Opera + Classical Music Features

London Mozart Players – 60th Anniversary

Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall (Photo: Kaupo Kikkas)

Just 12 months after losing its Arts Council funding, the LMP enters 2009 in defiant mood as it celebrates its 60th anniversary with a birthday concert at Wigmore Hall on 9 February.

The venue is the site of its first ever performance -and the world premire of its latest groundbreaking commission.

Resound, by British composers Fraser Trainer and David Sheppard, will capture the spirit of LMP, a world-class chamber orchestra known for its innovation as well as its pedigree. This pioneering work, which is scored for six strings, six wind instruments and recorded sound, will combine music from three sources: newly composed music; previously unpublished fragments by Mozart; and excerpts from the LMP’s own archived recordings.

The recorded excerpts – played live through two speakers embedded in the orchestra – will enable the current LMP musicians to perform alongside their counterparts from the 1950s. The concert will also include performances of Mendelssohn’s Octet and Mozart’s Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments.

Antony Lewis-Crosby, Managing Director of the LMP, said: “Over 60 years the LMP has given great pleasure to at least 25 million people in settings as varied as major concert halls and tiny churches, from great festivals to community care homes and across the globe from Spain to Japan. The consistent excellence, innovation and commitment of the LMP and its individual players are fully demonstrated in the anniversary Wigmore Hall concert with core repertoire by Mozart and Mendelssohn and a new commission from Fraser Trainer and David Sheppard portraying the past, present and future of the LMP.”

Celebrations will continue throughout the year, and will include the UK premire of Andr Mathieu’s Concertino No. 2 with Canadian pianist Alain Lefvre in Basingstoke, Cheltenham, Croydon and Hereford, conducted by former LMP Music Director Matthias Bamert. This will also be recorded for release in October 2009.

In March, an Anniversary concert in Fairfield Hall, also marking 20 years of residency in Croydon with Howard Shelley, Dame Felicity Lott and Isabelle van Keulen. Also, March will see the World premire of Roxanna Panufnik’s new choral works Spring and A Summerwish in Winchester Cathedral.

Later in the year, there will be a Welsh tour with new score by Lynne Plowman to accompany the German Expressionist silent film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and Sir James Galway celebrates his 70th birthday with the orchestra in December.

Founded by Harry Blech in 1949 as the UKs first chamber orchestra, the London Mozart Players is regarded as one of the finest ensembles, bringing together outstanding musicians from the UK and abroad to perform music of the highest quality. Internationally renowned for its live performances and CD recordings and particularly known for its definitive performances of the core Classical repertoire, it also plays an active part in contemporary music, giving many world premires and commissioning new works, especially of British composers.

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