The latest news about our concerts, recordings, concert streams and Education & Community programme.



Shakespeare400: Romeo and Juliet in Classical Music

Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare’s famous story of a pair of star-cross’d lovers has sparked countless retellings on stage, on screen, and in the concert hall. Ahead of our performance of excerpts from Prokofiev’s musical version on Friday 15 April as part of our Shakespeare400 celebrations, we have had a look at some of the pieces of classical music that has been inspired by Shakespeare’s tragic romance, Romeo and Juliet.

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Shakespeare400: Shakespeare in the Royal Collections at Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Listen to a Shakespeare400 pre-concert talk given on Friday 12 February, in which Oliver Urquhart Irvine, Royal Librarian, discussed Shakespeare in the Royal Collections at Windsor.

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LPO Player Playlists: Kate Birchall

Kate Birchall

LPO Second Violinist Kate Birchall has chosen music which has inspired and moved her throughout her musical life. She takes us from her first orchestral experiences with youth orchestras, through her time as a music student, to working as a freelance musician and finally to her membership of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The tracks selected include music for solo violin by Bach, string quartets by Janáček and Schubert, concertos by Prokofiev and Ravel, pop music by Neil Hannon, opera by Tchaikovsky and Wagner and orchestral works by Bartók, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky. Her playlist ranges from Bach to Bartók in just 20 tracks.

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Shakespeare400: Practice in the Orchestra

Shakespeare400: Practice

Practice makes perfect – and for both musicians of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and actors rehearsing Shakespeare’s complex plays, this motto couldn’t be more important. Listen to this interview with Mark Vines (Co-Principal Horn) and Fiona Higham (Second Violin) as they discuss the rigorous practice that they undertake to perform at the highest standards, and give advice to aspiring young musicians.

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Shakespeare400: Gender, Ethnicity and Religion in Othello


Gender, ethnicity and religion play a significant role in Shakespeare's plays, but none perhaps quite as prominent as in his Othello. At our pre-concert talk on Wednesday 3 February, Professor Clare McManus, University of Roehampton, reflected on Othello’s popularity with adaptors and composers, and its role as a lightning rod for perceptions of ethnicity, religion and gender.

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Shakespeare400: A brief history of music inspired by Shakespeare

Shakespeare quote

The London Philharmonic Orchestra is taking part in 2016’s Shakespeare400 celebrations, featuring music inspired by the Bard in its concert programmes in Spring 2016. Listen to a pre-concert talk given on Wednesday 3 February, in which Professor Russ McDonald explores the inspiration that composers have found in Shakespeare, looking at Dvorak's Othello overture in particular.

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Shakespeare400: Power in the orchestra

Shakespeare400 power

Power and hierarchies are a vital dramatic tool in many of Shakespeare's plays, and an orchestra is undoubtedly an ensemble in which power structures play a crucial role to keep things running smoothly. Listen to this interview with Stewart McIlwham, Principal Piccolo and LPO President and Gareth Newman, Principal Bassoon and Board Member as they explain how the orchestra is organised, how they decide who joins, and what it feels like to perform in such a powerful ensemble ...

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