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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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Discography

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Album

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
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 5
1966 Symphonies Nos. 1-3 including "Little Russian" / Francesca Da Rimini Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Igor Markevitch 2
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
1971 Symphony no. 5 / Karelia Overture / Night Ride and Sunrise Jean Sibelius; London Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Collins 1
1972 Tommy London Symphony Orchestra 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
1972 Piano Concertos nos. 1 & 3 Rachmaninoff; Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 2
1973 Giovanna d'Arco Verdi; Caballé, Domingo, Milnes, London Symphony Orchestra & Ambrosian Opera Chorus, James Levine 5 1
1973 Piano Concertos Schumann, Grieg; Radu Lupu, LSO, André Previn 3
1974 Rigoletto Verdi; Sutherland, Pavarotti, Milnes, Tourangeau, Talvela, London Symphony Orchestra, Bonynge 5 3
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
1977 Classic Rock London Symphony Orchestra 2
1978 Symphony Fantastique Berlioz; London Symphony Orchestra, Carlos Païta 5 1
1980 A Festival of Christmas Carols London Symphony Orchestra 1
1981 Sinfonia Antarctica Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1981 Swan Lake Пётр Ильич Чайковский; London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux 2
1981 Symphony No. 5 in E minor Peter Tschaikowsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Karl Böhm 1
1982 Daphnis et Chloé Maurice Ravel; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1982 Piano Concerto no. 2 Frédéric Chopin; Bella Davidovich, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Neville Marriner 1
1982 Symphony no. 2 Jean Sibelius; London Symphony Orchestra, Loris Tjeknavorian 1
1982 Symphony no. 2 "Little Russian" Пётр Ильич Чайковский; London Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Simon 1
1983 Violin Concerto / Flute Concerto John Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, Mark Peskanov, Peter Lloyd, Leonard Slatkin 2
1984 Das Lied von der Erde Mahler; Jessye Norman, Jon Vickers, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
1985 A Classic Case: The London Symphony Orchestra Plays the Music of Jethro Tull London Symphony Orchestra feat. Ian Anderson 3 3
1985 5 Symphonien / Ouvertüren Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 2
1985 Cello Concertos Elgar, Walton; Yo‐Yo Ma, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 2
1985 Piano Concerto / Medea / Adagio Samuel Barber; London Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Schenck 1
1985 Pieces Julian Lloyd Webber, The London Symphony Orchestra 2
1985 Russian Spectacular London Symphony Orchestra, Yuri Ahronovitch 2
1985 Symphonien no. 3 "Scottish" / no. 5 "Reformation" Felix Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 5 1
1985 Symphony No. 3 & No. 4 Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 2
1985 Symphony No. 5 / Three Portraits from "The England of Elizabeth" Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1985 Symphony no. 6 / Symphony no. 9 Ralph Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1986 Klavierkonzert no. 1 Tschaikowsky; Ivo Pogorelich, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1986 Symphonien 4 & 5 Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1986 Boléro / Rapsodie espagnole / Ma mère l'oye / Pavane Maurice Ravel; London Symphony Orchestra & Claudio Abbado 1
1986 Nutcracker Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
1986 Concerto no. 1 in B-flat minor, op. 23 Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, Barry Douglas 2
1986 Concierto de Aranjuez / Fantasía para un gentilhombre / Elogio de la guitarra Joaquín Rodrigo; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn, Ángel Romero 1
1986 Finlandia Sibelius; The London Symphony Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky 2
1986 Mussorgsky orch. Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition / Stravinsky: Pétrouchka Mussorgsky, Stravinsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1

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