London Symphony Chorus

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London Symphony Chorus
Barbican Hall - - 576305.jpg
The LSC and the LSO in the Barbican Concert Hall, 2007
Background information
Also known as LSC
Origin London, United Kingdom
Genres Classical
Years active 1966 (1966)–present
Labels CBS, Chandos, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Erato, Hallé, Hyperion, LSO Live, Philips, RCA, Virgin
Associated acts London Symphony Orchestra
Official logo of the London Symphony Chorus

The London Symphony Chorus (abbreviated to LSC) is a large symphonic concert choir based in London, UK, consisting of over 150 amateur singers, and is one of the major symphony choruses of the United Kingdom.[1] It was formed in 1966 as the LSO Chorus to complement the work of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), the LSC is today an independent self-run organisation governed by a council of nine elected representatives. It continues to maintain a close association with the LSO but also takes part in projects with other orchestras and organisations both in the UK and abroad,[2] the LSC performs mainly with the LSO at the Barbican Centre in London as well as appearing at other concert venues around the UK and Europe and regularly at the Avery Fisher Hall, New York.


The Chorus's core repertoire consists of the major nineteenth and twentieth century orchestral choral works,[3] the Chorus has performed and recorded works such as Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, Mahler's Second, Third and Eighth Symphonies, Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, Dvořák's Stabat Mater, Janáček's Glagolitic Mass, Britten's War Requiem, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis, Berlioz's La damnation de Faust and Roméo et Juliette, Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder, Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex & Symphony of Psalms, Tippett's A Child of Our Time and Verdi's Requiem.[4]

The Chorus has also taken part in concert performances and commercial recordings of operas including Beethoven's Fidelio, Berlioz's Les Troyens and Benvenuto Cellini, Bernstein's Candide, Britten's Peter Grimes and Billy Budd, Verdi's Rigoletto, Falstaff and Otello, Wagner's Götterdämmerung and Richard Strauss's Elektra.[4]

Notable recordings[edit]

The London Symphony Chorus's discography consists of over 140 recordings, and many of these recordings feature collaborations with the London Symphony Orchestra, since 2000 the LSC has taken part in productions for the orchestra's new CD label, LSO Live which launched in 2000 and specialises in recordings of live performances in front of audiences. Among works recorded by the choir are Brahms's German Requiem (LSO, André Previn 2000); Mahler's Symphony No. 8 (CBSO, Simon Rattle 2005); Mozart's Requiem (LSO, Sir Colin Davis 2008); Britten: War Requiem (LSO, Giandrea Noseda 2012); Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts (LSO, Colin Davis, 2013); and Weber's Der Freischütz (LSO, Sir Colin Davis, 2013).[5] Notable solo artists who have featured on LSC releases include Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenleyside,[6] Felicity Palmer and Anne Sofie von Otter.

A number of LSC recordings have received awards including the following:

Year of recording Work Orchestra/Conductor Label Awards
1989 Bernstein: Candide LSO, Leonard Bernstein (conductor) Deutsche Grammophon Grammy Award Best Classical Album
1991 Britten: War Requiem LSO, Richard Hickox (conductor) Chandos Records Grand Prix du Disque
Gramophone Award Best Choral Recording
1995 Britten: Peter Grimes LSO, Richard Hickox (conductor) Chandos Records Grammy Award Best Opera Recording[7]
2000 Berlioz: Les Troyens LSO, Colin Davis (conductor) LSO Live Grammy Award Best Opera Recording, Best Classical Album[8]
2004 Verdi: Falstaff LSO, Colin Davis (conductor) LSO Live Grammy Award Best Opera Recording[9]
2007 Britten: Billy Budd LSO, Daniel Harding (conductor) Virgin Classics Grammy Award Best Opera Recording[10]
2009 Wagner: Götterdämmerung Hallé Orchestra, Mark Elder (conductor) Hallé Gramophone Award Best Opera Recording[11]


The LSC rehearsing with Sir Colin Davis and the LSO for a 2012 performance of Berlioz Requiem in St Paul's Cathedral

Since its creation the Chorus has worked with a number of major choir trainers including John Alldis, Arthur Oldham, Richard Hickox and Stephen Westrop.[12] The current Chorus Director is Simon Halsey.[13][14]

The London Symphony Chorus has performed with many of the leading conductors of the day including Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Colin Davis,[15] Mark Elder, John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, Charles Mackerras, Antonio Pappano, André Previn, Simon Rattle, Mstislav Rostropovich, Georg Solti and Michael Tilson Thomas.[16][17]





  1. ^ "About the LSC". 
  2. ^ "About us". official website. London Symphony Chorus. 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Past performances". official website. London Symphony Chorus. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "The London Symphony Chorus - a Discography 1966-2010 compiled by Brian Godfrey" (PDF). The London Symphony Chorus - a Discography 1966-2010 compiled by Brian Godfrey. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Discography". official website. London Symphony Chorus. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Britten: War Requiem". London Symphony Chorus official website. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Discography: Britten: Peter Grimes (LSO, Sir Colin Davis)". LSC website. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Discography: Berlioz: Les Troyens (LSO, Sir Colin Davis)". LSC website. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Discography: Verdi: Falstaff (LSO, Sir Colin Davis)". LSC website. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Discography: Britten: Billy Budd (LSO, Daniel Harding)". LSC website. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Gramophone Awards 2010 unveiled". Gramophone magazine. 30 September 2010. Archived from the original on 8 April 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Chorus Director & Accompanist". official website. London Symphony Chorus. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "London Symphony Chorus". London Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "New Chorus Director". LSC News. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Sir Colin Davis 1927-2013". 
  16. ^ "Conductors and Presidents". London Symphony Chorus. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "Past performances". London Symphony Chorus. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  18. ^ "Charities of Princess Diana". Love to Know. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  19. ^ "New Patron for LSC" (Press release). London Symphony Chorus. 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  20. ^ "Howard Goodall is new LSC Patron" (Press release). London Symphony Chorus. 2015-12-03. Retrieved 2017-06-28. 

External links[edit]