LMP Live! – London Mozart Players plan first UK chamber orchestra performances together since Covid-19 struck
- ‘LMP Live!’ – a series of three socially distanced classical music concerts in summer 2020
- LMP will be one of, if not THE first UK chamber orchestras to reunite to perform together as lockdown eases
- Concerts will be London Mozart Players’ first performances together since Friday 13 March
- Celebrated soloists Tasmin Little and Jennifer Pike will perform alongside LMP
- Concerts to be filmed as live and streamed as free to view Facebook and YouTube Premieres in partnership with Classic FM, the UK’s most popular classical music station
- Venues: Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush; the Church of St Giles, Cripplegate (City of London); Mansfield College, Oxford
- Programme to reflect core LMP repertoire including favourites Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending, Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
- LMP was the first orchestra to deliver daily unique content with their ‘At Home with LMP’ series, which went live on 23rd March – lockdown day itself
For twelve weeks, musicians across the UK have been in lockdown, separated from their colleagues and their audiences and unable to perform due to Covid-19. The musicians in the London Mozart Players, the UK’s longest established chamber orchestra, have not performed together as an orchestra since Friday 13th March, but they are planning to resume live music making with ‘LMP Live!’ – a series of three concerts in unusual locations over the summer months, with some star guests performing with the orchestra.
These three LMP concerts will be performed under strict social distancing rules, without a live audience, with each concert filmed as live for broadcast via Classic FM’s Facebook page. We think that the opening concert in June may even be the first opportunity that a UK chamber orchestra will have to play together in ‘concert form’ post lockdown. The three concerts will take place in some unusual venues: Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush – to celebrate the first day of trading, St Giles Cripplegate – to observe the re-opening of churches to congregations, and Mansfield College, Oxford – to mark the last official day of home-schooling.
The concerts will also include some very special guests. LMP are delighted that violin virtuoso Tasmin Little, who postponed her retirement from the concert platform due to the pandemic, will join them for the concert at St Giles Cripplegate, performing Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. This piece was voted number one in the 2020 Classic FM Hall of Fame, the world’s biggest annual survey of classical music tastes, and 2020 marks the centenary of the work’s first performance. At the Mansfield College concert, violinist Jennifer Pike will perform another favourite, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. The orchestra is self-directed and the director honours will be shared between LMP co-leaders Simon Blendis and Ruth Rogers.
The full programmes for the concerts are:
Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush – the first day of trading – 7pm Facebook and YouTube Premiere on Monday 15 June via facebook.com/ClassicFM
Directed by Simon Blendis
Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Elgar: Chanson de Matin
Skalka & Stahl: Dobra Dobra
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings
St Giles Cripplegate–re-opening of churches to congregations – 7pm Facebook and YouTube Premiere on Saturday 4 July via facebook.com/ClassicFM
Directed by Ruth Rogers
Grieg: Holberg Suite
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending (soloist Tasmin Little)
Mansfield College, Oxford – last official day of home-schooling – 7pm Facebook and YouTube Premiere on Wednesday 22nd July via facebook.com/ClassicFM
Directed by Simon Blendis
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (soloist Jennifer Pike)
The London Mozart Players may not have performed together since March, but they have been actively making music through their ‘At Home with LMP’ series, which has delivered unique content daily via their social media platforms. An important way to support musicians at this time, ‘At Home with LMP’ has delivered an extraordinary variety of musical offerings to the LMP audience which began on the very first day of lockdown. Musicians including Jess Gillam, Craig Ogden, Jane Glover, Roderick Williams, Howard Shelley and Michael Collins have all contributed, as well as the hugely talented musicians within the orchestra itself. There have also been regular ‘Family Friday’ sessions, including The Carnival of the Animals narrated by Joanna Lumley and the series is planning a big finish towards the end of June (details currently under wraps but will be revealed soon!).
Speaking ahead of the first concert in the series, LMP Executive Director Julia Desbruslais said: ‘We have all been through a life-changing experience, with sadness and anxiety on all sides. Our very reason for being musicians is to perform to an audience, and that has been taken away, so these concerts are like a ray of sunshine after a long winter, and represent LMP’s determination to come out on the other side and find a way back to live audiences so we can share our love of music-making together as an orchestra. We are thrilled that Classic FM is on board as our partner for ‘LMP Live!’. They have been incredibly supportive of our ‘At Home With LMP’ initiative, and with their help, we can reach our audience and keep that important relationship alive.’
Tasmin Little commented: ‘Live music has been on hold for months, and these concerts will hopefully open the door to a new way of making music. It will be a real thrill to perform with the London Mozart Players again, an orchestra with whom I have had a long and very happy collaboration. I believe that performance is best when it is shared. After so much sadness, we hope to bring a little joy back into peoples’ lives.’
Jacinta Rowsell, General Manager, Westfield London said: ‘We are delighted to host the LMP orchestra for their first performance since lockdown in mid-March. This unique celebration of their return to performing coincides with the reopening of Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City as we welcome back visitors and employees to our centres. Supporting live music and the arts has long been a focus for Westfield centres and the innovative nature of this concert and the joy that it will bring to many listeners is something we are very proud to support.’
As a charity with no core funding, the cancellation of many concerts as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the orchestra as with other arts organisations across the UK. The LMP are inviting donations which will help the orchestra to sustain itself and its musicians over the coming months. Donations to the campaign can be made via the LMP website (click here).