The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), founded in 1904, is the oldest of London's symphony orchestras. It was set up by a group of players who left Henry Wood's Queen's Hall Orchestra because of a new rule requiring players to give the orchestra their exclusive services. The LSO itself later introduced a similar rule for its members. From the outset the LSO was organised on co-operative lines, with all players sharing the profits at the end of each season. This practice continued for the orchestra's first four decades.

The LSO underwent periods of eclipse in the 1930s and 1950s when it was regarded as inferior in quality to new London orchestras, to which it lost players and bookings: the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic in the 1930s and the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic after the Second World War. The profit-sharing principle was abandoned in the post-war era as a condition of receiving public subsidy for the first time. In the 1950s the orchestra debated whether to concentrate on film work at the expense of symphony concerts; many senior players left when the majority of players rejected the idea. By the 1960s the LSO had recovered its leading position, which it has retained subsequently. In 1966, to perform alongside it in choral works, the orchestra established the LSO Chorus, originally a mix of professional and amateur singers, later a wholly amateur ensemble.

As a self-governing body, the orchestra selects the conductors with whom it works. At some stages in its history it has dispensed with a principal conductor and worked only with guests. Among conductors with whom it is most associated are, in its early days, Hans Richter, Sir Edward Elgar, and Sir Thomas Beecham, and in more recent decades Pierre Monteux, André Previn, Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis and Valery Gergiev.

Since 1982, the LSO has been based in the Barbican Centre in the City of London. Among its programmes there have been large-scale festivals celebrating composers as diverse as Berlioz, Mahler and Bernstein. The LSO claims to be the world's most recorded orchestra; it has made gramophone recordings since 1912 and has played on more than 200 soundtrack recordings for the cinema, of which the best known include the Star Wars series.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1958 Brazillian Impressions / The Birds Respighi; Antal Doráti, London Symphony Orchestra 1
1959 Symphony no. 2 Jean Sibelius; London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux 2
1959 Symphony no. 32 in G major & no. 38 in D major "Prague" Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; London Symphony Orchestra, Peter Maag 1
1960 Symphony no. 6 in F major, op. 68 “Pastoral” Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Josef Krips 2
1962 Piano Concerto no. 1 in D minor, op. 15 Brahms; Clifford Curzon, London Symphony Orchestra, George Szell 1
1965 Bach: Concerto in D minor / Chopin: Concerto No. 2 in F minor Johann Sebastian Bach, Frédéric Chopin; London Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman, Vladimir Ashkenazy 1
1965 Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures Elgar; Jacqueline du Pré, Sir John Barbirolli, Dame Janet Baker, London Symphony Orchestra 7
1965 Duke Bluebeard's Castle Bartók; Christa Ludwig, Walter Berry, London Symphony Orchestra, István Kertész 6
1965 Peer Gynt Edvard Grieg;Øivin Fjeldstad & London Symphony Orchestra 1
1965 Scheherazade, Op.35 Николай Андреевич Римский-Корсаков; London Symphony Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski 1
1966 Symphonies nos. 1-3 including "Little Russian" / Francesca Da Rimini Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Igor Markevitch 2
1967 Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" / "Othello" Overture / "Carnival" Overture Antonín Dvořák; London Symphony Orchestra, István Kertész 3
1968 Chopin: Piano Concerto no. 1 / Liszt: Piano Concerto no. 1 Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado, Martha Argerich 3
1968 Stravinsky: Firebird Suite / Tchaikovsky: Marche Slave / Mussorgsky: Night on the Bare Mountain Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski 1
1970 A Sea Symphony Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1970 Violin Concertos Tchaikovsky, Sibelius; Kyung-Wha Chung, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 3
1971 Julian Bream Plays Villa-Lobos Heitor Villa-Lobos; Julian Bream, London Symphony Orchestra & André Previn 1
1971 L.S.O. Gala Concert London Symphony Orchestra, Edward Heath, André Previn 1
1971 Lucia Di Lammermoor Gaetano Donizetti; Beverly Sills, Carlo Bergonzi, Piero Cappuccilli, Justino Díaz, London Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Schippers 5 5
1971 Pierre Boulez Conducts Berlioz: Lélio (The Return to Life) Berlioz; London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Pierre Boulez, Jean-Louis Barrault, John Mitchinson, John Shirley-Quirk, John Alldis 1
1971 Symphony no. 5 / Karelia Overture / Night Ride and Sunrise Jean Sibelius; London Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Collins 1
1972 Tommy London Symphony Orchestra 4 1
1972 Le Sacre du printemps Stravinsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein 1
1972 Domingo Sings Caruso Plácido Domingo, London Symphony Orchestra, Nello Santi 5 2
1973 Anna Bolena Gaetano Donizetti; Beverly Sills, Shirley Verrett, Stuart Burrows, Paul Plishka, The John Alldis Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Julius Rudel 5 2
1973 Giovanna d'Arco Verdi; Caballé, Domingo, Milnes, London Symphony Orchestra & Ambrosian Opera Chorus, James Levine 5 3
1973 Piano Concertos Schumann, Grieg; Radu Lupu, LSO, André Previn 3
1973 Walton: Violin Concerto / Stravinsky: Violin Concerto Walton, Stravinsky; Kyung-Wha Chung, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1974 Rigoletto Verdi; Sutherland, Pavarotti, Milnes, Tourangeau, Talvela, London Symphony Orchestra, Bonynge 5 3
1975 Carmina Burana Carl Orff; London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 3
1975 Il barbieri di Siviglia Gioachino Rossini, Beverly Sills, Sherrill Milnes, Nicolai Gedda, Renato Capecchi, Fedora Barbieri, Ruggero Raimondi, The John Alldis Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, James Levine 5 8
1975 Music of Victor Herbert Victor Herbert; Beverly Sills, André Kostelanetz, London Symphony Orchestra 5 1
1975 The Complete Piano Concertos Sergei Rachmaninoff; Tamás Vásáry, London Symphony Orchestra, Yuri Ahronovitch 2
1976 Saint‐Saëns: Violin Concerto no. 3 / Vieuxtemps: Violin Concerto no. 5 Saint‐Saëns, Vieuxtemps; Kyng-Wha Chung, London Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Foster 2
1976 The Isle of the Dead / Symphonic Dances Rachmaninoff; The London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1977 Classic Rock London Symphony Orchestra 3
1977 L'amore dei tre re Italo Montemezzi; Anna Moffo, Plácido Domingo, Cesare Siepi, Ryland Davies, London Symphony Orchestra, Nello Santi 5 7
1977 Violin Concertos nos. 1 & 2 Prokofiev; Kyung-Wha Chung, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1978 CBS Great Performances, Volume 72: Piano Concerto no. 3 Rachmaninoff; Lazar Berman, Claudio Abbado, London Symphony Orchestra 2
1978 Don Pasquale Gaetano Donizetti; Beverly Sills, Donald Gramm, Alfredo Kraus, Alan Titus, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Sarah Caldwell 5 3
1978 Symphony Fantastique Berlioz; London Symphony Orchestra, Carlos Païta 5 1
1979 James Galway plays Mozart James Galway; Wolfgang; London Symphony Orchestra; Eduardo Mata 1
1980 A Festival of Christmas Carols London Symphony Orchestra 1
1980 Piano Concertos nos. 2 and 3 Béla Bartók; Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti 1
1981 Carmina Burana Carl Orff; Barbara Hendricks, John Aler, Håkan Hagegård, London Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Mata 8
1981 Le quattro stagioni Antonio Vivaldi; Gidon Kremer, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 5
1981 Sinfonia Antarctica Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1981 Swan Lake Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux 2
1981 Symphony No. 5 in E minor Peter Tschaikowsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Karl Böhm 1
1982 Klavierkonzerte Nos. 20 & 12 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Rudolf Serkin, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1

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