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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
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 "Emperor" Concerto Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis, Stephen Bishop Kovacevich 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 Scheherazade / Tsar Saltan (excerpts) / Russian Easter Overture Rimsky-Korsakov; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 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
1990 Young person's guide to the Orchestra / Sea interludes Benjamin Britten; London Symphony Orchestra 1
1991 The Firebird Stravinsky; Antal Doráti, London Symphony Orchestra 1
1991 Symphony no. 9 “From the New World” / Serenade for Strings Dvořák; London Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy 1
1991 Wieniawski: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen Wieniawski, Sarasate; London Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Foster, Gil Shaham 1
1991 The Symphonies Antonín Dvořák; London Symphony Orchestra, István Kertész 1
1991 Das klagende Lied Gustav Mahler; London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez, 1
1991 Enesco: Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1 / Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies Enesco, Liszt; London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Doráti 2
1991 Piano Concerto no. 2 / Piano Concerto no. 3 / Prelude in C-sharp minor / Prelude in E-flat major Rachmaninoff; Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Doráti, Byron Janis 3
1991 Romeo und Julia / Der Schut Prokofjew; Claudio Abbado, London Symphony Orchestra 1
1991 Swan Lake (Complete Ballet) Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas 1
1991 Swan Lake / Sleeping Beauty Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski 1
1991 Symphony no. 9 in E minor / Piano Concerto Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, Bryden Thomson, Howard Shelley 1
1991 Symphony No. 15 in A major, op. 141 Dmitri Shostakovich; London Symphony Orchestra, Mstislav Rostropovich 1
1991 Symphony No.1 / Cockaigne Overture Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
1991 This Is My Life Shirley Bassey with The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis 2
1991 Viola Concerto / Trio Sonata Alfred Schnittke; Yuri Bashmet, Moscow Soloists, London Symphony Orchestra, Mstislav Rostropovich 1
1991 Violin Concerto Johannes Brahms; Nigel Kennedy, London Symphony Orchestra, Klaus Tennstedt 1
1991 War Requiem / Sinfonia da Requiem / Ballad of Heroes Benjamin Britten; London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Richard Hickox 1
1991 Wind of Change London Symphony Orchestra & The Royal Choral Society 1
1992 Brahms: Serenade Nr. 2 / Variationen über ein Thema von Joseph Haydn / Ungarische Tänze Brahms; London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas 1
1992 Tavener: The Protecting Veil / Britten: Cello Suite No 3 / Tavener: Thrinos John Tavener, Britten; Steven Isserlis, London Symphony Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvenski 2
1992 Cello Concerto no. 2 / In memoriam... Schnittke; London Symphony Orchestra, Ozawa, Rostropovich 1
1992 Sibelius: Violinkonzert / Schnittke: Concerto Grosso Sibelius, Schnittke; Gidon Kremer, London Symphony Orchestra, Gennadi Roshdestvensky 2
1992 Cinderella Prokofiev; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1992 Glagolitic Mass / Sinfonietta Leoš Janáček; London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Michael Tilson Thomas 1
1992 La traviata (1992 London recording) Giuseppe Verdi; Edita Gruberová, Neil Shicoff, Giorgio Zancanaro, London Symphony Orchestra, Carlo Rizzi 1
1992 Alcina / Giulio Cesare: Highlights Handel; Sutherland, Berganza, Freni, Sinclair, London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Bonynge 1
1992 Alexander Nevsky / Lieutenant Kijé Serge Prokofiev; Elena Obraztsova, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1992 Bluebeard's Castle / Wozzeck (excerpts) Béla Bartók, Alban Berg; London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Doráti 1
1992 Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor / Saint‐Saëns: Cello Concerto no. 1 in A minor Dvořák, Saint‐Saëns; London Symphony Orchestra, William Boughton, Alexander Michejew 1
1992 Khachaturian: Gayne Ballet / Shostakovich: Symphony no. 5 Khachaturian, Shostakovich; Antal Doráti, London Symphony, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Minneapolis Symphony 1
1992 Rimsky-Korsakov: Suite from "Le Coq d'Or", Capricco Espagnol, Russian Easter Overture / Borodin: Polovtsian Dances from "Prince Igor" Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin; Antal Doráti, London Symphony Orchestra 1
1992 Rubinstein Plays Chopin Frédéric Chopin; Arthur Rubinstein, London Symphony Orchestra, John Barbirolli 2
1992 Symphony no. 2 / Overture to a Masque / The Magic Island / Derby Day / Fanfare for a Joyful Occasion William Alwyn; London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox 1
1992 Symphony no. 4 / Elizabethan Dances / Festival March William Alwyn; London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox 1
1992 Symphony No. 7 in D minor / Symphony No. 8 in G major Antonín Dvořák; London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Doráti 1
1992 Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto no. 1 / Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto no. 2 Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff; Alexei Sultanov, London Symphony Orchestra, Maxim Shostakovich 2
1992 The Nutcracker Suite London Symphony Orchestra 1
1992 Violin Concertos Brahms, Khachaturian; London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Doráti, Henryk Szeryng 1
1992 Zwilich: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra / Piston: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra / Bernstein: Halil Zwilich, Piston, Bernstein; London Symphony Orchestra, James Sedares, Doriot Anthony Dwyer 1
1993 Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Brahms: Hungarian Dances Tchaikovsky, Brahms; Sarah Chang, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
1993 Symphonies nos. 7, 8 & 9 "New World" Antonín Dvořák; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
1993 Symphonies Nos. 3 & 6 Gustav Mahler; Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, James Levine 1
1993 Copland: Clarinet Concerto / Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet / Gershwin: Three Preludes Copland, Bernstein, Gershwin; Richard Stoltzman, London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas, Eric Stern 1
1993 Overtures Rossini, Verdi; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 3
1993 Cello Concerto no. 1 / Sonata no. 1 / Romances Saint‐Saëns; London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas, Steven Isserlis, Pascal Devoyon 1
1993 Sancta Civitas / Dona nobis pacem Ralph Vaughan Williams; Yvonne Kenny, Philip Langridge, Bryn Terfel, Choristers of St Paul's Cathedral, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox 1
1993 Symphony nos. 4 & 5 Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Wyn Morris 1
1993 Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 / Chausson: Poeme Sibelius, Chausson; Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas 1
1993 Requiem Verdi; Leonard Bernstein, London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus 1
1993 "My Funny Valentine": Frederica von Stade Sings Rodgers and Hart Rodgers & Hart; Frederica von Stade, Ambrosian Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, John McGlinn 1
1993 A Winter Idyll / Elegy / Intrada / A Song of the Night / Interlude (Sita) / Invocation / The Lure / Morning of the Year Dances Holst; London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Lorraine McAslan, Alexander Baillie, David Atherton 1
1993 Childrens Classics Sir Ralph Richardson, Sean Connery, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent 1
1993 Horn Concertos nos. 1-4 Mozart; Barry Tuckwell, London Symphony Orchestra, Peter Maag 1
1993 Joy to the World Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & The London Symphony Orchestra 1
1993 Messiah Georg Friedrich Händel; London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Sir Colin Davis 4 2
1993 Missa solemnis, Mass in C Ludwig van Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Sir Colin Davis 1
1993 Overtures: Manfred / Julius Caesar / Genoveva / Overture, Scherzo & Finale Robert Schumann; London Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi 2
1993 Piano Concerto no. 2 / Preludes Rachmaninoff; Barry Douglas, London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas 1
1993 Piano Concertos nos. 20 & 21 “Elvira Madigan” Mozart; Ingrid Haebler, London Symphony Orchestra, Alceo Galliera, Witold Rowicki 1
1993 Pines of Rome / Fountains of Rome / The Birds Respighi; London Symphony Orchestra, István Kertész 2
1993 Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff Rachmaninoff; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Eugene Goossens 1
1993 Symphonies nos. 4, 5, & 6 "Pathétique" Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Igor Markevitch 1
1993 Symphony no. 1 / Piano Concerto no. 1 William Alwyn; London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox, Howard Shelley 1
1993 Symphony no. 2 in E minor Rachmaninov; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1993 Symphony no. 3 / Violin Concerto William Alwyn; London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox, Lydia Mordkovitch 1
1993 Symphony no. 5 "Hydriotaphia" / Sinfonietta for Strings / Piano Concerto no. 2 William Alwyn; London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox, Howard Shelley 1
1993 Symphony no. 9 in D minor, op. 125 "Choral" Ludwig van Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Carlo Maria Giulini 1
1993 Symphony of Psalms / Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments / Pulcinella Suite Stravinsky; Seymour Lipkin, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein 1
1993 The Heart of the Piano Concerto London Symphony Orchestra 1
1993 Voyage au coeur du classique / Verken uw klassieke-horizonten Saint‐Saëns, Rachmaninoff, Bartók, Copland, Mozart, Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas 1
1994 The Classical Album L. Mozart, Hummel, Arutiunian, Sandoval; Arturo Sandoval, London Symphony Orchestra, Luis Haza 1
1994 Barber: Violin Concerto / Korngold: Violin Concerto / Much Ado About Nothing - Suite Barber, Korngold; Gil Shaham, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1

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