LSO Discovery

Lunchtime Concert
Friday 27 November 2020 12.30pm

LSO St Luke's Jerwood Hall

© Matthew Weinreb

A chamber music group playing in the Jerwood Hall, LSO St Luke's

© Yamaha

LSO St Luke's Jerwood Hall

© Matthew Weinreb

© Yamaha

Friday 27 November 2020
Friday Lunchtime Concert

Sally Beamish First movement from 'The King's Alchemist'
Ludwig van Beethoven String Trio Op 9 No 3

Will Melvin violin
Julia O'Riordan viola
Laure Le Dantec cello
Rachel Leach presenter

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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, allow us to perform together again on stage and to continue sharing our music with the broadest range of people possible.

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

This performance is generously supported by the Estate of the late Ms Denise Antenen and our Technical Partner, Yamaha Professional Audio.

Sally Beamish

First movement from 'The King's Alchemist'


Sally Beamish is an English violist and composer who was recently awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours for services to music. This piece, from 2013, is inspired by a colourful and eccentric character from Scotland’s history – John Damian, the alchemist to James IV.

Damian claimed he could turn metal into gold and was subsequently given several high-ranking positions within the court and lots of aqua vitae (alcohol) for his ‘experiments’. His greatest stunt was trying to fly to France from the battlements of Stirling Castle – he landed unceremoniously in a rubbish tip!

The full piece takes the shape of four variations on a French folksong, probably also used by King James’ court composer. Today we will hear just the opening movement ‘Cantus’ which features the French theme played as high harmonics.

Note by Rachel Leach

Ludwig van Beethoven

String Trio Op 9 No 3


1. Allegro con spirito
2. Adagio con espressione
3. Scherzo: Allegro molto e vivace
4. Finale: Presto

Beethoven moved to Vienna from his hometown of Bonn in 1792. It was the centre of music, home to his idol Mozart and the ‘father’ of classical music Haydn. Sadly Mozart had died a year earlier and, hoping to fill the gap, Beethoven took lessons with Haydn and started to establish himself as a pianist and composer.

All young composers at this time wrote string quartets, but not feeling himself ready to take on the format so championed by Mozart, Beethoven chose to write string trios instead and in doing so he revolutionised them. The trio up until this point was seen as a light, throwaway form. Beethoven took all his knowledge and skill and wrote three weighty, important and innovative pieces that introduced him as a serious new voice without treading on the toes of his idols – yet.

This one, Op 9 No 3, is in his favourite key of C minor and over four movements we hear the beginnings of his distinctively dramatic style.

Note by Rachel Leach

Artist Biographies

Will Melvin
LSO First Violin

Will Melvin

Born in 1988, Will graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2011 and 2012, having studied with Marianne Thorsen and Erich Gruenberg. During his time at RAM, Will was a prize winner in the Wolfe Wolfinson competition and the Winifred Small Violin Prize, and toured with the RAM soloists, RAM Symphony and Juilliard orchestras. He participated in masterclasses with world renowned violinists such as Thomas Brandis, Peter Schoeman and Maxim Vengerov.

As the Leader of the Bernadel Quartet, Will has performed in all the major UK chamber music halls including Wigmore Hall, Bristol Beacon (formerly Colston Hall), St Martin-in-the-Fields and Kings Place. He has participated in prestigious courses and masterclasses such as IMS Prussia Cove, West Cork Chamber music festival and Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme. He has appeared as soloist in St Johns' Smith Square, Cadogan Hall, the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall and LSO St Luke’s, performing works including Mozart’s Violin Concerto in G, Mendelssohn's E minor Concerto, Brahms’ Double Concerto and Saint-Saëns' Concerto in B minor.

Will is a former member of the LSO String Experience scheme.

Julia O'Riordan
LSO Viola

Julia O'Riordan

Hailing from Cork, Ireland, Julia moved to London in 2003 to study at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Maurice Hasson and Matthew Souter.

She went on to join the Tippett Quartet, with whom she recorded for Naxos, Signum and Dutton Epoch to critical acclaim. As a chamber musician, Julia has performed at the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Kings Place, The Sage, Bridgewater Hall and at the BBC Proms, as well as in Japan, Mexico and throughout Europe. She has also performed in many BBC Radio 3 broadcasts, including In Tune.

Julia has had the great pleasure of collaborating with performers including Ashley Wass, Julian Bliss and Simon Crawford-Philips and the privilege of working with Peter Maxwell Davies, Anthony Payne and Hugh Wood.

Julia has worked as Guest Principal and Co-Principal with orchestras including the Royal Opera House, English Chamber Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Laure Le Dantec
LSO Cello

Laure Le Dantec

Laure Le Dantec was seven when she started playing the cello. After studying with Marc Coppey and Raphael Pidoux at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, she began studies at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 16. There, she spent five years learning with Jéröme Pernoo and passed her Masters Diploma with the highest distinction.

Already very interested in symphonic repertoire, Laure moved to Amsterdam to be part of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy for the 2014/15 season, and the year after travelled to Berlin, where she performed with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra for one year. During this time, she continued her studies and started a second Masters course at the Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule with Troels Svane.

Laure is also passionate about chamber music and plays in ensembles of all sorts with the Camerata RCO, formed by players in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and performing in festivals in Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, Russia, Colombia, Canada and even Hawaii.

Singalong Christmas

Coming soon: A Christmas Singalong
Sunday 13 December 3pm

O come all ye faithful for the LSO’s annual Christmas spectacular! From the comfort of your sofa, dust off those high notes and sing along as we delve into festive favourites and well-loved gospel classics. Get your festive season off to a flying start with A Singalong Christmas.

Broadcast on YouTube
Available to watch on demand for 90 days

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

Thank You for Watching

As we emerge from the most challenging period of a generation, please consider supporting the LSO's Always Playing Appeal to sustain the Orchestra 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.

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Keep Exploring

Keep scrolling for details of what to watch next …

Friday Lunchtime Concerts: Spring 2021

Get the dates in your diary now and keep checking our website for further details as they are announced.

Friday 12 February 12.30pm
Friday 19 February 12.30pm
Friday 26 February 12.30pm
Friday 19 March 12.30pm

Watch On Demand

Don't forget you can watch some of our past Friday Lunchtime Concerts on demand on YouTube, all available for 90 days from broadcast.

13 Nov: Fanny Mendelssohn String Quartet
20 Nov: String Quartets (Relaxed performance)