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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

Album

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1986 Sullivan: Cello Concerto in D / Herbert: Cello Concerto no. 2 / Elgar: Romance Sullivan, Herbert, Elgar; Julian Lloyd Webber, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
1986 Symphonie Nr. 40 / Symphonie Nr. 41 "Jupiter" Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 2
1986 The Firebird (Suite) / Le Sacre du Printemps Igor Stravinsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 2
1986 The Piano Concertos / 3 Etudes de Concert Liszt; Claudio Arrau, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
1987 Piano Concerto No. 2 / Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Rachmaninoff; Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 2
1987 Piano Concertos Nos. 2, 4 Sergej Rachmaninow; Tamás Vásáry, London Symphony Orchestra, Yuri Ahronovitch 1
1987 The Clarinet in Concert London Symphony Orchestra, Alun Francis, Thea King, Georgina Dobrée, Nobuko Imai 1
1987 Carmen Bizet; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 2
1987 Carmen (1977 studio cast) Georges Bizet; Teresa Berganza, Ileana Cotrubaş, Sherrill Milnes, Plácido Domingo, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 5 3
1987 Il trittico: Il tabarro / Suor Angelica / Gianni Schicchi (1976/77 studio casts) Puccini; Cotrubaş, Scotto, Horne, Gobbi, Domingo, Wixell, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Lorin Maazel 1
1987 I Puritani Bellini; Sutherland, Pavarotti, Cappuccilli, Ghiaurov, Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Bonynge 2
1987 An Evening of Strauss London Symphony Orchestra 1
1987 Carmina Burana Orff; London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Richard Hickox 2
1987 Dvořák: Concerto in B minor, op. 104 / Schubert: Sonata in A minor, D. 821 Dvořák, Schubert; London Symphony Orchestra, James Levine, Lynn Harrell 1
1987 Movie Music London Symphony Orchestra, Stanley Black 1
1987 New World Symphony / Carnival Overture / Scherzo Capriccioso Dvořák; London Symphony Orchestra, István Kertész 1
1987 Piano Concerto no. 2 Brahms; London Symphony Orchestra, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Ashkenazy 2
1987 Symphony no. 1 Mahler; London Symphony Orchestra, Solti 3
1987 Symphony no. 2 / Tragic Overture Brahms; London Symphony Orchestra, Enrique Batiz, The Utah Symphony Orchestra, Varujian Kojian 1
1987 Symphony no. 5 in D / The Lark Ascending Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, Bryden Thomson, Michael Davis 1
1987 Symphony no. 9 "From the New World" / Symphonic Variations Dvořák; Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
1987 Symphony No. 9 in E minor, op. 95 Antonín Dvořák; London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Tuckwell 1
1987 Violin Concertos Beethoven, Mendelssohn; Uto Ughi, London Symphony Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Georges Prêtre 1
1987 We Know What We Like: The Music of Genesis London Symphony Orchestra, David Palmer 2
1988 Paganini: Violin Concerto No. 1 / Tchaikovsky: Serenade Melancolique Paganini, Tchaikovsky; Midori, London Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin 2
1988 Ouvertüren Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1988 Symphony no. 3 in E-flat / Coriolan Overture Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Wyn Morris 1
1988 L'Arlésienne Suiten Nos. 1 & 2 / Carmen Suite No. 1 Georges Bizet; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1988 Nutcracker (excerpts) Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
1988 Concertos pour violon Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, Emil Tchakarov, Augustin Dumay 1
1988 Piano Concertos / Menuet antique / Le Tombeau de Couperin / Fanfare Ravel; Martha Argerich, Michel Béroff, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 2
1988 "Enigma" Variations / Coronation March / Imperial March / Pomp and Circumstance Marches Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Tuckwell 1
1988 An Evening In Vienna London Symphony Orchestra 1
1988 Brahms: Symphony no. 1, op. 68 / Schumann: Manfred Overture, op. 115 Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann; London Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi 1
1988 Brahms: Symphony no. 2, op. 73 / Schumann: Julius Caesar Overture, op. 128 Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann; London Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi 1
1988 Brahms: Symphony no. 3, op. 90 / Schumann: Overture, Scherzo & Finale, op. 52 Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann; London Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi 1
1988 Brahms: Symphony no. 4, op. 98 / Schumann: Genoveva Overture Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann; London Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi 2
1988 Corigliano: Clarinet Concerto / Copland: Clarinet Concerto / Bernstein: Prelude, Fugue, & Riffs Corigliano, Copland, Bernstein; London Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Leighton Smith, Richard Stoltzman 1
1988 Des Knaben Wunderhorn Mahler; London Symphony Orchestra, George Szell, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau 3
1988 Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius / Parry: Blest Pair of Sirens / Parry: I Was Glad Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Hubert Parry; Felicity Palmer, Arthur Davies, Gwynne Howell, London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Richard Hickox 1
1988 Hallmark Presents: Joy to the World London Symphony Orchestra, London Voices, Plácido Domingo, Leona Mitchell, Plácido Domingo Jr. 1
1988 Haydn: Nelson Mass / Vivaldi: Gloria Haydn, Vivaldi; Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir David Willcocks 1
1988 Lulu-Suite / Altenberg-Lieder / 3 Orchesterstücke Alban Berg; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado, Margaret Price 2
1988 Misty London Symphony Orchestra & John Dankworth 1
1988 Peer Gynt Edvard Grieg; London Symphony Orchestra, Per Dreier 1
1988 Piano Concerto No. 1 Brahms; Barry Douglas, London Symphony Orchestra, Stanisław Skrowaczewski 1
1988 Prokofiev: Symphonie concertante / Shostakovich: Concerto pour violincelle No. 1 Prokofiev, Shostakovich; London Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa, Mstislav Rostropovich 2
1988 Symphony no. 2 "Resurrection" Mahler; London Symphony Orchestra, Gilbert Kaplan 2
1988 Symphony No. 2 / Egmont Overture Ludwig van Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Alfred Scholz 3
1988 Symphony no. 2 in E minor Сергей Васильевич Рахманинов; London Symphony Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky 1
1988 Symphony no. 3 / Rückert-Lieder Mahler; London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas, Dame Janet Baker 1
1988 Symphony no. 3 in D minor Gustav Mahler; Norma Procter, London Symphony Orchestra, Jascha Horenstein 2
1988 Symphony no. 4 in F minor / Concerto Accademico Ralph Vaughan Williams; The London Symphony Orchestra, Bryden Thomson, Kenneth Sillito 1
1988 Symphony no. 6 in F “Pastoral” op. 68 / “Egmont” Overture for Orchestra, op. 84 Ludwig van Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Wyn Morris 1
1988 Symphony no. 10 / The Story of Beethoven's Tenth Symphony Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Wyn Morris 3 2
1988 The Planets: Suite for Orchestra Gustav Holst; London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox 2
1988 Violin Concertos nos. 1 & 2 Prokofiev; Dmitry Sitkovetsky, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
1989 Ravel: Bolero - Rapsodie Espagnole London Symphony Orchestra & Michael Tilson Thomas 1
1989 Symphonien: No. 3 »Schottische · Scottish · Écossaise« / No. 4 »Italienische · Italian · Italienne« Felix Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1989 Stravinsky: The Firebird / Lyadov: Baba-Yaga / Rimsky-Korsakov: Dubinushka Stravinsky, Lyadov, Rimsky-Korsakov; London Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi 1
1989 Daphnis et Chloé (Gesamtaufnahme) / Valses nobles et sentimentales Ravel; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1989 A Festival of Christmas Carols London Symphony Orchestra 1
1989 A London Symphony (no. 2) / Concerto Grosso Ralph Vaughan Williams; The London Symphony Orchestra, Bryden Thomson 1
1989 Brahms: Concerto for Violin, Cello & Orchestra, op. 102 / Bruch: Concerto for Violin & Orchestra no. 1, op. 26 Johannes Brahms, Max Bruch; London Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi, Raphael Wallfisch, Lydia Mordkovitch 2
1989 Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, op. 35 / Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 1 in B-flat minor, op. 23 Peter Tchaïkovski; Augustin Dumay, Andrei Gavrilov, Emil Tchakarov, Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker 1
1989 Dvorák: Cello Concerto / Dohnányi: Konzertstück Dvořák, Dohnányi; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras, Raphael Wallfisch 1
1989 Dvořák: Requiem / Kodály: Psalmus hungaricus Dvořák, Kodály; London Symphony Orchestra, István Kertész 2
1989 Elijah (Oratorio), op. 70 Felix Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Richard Hickox 2
1989 Hamlet / Romeo & Juliet / Festival Overture / Serenade / Mazeppa Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Simon 1
1989 Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition / Ravel: Rapsodie Espagnole / La Valse Mussorgsky, Ravel; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1989 Piano Concertos nos. 21 & 25 Mozart; Stephen Kovacevich, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
1989 Pictures at an Exhibition / St John’s Night on the Bare Mountain / Khovanshchina Prelude Modest Mussorgsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Jacek Kaspszyk 1
1989 Rachmaninov: Symphony no. 3 in A minor, op. 44 / Kalinnikov: Two Intermezzi for Orchestra Sergey Rachmaninov, Vasily Kalinnikov; London Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi 1
1989 Sinfonia Antarctica / Toward the Unknown Region Ralph Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Bryden Thomson, Catherine Bott 1
1989 Symphony no. 9 in D minor, op. 125 Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Wyn Morris 1
1989 The 5 Piano Concertos Prokofiev; Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 2
1989 Tzigane / Sheherazade Ravel; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1990 THE ALFEE CLASSICS THE ALFEE with London Symphony Orchestra 4
1990 Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 3 Sergei Rachmaninov; Tamás Vásáry, London Symphony Orchestra, Yuri Ahronovitch 1
1990 The Four Sections / Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ Steve Reich; The London Symphony Orchestra, Steve Reich and Musicians 1
1990 Symphony No. 5 / Three Portraits from "The England of Elizabeth" / Concerto in F Minor for Bass Tuba Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1990 Symphony No. 2 "A London Symphony" / Concerto Accademico in D minor / The Wasps: Overture Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 2
1990 Soft Rock Symphonies London Symphony Orchestra 1
1990 Classic Rock 5 - Rock Symphonies London Symphony Orchestra 1
1990 Classic Rock Classics London Symphony Orchestra 5 1
1990 Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor, op. 104 / Bruch: Kol Nidrei / Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme Dvořák, Bruch, Tchaikovsky; Janos Starker, London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati 2
1990 Joyous Music for Christmas London Symphony Orchestra 1
1990 Lieder / Konzertarien Mozart; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Walter Gieseking, London Symphony Orchestra, George Szell, Alfred Brendel 4 2
1990 Love Classics The London Symphony Orchestra 1
1990 Piano Concerto No. 1 / Violin Concerto Tchaikovsky; John Browning, Erick Friedman, London Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa 2
1990 Piano Quartet in G minor, op. 25 / Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, op. 24 Johannes Brahms; London Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi 1
1990 Scheherazade / Capriccio Espagnol Rimsky-Korsakov; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
1990 Symphony no. 3 "Eroica" / Overture "Fidelio" Ludwig van Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos 1
1990 Symphony no. 5 / Festive Overture Dmitri Shostakovich; London Symphony Orchestra, Maxim Shostakovich 1
1990 Symphony no. 8 in D minor / Partita / Fantasia on Greensleeves / Two Hymn-Tune Preludes Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, Bryden Thomson 1
1990 The Cloud Messenger, Op. 30 / The Hymn of Jesus, Op. 37 Gustav Holst; London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Richard Hickox 1
1990 The Love for Three Oranges / Lieutenant Kijé / Classical Symphony Prokofiev; London Symphony Orchestra, Neville Marriner 1
1990 The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Simple Symphony / Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge Britten; London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin Britten 1
1990 Twenty-One Hungarian Dances Johannes Brahms; London Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi 3
1990 Water Music (Suite in F major) / Concerto Grosso, op. 6 nos. 1 & 2 Handel; London Symphony Orchestra, Alfredo Bernardini 1

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