London Symphony Orchestra

LSO Futures

London Symphony Orchestra: Autumn Season


A warm welcome to this LSO Futures concert. After 14 months away, it was wonderful to return to our Barbican home last month and share with an audience the joy of live music. Sincere thanks to all who have supported us through these challenging times: your generosity has enabled us to continue sharing music with audiences across the globe, and now continues to assist our return to live performance and our recovery from the pandemic.

Tonight’s concert is devoted to music of our time, and particularly highlights alumni of the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme, which launched in 2005. Since then, almost 100 early-career composers have taken part in the Scheme, among those Charlie Piper (2007 cohort) and Ayanna Witter-Johnson (2008), whose works Flēotan and Fairtrade? open the concert.

Following a performance of Betsy Jolas’ Well Met Suite, we conclude the first half of the concert with a new piece by George Stevenson, Vanishing City, which was commissioned following his time on the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme in 2018. Our sincere thanks to Lady Hamlyn and The Helen Hamlyn Trust for their long-standing support of the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme, and for their generous support of tonight’s concert.

After the interval, we are joined by Nicola Benedetti for the first performance with a live audience of Mark Simpson’s Violin Concerto, which was premiered online by the LSO in April this year, to great acclaim. We are very grateful to both Nicola Benedetti and conductor Ryan Wigglesworth for stepping in at short notice for this concert, as François-Xavier Roth and Patricia Kopatchinskaja were unable to perform due to travel restrictions, and it is a pleasure to welcome them both tonight.

I hope you enjoy this LSO Futures concert. Our thanks to all of you for your support through the 2020/21 season and beyond, and we can all look forward to brighter times of more music making with live audiences ahead. Details of LSO concerts at the Barbican from September 2021 will be announced on our website shortly.

Kathryn McDowell CBE DL; Managing Director

Kathryn McDowell CBE DL; Managing Director

You can use your phone to view these notes during the concert. Use the menu icon in the top right of the screen to navigate.

Free WiFi
There is free WiFi in the Concert Hall, available through the Barbican Free WiFi network.

Please Note
Phones should be switched to silent mode. We ask that you use your phone only for reading the notes during the music. Photography and audio/video recording are not permitted during the performance.

Print at Home

A reduced version of this programme is available to download and print at home.

Sunday 13 June 6.30pm to 8.15pm
Today's Programme

Charlie Piper Flēotan*
Ayanna Witter-Johnson Fairtrade?*
Betsy Jolas Well Met Suite
George Stevenson Vanishing City* (world premiere)
Mark Simpson Violin Concerto±  (world premiere with live audience)

Ryan Wigglesworth conductor
Nicola Benedetti violin
London Symphony Orchestra

LSO Futures is generously supported by Lady Hamlyn and The Helen Hamlyn Trust

*Commissioned through the Panufnik Composers Scheme, generously supported by Lady Hamlyn and The Helen Hamlyn Trust

±Commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra (with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and The Marchus Trust), WDR Sinfonieorchester, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

The Helen Hamlyn Trust logo
ernst von siemens music foundation logo

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the LSO in the Barbican Hall with an audience watching

© Doug Peters

© Doug Peters

Support the LSO's Future

The importance of music and the arts has never been more apparent than in recent months, as we’ve been inspired, comforted and entertained throughout this unprecedented period.

As we emerge from the most challenging period of a generation, please consider supporting the LSO's Always Playing Appeal to sustain the Orchestra, assist our recovery from the pandemic and allow us to continue sharing our music with the broadest range of people possible.

Every donation will help to support the LSO’s future.

You can also donate now via text.

Text LSOAPPEAL 5, LSOAPPEAL 10 or LSOAPPEAL 20 to 70085 to donate £5, £10 or £20.

Texts cost £5, £10 or £20 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text LSOAPPEALNOINFO 5, 10 or 20 to 70085. UK numbers only.

Charlie Piper


✒️2007 | ⏰4 minutes

Being gifted the opportunity to write for a professional orchestra is every young composer’s dream. For Charlie Piper, the chance to write a short orchestral work for the LSO as part of the 2007 LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme was a wish come true. ‘I was like a kid in a sweet shop’, he remembers. ‘My creative process was probably upstaged by wanting to try out a million different ideas in a short space of time and trying to impress with orchestrational panache.’ Personal misgivings aside, Flēotan is an exquisitely shaped work, one that would go on to become a sketch for a larger work, The Twittering Machine, which Piper composed in 2008 and which was premiered by the LSO in the 2008/09 season.

Flēotan takes its title from Old English, a word meaning both ‘to float’ and ‘fleeting’. These double meanings form the building blocks of Piper’s score, which at four minutes long is literally ‘fleeting’. But it is also sinuous enough to suggest that the music itself were floating on tenuous, shifting foundations.

‘The image I began with was of an object floating in the wind being pulled around in different directions. The work begins pretty statically, hovering on a gentle breeze but with the ebb and flow of the wind the energy changes quite rapidly, creating fleeting moments.’
Charlie Piper

These energetic fluctuations become increasingly volatile, whipping the music into a series of false summits which keep deviating the work from its intended course. Colours and textures flicker and glimmer as they come into view and then subside once more. In spite of these diversions, Piper’s descending harmonic sequence creates a deep and inexorable pull that eventually draws us towards an explosive finish.

Note by Jo Kirkbride

Charlie Piper
b 1982

Charlie Piper

Charlie Piper was a teenager when he first realised he ‘might have something’ as a composer. He had been learning the piano, violin and percussion for several years, and describes how the act of composing had increasingly become ‘an asylum from the horrors of adolescence’. But it was success in a local composing competition that signalled the start of a burgeoning career – that, and the act of unsettling his violin teacher with his new music. ‘He had very conservative tastes’, he explains, ‘and it made me realise that I was more excited about writing rather than trying to learn traditional violin repertoire.’

Piper was just 24 when he won the RPS Composition Prize in 2006, and went on to win the 13th International Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn the following year. Since then, his music has been performed at the Cheltenham, Huddersfield, Gaudeamus, Mizzou, Bang-On-A-Can and Aix-en-Provence Festivals, and by groups including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Britten Sinfonia and London Sinfonietta. Stylistically, his music is difficult to categorise and he is the first to admit that it has fluctuated dramatically over the years. ‘I get excited by too many things’, he explains. ‘Sometimes I get inspired by an idea, a word, an image or a poem and that can inform the musical content. Sometimes I just begin with musical ideas.’ Despite these oscillations, and although he is reluctant to single out his musical heroes or influences, there is a distinctive vibrancy to his scores, which centre around flares of colour and flickering, pointillist textures.

Composer profile by Jo Kirkbride

Ayanna Witter-Johnson


✒️2008 | ⏰3 minutes

Like so much of her music, Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s Fairtrade? has a serious and thought-provoking message at its core. And although she composed it as part of the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme more than ten years ago, its subject matter — the demand for ‘fast fashion’ — remains as much a cause for concern as ever.

‘This fast-paced, low-cost manufacturing process comes at a high cost in other areas, such as impeding many millions of young people from receiving formal education, suffering abuse and in some cases incurring fatal injuries … I hope the piece will encourage us to consider our economic choices and the cost of our convenience at others’ expense.’
Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Fairtrade? is a hypnotic and compelling work that is as clever as it is instructive. Woven into the fabric of the score, indeed the very fibres of the score itself, are the sounds of the factory. We hear the clatter of the machines, the incessant, monotonous clacking of the repetitive processes, and peering through the gloom, just occasionally, the lone voice of a solo cello or violin rising from the back desks. This in itself is a pointed move, an attempt to shine a light on those who are often left lurking in the background, like the unseen craftsmen who labour tirelessly on our clothing, and never receive the recognition (or care) they deserve. For Witter-Johnson, it was a chance to overturn a few musical norms too: ‘Within an orchestral setting, much like a workforce, there are unspoken rules and a sense of hierarchy – I wanted to subvert that a little to highlight the message.’

Note by Jo Kirkbride

Ayanna Witter-Johnson
b 1980s

Composer Ayanna Witter-Johnson

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

Betsy Jolas

Well Met Suite

✒️2016 | ⏰10 minutes

Betsy Jolas wears her musicality lightly. She is neither tethered to traditions, nor dismissive of them. Indeed, she has said that she views herself as part of a musical continuum, but feels no pressure to conform to the fashions of the time. This is particularly evident in her give-or-take attitude to the serialism movement, but even more so in her theatrical works which play with musical conventions.

An earlier piece from 2004, her Well Met 04 – Pantomime for 12 strings, takes a typical concert rehearsal as its starting point and transforms this everyday occurrence into a farcical pantomime, with a few wry observations about musicians’ habits along the way. We watch as the ensemble is ‘constantly disturbed by the seven violins practicing outside and who are finally made to quiet down’, and later witness a heated argument about the intricacies of baroque ornamentation. The conductor is ‘hardly welcomed’ and eventually has to hand over control to Violin 1, whose own approach to direction is to dismiss the other instruments through multiple cadenzas, each more spectacular than the last. It is a perfectly observed farce, one that would leave even the most robust of musicians squirming in their seat.

But the Well Met Pantomime is also just that – a pantomime. Having received several requests for a new work for string ensemble, in 2016 Jolas transformed four of the Pantomime movements into a suite in their own right, the Well Met Suite we hear today. It incorporates excerpts that Jolas identified as ‘the most developed and least tied to theatrical action’ and the results are remarkable. Instead of being uncomfortable flies on the wall in a fractious rehearsal room, we become listeners to a beautifully crafted set of miniatures, finely drawn and deftly delivered.

Note by Jo Kirkbride

Betsy Jolas
b 1926

Composer Betsy Jolas

Betsy Jolas has had the kind of career that most musicians could only dream about. She studied in Paris with composers Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen, was family friends with Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Henri Matisse, and sang the Verdi Requiem under the direction of Arturo Toscanini. Now 94 years young, she is still composing. ‘I want to remain curious. You should never think that you’ve achieved something. Even at this point of my career, I always feel a bit worried’, she said in 2005 – aged 79.

Jolas’ music seems to defy the era from which it was born. Hers was the time of Stockhausen and serialism, of systems and procedures, and yet although her works are almost unilaterally atonal, they are deeply expressive and rooted in song. She remembers: ‘A while ago, some PhD students were trying to find twelve-tone rows in my music, and they got frustrated when they couldn’t find any. I told them to stop trying! I don’t have a system – I can’t teach how to write music that sounds like mine.’

The human voice has been a preoccupation for as long as Jolas can remember. Her mother was a singer and Jolas sang in choirs throughout her formative years, and this seems to have left an indelible imprint on her music. Her scores sing even when they are purely instrumental, so much so that she has composed sets of ‘Lieder’ (songs) for numerous instruments, while in her piece Mon Ami (1974), she asks the pianist simultaneously to sing and play, the voice melding with the sound of the piano. Her works are as steeped in the contrapuntal traditions of the Baroque and Renaissance periods as they are in the swirling, textural landscapes of French impressionism.

‘My roots are in the entire history of music, not just in contemporary music. I feel privileged to be related to all that great music of the past.’
Betsy Jolas

Composer profile by Jo Kirkbride

George Stevenson

Vanishing City

✒️2020 | ⏰5 minutes

world premiere

In 1941, under attack from German bombing raids, the wartime authorities in Leningrad took the unusual step of trying to camouflage the city’s most prominent buildings. Over many cities in World War II, churches and similar buildings were used by pilots to line up their bombing runs: Leningrad’s particular problem was that its largest domes and spires couldn’t be more prominent: they were huge, and painted in glorious gold. To address the issue, a group of four mountain climbers, two men and two women, were drafted in to scale the city’s highest points, and conceal them with paint or canvas. These included the golden dome of St Isaac’s cathedral, the spire of the cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul (considered the tallest Orthodox building in the world), and the golden steeple of the Admiralty, which was stitched into a vast canvas ‘skirt’ weighing half a tonne. Work continued through the first, brutal winter of the siege of Leningrad and by early 1942 the city’s magnificent skyline was completely obscured.

Stevenson’s score is in short, dramatic episodes, with markings such as ‘maestoso’, ‘nervoso’ and ‘misterioso’. It isn’t hard to ascribe to these alterations of orchestral pomp and eerie quietude something of the emotions felt by those four climbers as they braved gunfire, siege conditions and a bitterly cold winter to conceal their proud city’s most iconic buildings. The recurring chimes of tubular bells, glockenspiel and harp both remind us that many of these buildings were sacred, and capture in sound the feeling of grandeur disappearing from view.

Note by Tim Rutherford-Johnson

George Stevenson
b 1987

George Stevenson

George Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1987 and grew up performing as a jazz pianist around Scotland. After a Masters in Physics from Imperial College London, he completed postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama followed by Moscow Conservatoire, and spent several years working with Boston Consulting Group. His teachers include Julian Anderson, Joseph Phibbs, Alexander Tchaikovsky and Mary McCarthy.

George’s music is just as likely to take inspiration from his background in science (Trees Made of Air, 2019, and Algol, 2018) as it is to draw from strange imagined worlds (Les Machines de l'île, 2017) or the folksong of Southern Russia (Stavropol, 2016).

In early 2019, his orchestral piece False Summit was performed by the LSO under François-Xavier Roth through the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme, leading to a further commission for the Orchestra, heard tonight. George was recently featured by Psappha Ensemble as recipient of their Peter Maxwell Davies Commission. Later this month his orchestral work Braided Waters will be performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Jonathan Berman as part of the RSNO Composers’ Hub.

George has also worked with musicians of the Russian National Orchestra, Berkeley Ensemble and BCMG NEXT, as well as dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet. Past awards include First Prize in the St Magnus Composers' competition, and the Dvořák Prize at the International Dvořák Competition. George was a 2018 PRS Accelerate Scheme composer and winner of ‘The Night With...’ and ‘Risuonanze’ Calls for Scores.

Interval – 25 minutes
You are welcome to leave your seats during the interval.
Drinks can be purchased from the bars to be enjoyed on the Lakeside terrace, or at your seat in the Hall.

Mark Simpson

Violin Concerto

✒️2020 to 2021 | ⏰45 minutes

world premiere with live audience

Nicola Benedetti violin

for Nicola Benedetti

1 Lamentoso
2 Dance
3 Andante Amoroso
4 Cadenza
5 Presto con fuoco – Finale

I started my Violin Concerto just before the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, and my initial musical ideas were hopeful, singing, full of life. As the pandemic worsened I quickly realised that it was impossible to ‘carry on as normal’ and the work would need to explore a different set of responses.

The concerto begins, quietly, calmly, as if from nowhere, with a statement of B-flat minor in the strings, over which the violin laments, drawing us into a world of stillness and reflection in the first movement. A moment of transition launches us directly into the next movement.

Movement two is a fast, energetic dance that is in essence a response to having a huge amount of pent-up energy that I was unable to release during the period of lockdown restrictions. It hurtles us through various balletic tableaux.

Movement three is an impassioned love song tinged with moments of darkness.

The Cadenza fourth movement provides us with another moment of stillness and revisits material from the second movement.

The fifth movement begins with a devilish A minor tarantella that leads directly to the Finale. This opens with a simple melody in the violin which is then passed through winds, strings and brass, guiding us to a wild, raucous, energy-filled climax that leads to the work’s close.

Note by Mark Simpson

Mark Simpson
b 1988

Mark Simpson

© Bo Lutoslawski

© Bo Lutoslawski

Composer and clarinettist Mark Simpson (b 1988, Liverpool) became the first ever winner of both the BBC Young Musician of the Year and BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year competitions in 2006. He went on to read Music at St Catherine’s College, Oxford and studied composition with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Simpson was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2012 to 2014 and received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in 2014. In 2015 he was appointed Composer in Association of the BBC Philharmonic for a period of four years.

Simpson’s oratorio The Immortal was premiered by the BBC Philharmonic at the 2015 Manchester International Festival to immediate critical acclaim. Other works with orchestra include Israfel, premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, sparks commissioned for the 2012 Last Night of the Proms and A mirror-fragment… written for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. His first opera Pleasure was commissioned by Opera North, the Royal Opera and Aldeburgh Music and premiered in 2016.

Chamber works include Hommage à Kurtág for clarinet, piano and viola, commissioned by the Salzburg and Edinburgh International festivals for premiere in 2016 by Simpson alongside Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Antoine Tamestit, and a solo clarinet work Darkness Moves commissioned by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. Under his Composer in Association role with the BBC Philharmonic, Simpson composed a Cello Concerto for Leonard Elschenbroich in 2018 and a Clarinet Concerto for himself as soloist in 2019. His most recent work is his Violin Concerto for Nicola Benedetti.

A collection of Simpson's chamber works, entitled Night Music, was released in 2016 by NMC and 2020 brought a recording of wind ensemble music on Orchid Classics combining Simpson's Geysir with Mozart's Gran Partita. Simpson continues to perform widely as a soloist and chamber musician, with recent highlights including Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto at the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis, and Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps at the Aldeburgh Festival with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Isabelle Faust and Jean-Guihen Queyras. In 2016 he performed Magnus Lindberg’s Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, with the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg conducted by HK Gruber and at the 2018 BBC Proms. Recent highlights included a feature as composer and performer at the 2020 Trondheim Chamber Music Festival.

Composer profile reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes

BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert: Mark Simpson & Richard Uttley
Tuesday 22 Jun 1pm, LSO St Luke's

Fresh from this evening’s concert at the Barbican, musician-composer Mark Simpson will take to the stage as clarinettist in a BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert on Tuesday 22 June. Pairing the voices of the clarinet and piano, we’ll hear music by Debussy and Weber alongside Mark's own chamber composition Lov(escape). Yearning and romantic in parts, erratic and fractured in others, the piece displays the extraordinary capabilities of the clarinet.

Click here to find out more and book tickets.

Artist Biographies

Ryan Wigglesworth

© Benjamin Ealovega

Ryan Wigglesworth has established himself as one of the foremost composer-conductors of his generation. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra from 2015 to 2018 and Composer in Residence at English National Opera. He held the Daniel R Lewis Composer Fellowship with the Cleveland Orchestra for the 2013/15 and 2014/15 seasons and was Composer in Residence at the 2018 Grafenegg Festival. In close partnership with the Royal Academy of Music, he recently founded the Knussen Chamber Orchestra which made both its Aldeburgh Festival and BBC Proms debuts in 2019.

Recent opera engagements include Birtwistle’s The Minotaur for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Mozart's Così fan tutte, Bizet's Carmen and Glanert’s Caligula for English National Opera; Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Aldeburgh and a widely acclaimed performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie with the BBC Symphony at the Barbican. In 2019 he made his Glyndebourne Festival debut with a new production of Mozart's The Magic Flute.

Recent concerts include appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, DSO Berlin, Bergen Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the BBC Proms, for whom he made three appearances in 2019.

The 2019/20 season saw debut visits to the Swedish Radio Symphony, RSO Vienna, Tokyo, Melbourne and Seattle, and future engagements include the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in the Concertgebouw, BBC SO and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

Born in Yorkshire, he studied at New College, Oxford and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. From 2007 to 2009 he was a Lecturer at Cambridge University where he was also a Fellow of Corpus Christi College. In January 2019 he took up the position of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett Professor at the Royal Academy of Music.

Conductor Ryan Wigglesworth

© Benjamin Ealovega

© Benjamin Ealovega

Nicola Benedetti

© Simon Fowler

Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation. Her ability to captivate audiences and her wide appeal as an advocate for classical music has made her one of the most influential artists of today.

In the 2020/21 season, Nicola collaborated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for concerts at the BBC Proms 2020 and with digital projects for the Philharmonia and Paavo Järvi, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Maxim Emelyanychev. Additionally, Nicola performed with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and James Gaffigan, the Spanish National Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony with Pablo Heras-Casado. She is also Artist in Residence for the St Louis Symphony and will perform several concerts, recitals and masterclasses throughout the season. In Spring 2021 Nicola gave the world premiere (online) of Mark Simpson’s Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda, before the same work is performed with the LSO to a live audience, and by the RSNO, Cincinnati Symphony and WDR Köln. In July 2021, Nicola appears with her Benedetti Baroque Orchestra for eight concerts at Battersea Arts Centre which will be tied to her latest album Baroque.

Last season’s highlights include Nicola’s debut with the Wiener Symphoniker, a tour of Asia with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati, plus returning performances with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas with both the New World Symphony and the London Symphony Orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and a European tour with Thomas Søndergård and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Nicola has continued her role as a dedicated, passionate ambassador and leader in music education. Her commitment to supporting the UK’s music practitioners was underlined in July 2018, when Nicola took over as President of the European String Teachers’ Association. She has formalised her vision and expanded her commitment to the education of young people and support of music teachers by establishing a charitable organisation: The Benedetti Foundation. Launched in January 2020, The Benedetti Foundation, puts on transformative workshops for young people and teachers, showcasing what music education at its best can look and feel like. The Foundation has delivered four live sessions throughout the UK and in May 2020, during lockdown, the Foundation went online with a 'virtual sessions' providing over 7,000 musicians across the globe online tutorials and inspirational workshops.

Winner of the GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo in 2020, as well as Best Female Artist at both 2012 and 2013 Classical BRIT Awards, Nicola records exclusively for Decca (Universal Music). Her latest recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto entered at number one in the UK’s Official Classical Album Chart. Other recent recordings include her GRAMMY award-winning album written especially for her by jazz musician Wynton Marsalis: Violin Concerto in D and Fiddle Dance Suite for Solo Violin.

Nicola was appointed a CBE in 2019, awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music (2017), and an MBE in 2013. In addition, Nicola holds the positions of Vice President (National Children’s Orchestras), Big Sister (Sistema Scotland) and Patron (National Youth Orchestras of Scotland’s Junior Orchestra, Music in Secondary Schools Trust and Junior Conservatoire at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).

Nicola plays the Gariel Stradivarius (1717), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.

Nicola Benedetti

© Simon Fowler

© Simon Fowler

London Symphony Orchestra

The London Symphony Orchestra was established in 1904, and is built on the belief that extraordinary music should be available to everyone, everywhere.

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

Visit our website to find out more.

On Stage

Carmine Lauri

First Violins
Gerald Gregory
Maxine Kwok
Elizabeth Pigram
Harriet Rayfield
Sylvain Vasseur
Emmanuel Bach
Richard Blayden
Morane Cohen-Lamberger
Hilary Jane Parker
Takane Funatsu
Dániel Mészöly

Second Violins
David Alberman
Miya Väisänen
Naoko Keatley
Iwona Muszynska
Andrew Pollock
Paul Robson
Gordon Mackay
Grace Lee
James Wicks

Rachel Roberts
Gillianne Haddow
Anna Bastow
Germán Clavijo
Steve Doman
Sofia Silva Sousa
Robert Turner
Nancy Johnson

Tim Gill
Alastair Blayden
Jennifer Brown
Noël Bradshaw
Amanda Truelove
Peteris Sokolovskis

Double Basses
Colin Paris
Matthew Gibson
Thomas Goodman
Jani Pensola

Gareth Davies
Jack Welch

Rebecca Larsen

Olivier Stankiewicz
Rosie Jenkins

Cor Anglais
Sarah Harper

Chris Richards
Chi-Yu Mo

Bass Clarinet
Katy Ayling

Daniel Jemison
Dominic Tyler

Contra Bassoon
Dominic Morgan

Timothy Jones
Angela Barnes
Paul Gardham
Flora Bain

Jason Evans
Katherine Smith
Niall Keatley

Simon Johnson
Simon Baker

Bass Trombone
Paul Milner

Ben Thomson

Marney O’Sullivan

Neil Percy
David Jackson
Sam Walton
Tom Edwards
Jeremy Cornes

Bryn Lewis

Elizabeth Burley

Click here to meet the Members of the LSO on our website

Farewell to Colin Paris, LSO Co-Principal Double Bass

'Tonight’s performance is the last as an LSO Member for Colin Paris, our dear Co-Principal Double Bass, as he heads for the long and happy retirement which we all wish him.

Though these moments are inevitable, it still seems deeply improbable an LSO institution like Colin should already be starting the next phase of his life. Colin has been an oasis of calm, whose rock-like dependability is matched only by his huge warm-heartedness towards his colleagues. Colin has been a Member for 33 years, 30 of which as Co-Principal, who frequently stepped up to lead the Double Bass section with great distinction.

He was also Vice-Chair of the LSO for twelve years, always acting with exemplary compassion and fair-mindedness. In short, we will miss Colin – but not quite yet, as he will be with us for the next month in the Aix-en-Provence Festival. How and with what we will toast his retirement is a matter of excited speculation!'

David Alberman
LSO Chair

Colin Paris
LSO stand on the Barbican stage ready to take a bow

© Mark Allan

© Mark Allan

Thank You for Joining Us

We are thrilled to be back together in the concert hall again, and hope you are too.

Tweet Us
ell us what you thought of the concert, share you pictures or ask us a question on Twitter by tagging us @londonsymphony.

Help Us Improve
We always want your experience of the LSO to be amazing. Please let us know what you thought of today's concert by filling out this short survey.

Rate Us Quickly
If you only have a few seconds, you can give us a rating and send us a message below.

Programme Contributors

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.

Tim Rutherford-Johnson is a writer, speaker and teacher on contemporary music. His first book, Music after the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture since 1989 was published in February 2017 by University of California Press.

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.

The LSO's return to work is generously supported by the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, DnaNudge and the Weston Culture Fund.