In Pictures: LSO At Trafalgar Square

Whatever the LSO is paying the weather gods it is worth it. For the second year in a row, the Barbican Centre-based orchestra enjoyed clear skies for its BMW-sponsored free concert in Trafalgar Square. The orchestra’s first violinists took to the stage in sunglasses and the crowds filled the square to capacity.

Led by principal conductor Valery Gergiev, the LSO played a 90-minute programme of music by 19th century French composer Hector Berlioz. Young musicians joined members of the orchestra for the second piece before Gergiev conducted Symphonie fantastique. There was the odd noise interruption — sirens, the EDL march and a bus-load of chanting Crystal Palace fans — but the sound quality through the mikes was consistent throughout.

People clearly love the format, which favours serious programming over Last Night of the Proms-style repertoire. If the weather keeps turning up, the ‘Open Air Classics’ concert might well become a London institution.

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  • Natasha Chalumeau

    It was the perfect night to hear some beautiful music. It was a pity that barricades with tarpaulin like screens had been erected so people who weren’t among the chosen in the inner sanctum couldn’t see. There were many cheers for those pulling down the plastic allowing the rest to see a free event.

    Perhaps the concerts will need to move somewhere larger, such as Hyde Park, replicating the Symphony in the Park event which happens every summer as part of the Sydney Festival. The Sydney event attracts over 100,000 people each year and is a highlight of the summer.

  • Guest

    This was a bloody fiasco. Inside the fences there was plenty of free space, but security weren’t letting anyone in, and outside was a painful crush of people trying to see over the screens that were obnoxiously blocking our view. I took my daughters along for an introduction to one of my favourite composers, but they had a miserable experience and saw nothing.

    LSO, if you want to do these events, either put them in a venue of sufficient size, or make them ticketed so no-one has to suffer like we did.

    • CL

      Can’t agree with you more – it is debatable on whether anyone who wish to be part of the concert should have got there hours before the event, but the barricades and event security staff continued to shout through speaker that the square was “full” so no access anymore, even after LSO started playing, simply weren’t good enough for such event.

  • Jennifer from Devon

    It was a wonderful evening the weather was perfect and the music wonderful. We got there an hour before hand and sat on the fountain and had a good view. It is great to see such a great Orchestra for free!

  • Danofcpfc

    So sorry about the Bus…!!…. But we are Crystal Palace…. And we are Now Premier League again..!!!….. Oh and we’re from The White Horse… We Do What We Want..!!!

    • Stuart Austin

      I thought some of the singing from the bus was first class, and seriously think that you chaps should have a go on a real stage. It brought a bit of humour to a pretty depressing performance from the LSO, well done Danocpfc

      • Derek Collison

        I also think that you should all have turned your seats towards the very choral White Horse crew to see what you were missing ;-)