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Timeline

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1945

The London Schools Symphony Orchestra founded by Dr Leslie Russell, the then Senior Inspector of Music (Schools) of the London County Council. The orchestra performed in the newly opened Royal Festival Hall.

1952

The orchestra visited Holland and Denmark. giving concerts in Rotterdam and Copenhagen.

1954

The orchestra made a second visit to Holland, giving concerts in Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

1955

Members of the orchestra recorded music for the sound track of the film 'It's great to be young', featuring Sir John Mills.

1959

The orchestra recorded music for the LCC film 'To Live and Learn'.

1961

The orchestra performed at a reception in Guildhall in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

1962

Malcolm Arnold conducted the LSSO in a performance of his 4th Symphony in the Royal Festival Hall.

1963

The orchestra visited Germany, giving concerts in West Berlin, Hamburg and Hanover.

1965

The orchestra visited Germany, giving concerts in Frankfurt, Bonn and Cologne.

1967

The London Schools Symphony Orchestra reorganised by Peter Fletcher, Staff Inspector for Music of the Inner London Education Authority. Membership from this time restricted to pupils at full-time education in schools maintained or aided by the ILEA. Prior to this time a quarter of the orchestra were students from music conservatoires.

1969

The London Schools Training Orchestra and the London Schools Concert Band established as an adjunct to the LSSO. The Friends of the LSSO Association founded by a group of parents and well-wishers, with the prime object of raising funds to help subsidise the cost to ILEA pupils of the LSSO's residential courses and overseas tours.

1970

Residential courses for the LSSO introduced. The orchestra visited Germany, giving concerts in West Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover and Kiel. Concert at the Central Hall, Westminster, attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.

1971

The LSSO included in BBC's 'Omnibus' television programme. The orchestra visited Chicago, USA.

1972

LSSO concert in Sadlers Wells Theatre broadcast in its entirety by BBC Radio London. The orchestra visited France and Germany, giving concerts in Calais, Le Touquet, Bonn, Cologne and Hilden. The Friends of the LSSO Association registered as a Charity.

1973

The orchestra made its first commercial gramophone recording – of the Bloch Viola Suite and the Suite Hébraïque.

1973

The concert at the Roya Festival hall was recorded by the BBC for transmission in its 'Youth Orchestras of the World' series. The orchestra visited France, giving concerts in Calais, Boulogne, le Touquet and Ville D'Avray (Paris).

John Hosier succeeded Peter Fletcher as Staff Inspector for Music, ILEA, and director of LSSO activities.

1974

The London Schools String Ensemble established for younger string players. A documentary programme about the LSSO made by BBC Television. The orchestra gave a concert conducted by Andrew Davis in the Royal Festival Hall.

1975

The LSSO conducted by Simon Rattle in a concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

1976

The LSSO, conducted by Simon Rattle, visited the USA as part of the Bicentennial Celebrations, giving concerts in Paolo Alto, San Francisco, Hollywood Bowl, Santa Barbara, Chicago and Carnegie Hall, New York.

John Stephens succeeded John Hosier as Staff Inspector for Music, ILEA and director of the LSSO.

1977

The LSSO gave a special concert in the Royal Festival Hall, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, to commemorate the Queen's Silver Jubilee. The concert included a work by Gordon Crosse commissioned by the ILEA The London Schools Symphonic Band played at County Hall during the Queen's visit.

1978

The LSS0 directed by the Danish conductor PauI Jorgensen in concert at Guildhall.

Tour of Scandinavia, with concert in Copenhagen's Tivoli Concert Hall in the presence of the Danish Queen Mother. Concerts in Stockholm and Oslo conducted by Stewart Bedford.

1979

The LSSO strings directed by Emanuel Hurwitz in a chamber concert at County Hall.

The LSSO combined with ILEA London Schools Dance for a programme at Collegiate Theatre which included first performance of 'Persephone', a work especially commissioned by the ILEA with funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain.

1980

The LSSO gave two concerts at the Royal Festival Hall under the direction of Myung-Wha Chung and John Carewe. Both concerts featured cello soloists: Myung-Wha Chung in Bloch's 'Schelomo' and Anna Carewe in Elgar's Cello Concerto. The orchestra visited Belgium, playing in an International Festival of Youth Orchestras, and in France.

1981

The LSSO conducted by Stewart Bedford at the Royal Festival Hall: also performed concerts in Hackney, Lewisham and at Kenwood under the direction of Colin Metters.

1990

UK government abolishes the LSSO's parent organisation the ILEA. Problems as a result of no longer having a London-wide authority for education continue for decades to come.

Celebration Concert to mark the passing of the ILEA held at the Royal Albert Hall on 30 March 1990, the eve of abolition. Present were the London Brass Consort, the ILEA/London Contemporary Dance Theatre Project, the Massed Strings (over two hundred strong) of Tower Hamlets with the London Schools Strings Ensemble, the London Schools Junior Strings and the Late Starters Orchestra, the London Schools Steels Orchestra and, of course, the LSSO.

First major business sponsor begins partnership with LSSO – London Electricity. LE Chairman later became trustee of the LSSO Foundation.

1992

Matthew's new Oboe Concerto premiered by LSSO.

1993

Stephen Dagg takes over from Peter Shave as Director of CYM. Staff employment responsibilities and organisational supervision were taken on by the City of Westminster on behalf of all subscribing London boroughs (an arrangement which was to last until 2009).

Dudley Moore performs with LSSO at Royal Festival Hall, to rapturous acclaim.

1995

Derek Bourgeois' Concerto for String Quartet & Orchestra premiered by LSSO. Summer tour to Barcelona region.

1996

City of London Corporation takes over as sponsor of the LSSO, marking a turning point in the orchestra's fortunes, and securing its future and home at the Barbican Concert Hall.

1997

LSSO tours Japan in the summer of this year, on a scale never seen before by LSSO tours.

1998

Diana Burrell's Concerto for Flute & Orchestra premiered by LSSO.

1999

LSSO tours Argentina, visiting Mendoza, Cordoba and Buenos Aires, appearing in the Colòn theatre, one of the biggest opera houses in the world (seating 3,000 guests).

2001

This was the LSSO's 50th anniversary year; the milestone was marked by the premiere of Sir John Tavener's Mystagogia, specially commissioned for the anniversary event at the Guildhall (the Barbican was undergoing refurbishment), as well as a TV documentary on ITV, and also the appointment of today's LSSO Artistic Director, Peter Ash.

2002

György Sandor 90th birthday concert

2003

World Premiere Vladimir Tarnopolski's Cinderella

2003

World premiere Jonathan Dove's Run to the Edge while on summer tour of Japan.

2005

French and UK premieres of The Minpins with music by Sibelius.

2006

Semi-staged performance of Bartok's opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle

2011

60th Anniversary celebrations include the Anniversary Concert held at the Barbican Centre.

2012

LSSO presents Jamie Barton's UK debut

2013

HK Gruber 70th birthday concert

2014

UK premiere of Efrain Oscher's Trumpet Concerto

2014

Semi-staged performance of Ravel's opera The Child and the Magic Spells