2018/19 season launch press release

Today we announced our 2018/19 season at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall. Highlights include year-long celebration of 300 years of British music & continuation of Changing Faces: Stravinsky’s Journey.

  • LPO celebrates three centuries of British music in a year-long festival, Isle of Noises, throughout 2019. From the first great English opera, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, to a world premiere by Helen Grime, the season takes in major works by Elgar, Bax, Walton and a rare outing for music by Alice Mary Smith, the first British woman to write a symphony

  • Changing Faces: Stravinsky’s Journey, an extensive chronological celebration of the life and works of Stravinsky continues throughout 2018 with the composer’s pioneering and provocative works from the 1940s onwards, including a rare performance of his full ballet score Orpheus and his opera, The Rake’s Progress, both conducted by Vladimir Jurowski

  • Jurowski, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of LPO, conducts 12 Royal Festival Hall concerts including Haydn’s The Seasons; Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress; Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde; Bruckner symphonies in his continuing cycle; a major Armistice centenary event including a world premiere, and a programme built around music by Czech composers who died in the Holocaust

  • LPO and Jurowski continue their first Ring Cycle with Die Walküre featuring an all-star cast

  • Jurowski also conducts a fiftieth anniversary performance of Berio’s Sinfonia with The Swingles, who sang in its historic first performance in 1968

  • Special commission to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 – Magnus Lindberg’s Triumph to Exist – is conducted by Jurowski on 10 November 2018 and promises to be an important moment of reflection at this historic time

  • Other premieres include major new works by Pascal Dusapin, Helen Grime, Anders Hillborg and Erkki-Sven Tüür and the work of one of the LPO’s Young Composers’ Programme, Arne Gieshoff

  • First UK performance in 120 years of the original version of Puccini’s first opera Le Villi, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, starring Ermonela Jaho

  • UK premiere of Gounod’s Concerto for Pedal Piano, sees first outing of this once popular, and now rare instrument at Royal Festival Hall

  • Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle across two evenings from dynamic pianist Javier Perianes

  • Star tenor Juan-Diego Flórez joins LPO for an evening of popular opera arias

  • Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Principal Guest Conductor, leads an impressive list of visiting conductors which includes Thomas Adès, Marin Alsop, Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Juanjo Mena, Roger Norrington, Alondra de la Parra, Vasily Petrenko, Robin Ticiatti and Osmo Vänska

  • Among the great singers appearing are Anna Caterina Antonacci, Patricia Bardon, Allan Clayton, Dame Sarah Connolly, Michelle DeYoung, Juan Diego Flórez, Matthias Goerne, Ermonela Jaho, Simon Keenleyside, Mark Padmore, Stuart Skelton and Elizabeth Watts 

  • Great pianists include Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Mitsuko Uchida, Yefim Bronfman, Kirill Gerstein, Benjamin Grosvenor, Stephen Hough, George Li, Jan Lisiecki, Javier Perianes and Vanessa Benelli Mosell

  • Other soloists include violinists Ray Chen, Janine Jansen and Viktoria Mullova; percussionist Colin Currie; cellists Matthew Barley and Kian Soltani; clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer

“Ten years of Vladimir Jurowski in London has brought a non-stop journey of discovery. As the London Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates his decade as music director, it can look back on a period of unrivalled adventure, taking audiences to places other orchestras can never reach.”
Financial Times (Dec 2017)

The London Philharmonic Orchestra today announced its season at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall for 2018/19, confirming its reputation for adventurous programming with rarities and world premieres alongside the great works of orchestral music that together celebrate LPO’s power in inspiring its audiences.

The celebrated partnership between Vladimir Jurowski, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, and LPO continues with 12 Royal Festival Hall concerts in 2018/19 season, including Wagner’s Die Walküre; Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress; Bruckner symphonies in his continuing cycle; Haydn’s The Seasons; a Mozart and Mahler concert with Mitsuko Uchida, Dame Sarah Connolly and Stuart Skelton; a major Armistice centenary event including a world premiere of a specially-commissioned work by former Composer in Residence Magnus Lindberg; a programme featuring music by Czech composers who died in the Holocaust for which he is joined by the Borodin Quartet, and a fiftieth anniversary performance of Berio’s Sinfonia with The Swingles, who sang in its historic first performance in 1968.

At a time when the nature of what it is to be British dominates the national debate, LPO is presenting a major celebration of the music of Britain in Isle of Noises across the whole of 2019: three centuries of British music from the first great English opera, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, to a world premiere by one of the leading British voices of today, Helen Grime. The season also takes in three major Elgar works as well as music by Bax, Walton and a rare outing for music by Alice Mary Smith (born London 1839), the first British woman to write a symphony.

Throughout 2018, London Philharmonic Orchestra continues its year-long chronological exploration of the life and works of Igor Stravinsky, Changing Faces: Stravinsky’s Journey, which in the newly announced season, reaches the composer’s pioneering and provocative works from the 1940s onwards.

Proud of its reputation for commissioning and sharing new music, this season includes premieres of major works by some of today’s most exciting living composers including Pascal Dusapin, Helen Grime, Magnus Lindberg, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Anders Hillborg. The world premiere of Lindberg’s Triumph to Exist, specially commissioned to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 by LPO and 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and conducted by Jurowski on 10 November 2018, promises to be a major moment of reflection at this historic time.

Complementing LPO’s annual summer seasons at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the new season includes some extraordinary operatic work. A particular highlight is the first performance in 120 years of the original version of Puccini’s first opera Le Villi, conducted by Sir Mark Elder with a cast headed by Ermonela Jaho (21 Nov 2018). Vladimir Jurowski conducts Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress (3 Nov 2018), and Wagner’s Die Walküre with a starry cast of singers as the second instalment of his and LPO’s first Ring cycle (27 Jan 2019). Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas is conducted by Sir Roger Norrington and features Marie-Claude Chappuis and Benjamin Appl in the title roles and Lucy Crowe as Belinda (30 Jan 2019). Superstar tenor Juan Diego Flórez joins the orchestra for an evening of popular opera arias (29 Mar 2019).

Among the other highlights of the season are the UK premiere of Gounod’s Concerto for Pedal Piano played by Roberto Pressado, which sees the first outing of this extraordinary instrument for well over a century in London; a Beethoven Piano Concerto cycle across two evenings from pianist Javier Perianes, conducted by his compatriot Juanjo Mena; powerful choral concerts with London Philharmonic Choir including Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, Berio’s Sinfonia and Haydn’s The Seasons; as well as the much-loved concerts for children and families, LPO FUNharmonics, which this season includes a screening of the new animated film based on The Highway Rat, the picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler with live orchestra.

Many other great guest artists join the LPO once again, including Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Benjamin Appl, Dame Sarah Connolly, Edward Gardner, Matthias Goerne, Benjamin Grosvenor, Stephen Hough, Janine Jansen, Simon Keenlyside, Viktoria Mullova, Andreas Ottensamer, Alondra de la Parra, Vasily Petrenko, Stuart Skelton, Christian Tetzlaff, Robin Ticciati and Mitsuko Uchida, to name just a few.

Timothy Walker, LPO Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said:
“I programmed our survey of British music before the EU referendum was announced, but it’s perfectly timed as discussions about Britain’s place in not only Europe but the world dominate the news agenda. Not only is LPO playing works during the season by composers born and bred in Britain, but also those who were born abroad but came to London to work and even took British nationality. LPO is proud of its record of being an international orchestra, from its being the first to play in China/Russia to its present day touring of Asia, America and Europe and being an orchestra made up of players from 27 countries. Everyone at LPO feels passionately about giving audiences around the world exposure to the unique wonder and emotional power of orchestral music through presenting unfamiliar works and world premieres as well as the best loved pieces. We look forward to embarking on our season of adventure.”


Continuing the idea of programming around an annual themed series, LPO celebrates the music of Britain throughout 2019 in its festival Isle of Noises.

For nine decades the London Philharmonic Orchestra has been at the heart of music-making in London, Britain and around the world and here it explores three centuries of music in these islands, whether made in Britain, or inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of the audiences that composers of other nations found here. From the first great English opera, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, to a world premiere by Helen Grime, one of the leading contemporary British voices, the season takes in major works by Elgar, Bax, Walton and a rare outing for music by Alice Mary Smith, the first British woman to write a symphony, as well as music by Handel and Haydn.

Conductor Marin Alsop launches Isle of Noises with a programme of new music including three world premieres, confirming the LPO’s reputation for commissioning new music. The world premieres include a brand-new Percussion Concerto by Helen Grime, written especially for LPO and Colin Currie; Burr by the young German composer Arne Gieshoff, who through the LPO Young Composers’ programme has found his voice in London; and Anders Hillborg’s Concerto for Orchestra. The concert also includes the UK premiere of Louis Andriessen’s  Agamemnon, and Erkki-Sven Tüür’s concerto with LPO’s own Principal Piccolo Stewart Mcllwham as soloist (16 Jan 2019).

Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, the first truly great opera in the English language and first performed in London in 1689, is conducted by the early music pioneer Sir Roger Norrington with Marie-Claude Chappuis and Benjamin Appl in the title roles and Lucy Crowe as Belinda (30 Jan).

Elgar, of course, features prominently with David Parry conducting the Second Symphony (8 Feb), the Cello Concerto with thrilling 26-year old Austrian-Persian soloist Kian Soltani under the baton of Edward Gardner (23 Mar) before Jurowski brings Elgar’s witty, stirring and surprisingly poignant portrait of Shakespeare’s knight in a concert featuring Falstaff (27 Apr). Walton and Bax also feature in this first half of the season with Vasily Petrenko conducting Walton’s First Symphony (27 March) and Osmo Vänska giving Bax’s romantic Tintagel (5 Apr).

Haydn’s The Seasons, inspired by the composer’s time in London and based on an English poem of the same name by James Thomson, is sung in English as a major highlight of Isle of Noises. The London Philharmonic Choir is conducted by Jurowski in a relatively rare performance with soloists Sophie Bevan and Mark Padmore (2 Mar). 

Another particular highlight of Isle of Noises is a rare outing of music by Alice Mary Smith (born London 1839) when her Andante for Clarinet and Orchestra is performed by soloist Andreas Ottensamer and conducted by Jurowski (27 Feb).

Isle of Noises continues into the 2019/20 season with music by Britten, Adés, classic films scores and lost concertos, with full details to be announced later this year.

3 February – 8 December 2018

Changing Faces: Stravinsky’s Journey is an 18-concert, year-long chronological exploration of music by Stravinsky, his predecessors and contemporaries, and features talks, new commissions and events which begins on 3 February 2018 and continues into the 2018/19 season.

Building on his previous composer focuses on Schnittke and Rachmaninoff, Artistic Director of this series Vladimir Jurowski turns to another fellow Russian, Igor Stravinsky, programming a selection of his music chronologically to paint a vivid picture of the composer’s changing style: from his youth amid the glittering fairy tales and doomed splendour of Imperial Russia, through to the Parisian premieres of The Rite of Spring, The Firebird and Petrushka, to his final period of works adopting his own unmistakably Stravinskian style including Symphony in Three Movements and The Rake’s Progress, and finishes with a selection of his revolutionary late works such as Threni and his penultimate work, Requiem Canticles (1966).

The LPO sets his works alongside his teachers, contemporaries, friends and rivals, from Rimsky-Korsakov to Ravel.

Vladimir Jurowski, Artistic Director of Changing Faces: Stravinsky’s Journey, says:“Stravinsky is one of the few composers through whose personal development we can define the development of the entire music of the 20th century. There are big differences in his compositional style, but one thing should remain clear for performers and listeners: whatever period we are tackling, all of his music sounds like Stravinsky. He is infinitely fascinating to today’s audience: you can hear how much his music anticipated our zeitgeist, our feeling for life.”

Concerts in the series, previously announced as part of the 2017/18 season, include:

The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s education work is at the heart of the organisation and is a vital area of its activities.

  • The composer’s Symphony No. 1, his youthfully exuberant graduation piece, alongside works by two of his teachers, Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov, conducted by Jurowski (3 Feb)

  • Jurowski conducts the original version of Stravinsky’s The Firebird alongside Scherzo fantastique and Funeral Song. Alexander Ghindin – a pianist born into the Russian tradition – joins for the folk-inspired Piano Concerto by Stravinsky’s friend and inspiration, Rimsky-Korsakov (7 Feb)

  • Stravinsky’s Petrushka is performed here alongside several pieces by his teacher Liadov, and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto with Ray Chen (10 Feb)

  • Juanjo Mena conducts The Rite of Spring, a work that changed the course of modern music after its premiere in Paris (21 Feb)

  • Vasily Petrenko makes a welcome return for two Stravinsky programmes. The first features the composer’s Song of the Nightingale, a cautionary tale of man and machine inspired by the horrors of the First World War (23 Feb), while the second includes the Pulcinella Suite alongside Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with soloist Sergej Krylov and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe (28 Feb)

  • Stravinsky adored the joy in Tchaikovsky’s music, and Stravinsky’s ballet The Fairy’s Kiss transforms Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty into something that magically fuses the spirit of both composers. Pianist Daniil Trifonov completes the evening’s programme by performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, all conducted by Jurowski (17 Mar)

  • Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Principal Guest Conductor of LPO, returns for two Stravinsky concerts. The first pairs Apollon musagète, the Capriccio for piano and orchestra played by Peter Donohoe, with Schubert’s Symphony No. 3, and the Konzertstück by Weber, whom Stravinsky lauded as ‘a prince of music’ (21 Mar). The second welcomes back Patricia Kopatchinskaja for Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto alongside three sacred choral miniatures with the London Philharmonic Choir, Credo, Ave Maria and Pater Noster, and a masterpiece of the composer’s deeply held faith, the Symphony of Psalms (24 Mar)

  • Stravinsky’s melodrama Perséphone is the focus of Thomas Adès’s concert, which includes his own Powder Her Face suite and the London premiere of Gerald Barry’s Organ Concerto (11 Apr)

  • Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff travelled across Europe and America before ending up as unlikely neighbours in Hollywood. John Storgårds conducts Rachmaninoff’s dazzling Symphony No. 3 alongside Stravinsky’s Jeu de Cartes (13 Apr)

  • Jurowski returns for the classical splendour of Stravinsky’s Symphony in C heard alongside Debussy’s Fantaisie, in the 100th anniversary year of Debussy’s death (18 Apr)

  • The world premiere of a specially commissioned new work - Anders Hillborg’s Homage to Stravinsky - alongside Yuri Falik’s Requiem for Igor Stravinsky pay testament to the composer’s legacy as a potent and enduring inspiration in another Jurowski programme which also includes Gil Shaham in Beethoven’s iconic Violin Concerto alongside Stravinsky’s Ode, a work inspired by Orson Welles, Jane Eyre and the death of a friend (21 Apr)

Newly announced concerts for 2018/19 season include:

  • Thomas Adès returns to open the 2018/19 season, conducting Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements alongside Lutosławski’s Symphony No. 3, with soloist Kirill Gerstein joining for Adés own ‘concerto for piano’ In Seven Days (26 Sep)

  • Stravinsky’s ballet score Orpheus is juxtaposed with Beethoven’s The Creatures of Prometheus in an exploration of Greek myths under Jurowski (6 Oct)

  • Jurowski brings together a stellar line-up of soloists for Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress, including Allan Clayton, Miah Persson and Matthew Rose (3 Nov)

  • In a special event on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1, Jurowski conducts Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles, in which the composer contemplates mortality with open eyes and piercing intelligence – alongside Janáček’s The Eternal Gospel, Debussy’s Berceuse héroïque – and the the world premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s Triumph to Exist, specially commissioned for this historic moment of remembrance (10 Nov)

  • Jurowski brings the year-long celebration of Stravinsky to a close with a programme of his Variations (Aldous Huxley in Memoriam), Threni and Tango, alongside Berio’s Sinfonia with The Swingles, who performed the world premiere in 1968 (8 Dec)


The London Philharmonic Orchestra continues to be in demand around the world and gives around 35 concerts each year overseas. It has recently returned from major tours to Japan and China and has forthcoming tours to Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland before the end of the current season. The 2018/19 season sees tours to Switzerland, Netherlands, North America and Asia.

LPO also continues its residences at Brighton, Eastbourne and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where this year it undertakes Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier, Debussy’s Pélleas und Mélisande and Barber’s Vanessa.

The LPO will record a selection of concerts to be released on its own label, as well as streamed on its website and live on BBC Radio 3. The LPO Label has released over 100 recordings since its launch in 2005. The full catalogue can be explored at www.lpo.org.uk/recordings


The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s education work is at the heart of the organisation and is a vital area of its activities and brings the life-affirming power of music to schools, young people, adults and families across South London and beyond. Reaching over 30,000 people a year, the programme engages with people of all ages and abilities and enables world-class musicians to become part of people’s daily lives.

Among the many programmes it runs, the LPO brings music to life through BrightSparks concerts for over 10,000 young people; supports GCSE student composers and young people in SEN settings; and offers direct professional development for primary school teachers and LPO musicians through the innovative Creative Classrooms project.

It continues its pioneering programme LPO Junior Artists, an orchestral experience programme for talented musicians aged 15-19 from communities and backgrounds currently under-represented in professional UK orchestras.  Other opportunities for young people include LPO Soundworks, fostering creativity in communities with young composers and instrumentalists working with young experts from other art forms to devise collaborative performances.

The 2018/19 season sees the culmination of a three-year partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability and Drake Music – OrchLab – in which Leonard Cheshire service users take part in live and online creative music-making inspired by the Orchestra’s repertoire, enhanced by ground-breaking assistive technology.

2018/19 will be the 15th year of the LPO’s Foyle Future Firsts Development Programme, bridging the transition between college and the professional platform for up to 16 young players annually, and offering a chance to receive lessons and play side-by-side with LPO players and take part in a wide range of professional development opportunities. The parallel LPO Young Composers’ scheme gives five composers each season the opportunity to develop new works for the combined forces of the Foyle Future Firsts and members of the LPO, led this season by composer and conductor Sir James MacMillan, his first year on the scheme.

Browse full details on the new season here

For further information, please contact Victoria Bevan at Albion This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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