Recognised today as one of the finest orchestras on the international stage, the London Philharmonic Orchestra balances a long and distinguished history with a reputation as one of the UK’s most forward-looking ensembles. As well as its concert performances, the Orchestra also records film soundtracks, releases CDs on its own record label, and reaches thousands of people every year through activities for families, schools and community groups.
The Orchestra was founded by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1932, and has since been headed by many great conductors including Sir Adrian Boult, Bernard Haitink, Sir Georg Solti, Klaus Tennstedt and Kurt Masur. In 2017 Vladimir Jurowski celebrates his tenth anniversary as the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor. Andrés Orozco-Estrada took up the position of Principal Guest Conductor in September 2015.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been performing at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall since it opened in 1951, becoming Resident Orchestra in 1992. It also has flourishing residencies in Brighton and Eastbourne, and in summer plays for Glyndebourne Festival Opera where it has been Resident Symphony Orchestra for over 50 years. Touring abroad forms a significant part of the Orchestra’s schedule: highlights of the 2017/18 season include visits to Japan, China, Romania, the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Italy and France.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra broadcasts regularly on television and radio. It also works with the Hollywood and UK film industries, recording soundtracks for blockbusters including the Oscar-winning score for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In 2005 it established its own record label.
In summer 2012 the London Philharmonic Orchestra performed as part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames, and was also chosen to record all the world’s national anthems for the London 2012 Olympics. In 2013 it was the winner of the RPS Music Award for Ensemble.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra maintains an energetic programme of activities for young people including the BrightSparks schools’ concerts and FUNharmonics family concerts. Its work at the forefront of digital engagement and social media has enabled the Orchestra to reach even more people worldwide: all its recordings are available to download from iTunes and, as well as a YouTube channel and regular podcasts, the Orchestra has a lively presence on social media.