London Chamber Orchestra is the longest established professional chamber orchestra in the UK, founded in 1921 by Anthony Bernard, and premièring at the London home of Viscountess Nancy Astor. On 29th April 2011 LCO played for the wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey. Recognition for the orchestra has also included invitations to perform at Buckingham Palace from HRH The Prince of Wales and for HM The Queen at Kew Palace and recently at Clarence House for LCO’s Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
LCO is one of the few professional orchestras in the UK which does not seek or receive public subsidy. This independence helps foster the unique personality and character which infuse LCO performances. The orchestra’s existence relies on the enthusiasm of its audiences and on the support of a long line of distinguished and enlightened corporate and individual sponsors and donors.
Key to LCO’s success is building partnerships not just with its generous supporters but also with community groups and charities. These relationships are nurtured through LCO’s performances and pioneering education work, LCO and Barnardo’s Music Junction.
A long-standing willingness to embrace the new has given LCO more than 100 UK premières, including works from Mozart to Graham Fitkin. LCO premièred Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s The Golden Rule, written to mark HM The Queen’s 80th birthday. Through its LCO New: Explore schemes LCO has encouraged student composers to investigate the links between composition and other art forms. In 2010 LCO was awarded a PRS New Music 20×12 commission as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, where Composer Graham Fitkin will work with LCO and poet Glyn Maxwell to produce ‘Track to Track’, inspired by the Olympic Javelin Train journey.
LCO stands out from the crowd not just through its highly popular season of dynamic concerts in London, but increasingly around the UK and the world with sell-out concerts in La Scala, Milan and Vienna’s Musikverein, as well as critically acclaimed tours to the USA, Far East and Europe.
Above all, you can see what’s different about LCO in the faces of its musicians – every one of whom has been selected from the finest professional musicians the UK has to offer – faces which radiate the passion, enthusiasm, commitment, vigour, intensity, exuberance, freshness, inspiration and sheer sense of enjoyment that pervade LCO’s performances and its recordings on the LCO Live label in partnership with Signum Classics.
It is the absolute passion, energy and enthusiasm of every one of its members led by LCO Principal Conductor and Music Director Christopher Warren-Green that marks LCO out as an orchestra worth hearing and seeing.