan *
Robert Turner
Errika Horsley
Nancy Johnson
Luba Tunnicliffe 

Rebecca Gilliver *
Alastair Blayden
Eve-Marie Caravassilis
Daniel Gardner
Laure Le Dantec *
Amanda Truelove
Victoria Harrild
Simon Thompson

Double Basses 
Ivan Zavgorodniy *
Patrick Laurence
Matthew Gibson
Thomas Goodman *
Joe Melvin
José Moreira
Jeremy Watt

Gareth Davies
Jack Welch

Sharon Williams  *

Juliana Koch *
Rosie Jenkins

Cor Anglais
Christine Pendrill 

Chris Richards
Chi-Yu Mo *

Bass Clarinet
Juan Puelles Barrantes

Alto Saxophone
Howard McGill

Tenor Saxophone
Mark Crooks

Baritone Saxophone
Claire McInerney

Rachel Gough
Joost Bosdijk *

Contra Bassoon
Luke Whitehead

Timothy Jones
Angela Barnes *
Jonathan Maloney

James Fountain
Adam Wright
Niall Keatley

Roger Cutts
Jonathan Hollick

Bass Trombone
Paul Milner *

Ben Thomson *

Nigel Thomas *

Neil Percy
David Jackson
Sam Walton *
Tom Edwards
Paul Stoneman

Bryn Lewis

Elizabeth Burley

* On stage in FAIYA!

We hope you enjoyed BMW Classics 2022

If you joined us in Trafalgar Square, thank you for coming and have a safe journey home. To everyone who watched online, thank you for letting us bring music into your homes. See you again next year!

We'd love to hear about your BMW Classics experience. Let us know what you thought of the concert by filling out this short survey.

Young children playing cello in school

London Music Fund
Developing Potential since 2011

The London Music Fund’s mission is to transform under-served communities by enabling children to access high-quality music education.

Click to learn more and help us change young lives through music.

Programme Contributors

Sarah Breeden contributes to BBC Proms family concert programmes, has written on film music for the LPO and LSO, school notes for the London Sinfonietta and the booklet notes for the EMI Classical Clubhouse series. She worked for the BBC Proms for several years.

Jo Kirkbride is Head of Artistic Planning at the Dunedin Consort. She is an external assessor for Creative Scotland's Open Project Funding strand and sits on the Board of Directors for New Music Scotland.

The LSO is funded by Arts Council England in partnership with the City of London Corporation, which also provides the Orchestra’s permanent home at the Barbican.