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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
1982 Symphony no. 7 / Egmont Overture Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Enrique Bátiz 3 1
1982 Violin Concertos in E minor - G minor Mendelssohn, Bruch; London Symphony Orchestra, Prêtre, Ughi 1
1983 Piano Concertos no. 21 & 23 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; London Symphony Orchestra, Rudolf Serkin, Claudio Abbado 1
1983 La rondine (1981 studio cast) Giacomo Puccini; Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo, Mariana Nicolesco, Leo Nucci, David Rendall, Lilian Watson, Gillian Knight, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Lorin Maazel 1
1983 Violin Concerto / Flute Concerto John Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, Mark Peskanov, Peter Lloyd, Leonard Slatkin 2
1984 Opera Arias Mozart; Kiri Te Kanawa, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 2
1984 Piano Concertos nos. 25 & 19 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; London Symphony Orchestra, Rudolf Serkin, Claudio Abbado 2
1984 Klavierkonzerte nos. 27 & 8 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Rudolf Serkin, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1984 La Mer / Trois nocturnes Debussy; André Previn, London Symphony Orchestra, Ambrosian Singers 2
1985 Piano Concertos nos. 9 & 17 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; London Symphony Orchestra, Rudolf Serkin, Claudio Abbado 1
1985 Stabat Mater Pergolesi; Margaret Marshall, Lucia Valentini Terrani, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 5 1
1985 A Classic Case: The London Symphony Orchestra Plays the Music of Jethro Tull London Symphony Orchestra, Ian Anderson 3 3
1985 5 Symphonien / Ouvertüren Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 2
1985 Exsultate jubilate / Vesperae solennes de confessore / Kyrie in D minor / Ave verum corpus Mozart; Kiri Te Kanawa, London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Sir Colin Davis 1
1985 Requiem / Symphonie funèbre et triomphale Berlioz; London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Colin Davis 3
1985 Cello Concertos Elgar, Walton; Yo‐Yo Ma, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 2
1985 Piano concerto / Medea: Meditation & Dance of Vengance/ Adagio for strings Samuel Barber; Tedd Joselson, London Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Schenck 2
1985 Pieces Julian Lloyd Webber, The London Symphony Orchestra 2
1985 Rhapsody in Blue / Concerto in F / American in Paris Gershwin; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 2
1985 Roméo et Juliette Berlioz; Kern, Tear, Shirley‐Quirk, John Alldis Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, Sir Colin Davis 1
1985 Russian Spectacular London Symphony Orchestra, Yuri Ahronovitch 2
1985 Symphonie No. 2 "Lobgesang" Felix Mendelssohn; Claudio Abbado, London Symphony Orchestra & London Symphony Chorus 1
1985 Symphonien no. 3 "Scottish" / no. 5 "Reformation" Felix Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 5 1
1985 Symphonien Nos. 1 & 5 "Reformation" Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1985 Symphony no. 3 "A Pastoral Symphony" / Symphony no. 4 Ralph Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 3
1985 Symphony No. 5 / Three Portraits from "The England of Elizabeth" Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1985 Symphony no. 5 in C minor / Coriolan Overture Ludwig van Beethoven; Carlos Païta, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra 2
1985 Symphony no. 6 / Symphony no. 9 Ralph Vaughan Williams; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 1
1985 Wesendonk-Lieder / Tristan und Isolde: Vorspiel / Liebestod Richard Wagner; Jessye Norman, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 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 Ravel; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1986 The London Symphony Orchestra Frank Zappa; The London Symphony Orchestra, Kent Nagano 1
1986 Nutcracker Tchaikovsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
1986 “Classical” Symphony no. 1 / Symphony no. 7 / Lieutenant Kijé Prokofiev; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 2
1986 A Midsummer Night's Dream: Complete Incidental Music Mendelssohn; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn 3
1986 Classic Rock - The Original London Symphony Orchestra 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 Rodrigo; London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn, Ángel Romero 2
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
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 Symphonic Fusions John Dankworth; London Symphony Orchestra 1
1986 Symphonie Nr. 40 / Symphonie Nr. 41 "Jupiter" Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; 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 Der Feuervogel (Suite) / Le Sacre du Printemps Igor Stravinsky; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 2
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 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 Klavierkonzerte nos. 18 & 24 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; London Symphony Orchestra, Rudolf Serkin, Claudio Abbado 1
1987 La damoiselle élue / Iberia / Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune Claude Debussy; Maria Ewing, Brigitte Balleys, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1987 Messiah Georg Friedrich Händel; London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Sir Colin Davis 4 3
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. 2 / Tragic Overture Brahms; London Symphony Orchestra, Enrique Batiz, The Utah Symphony Orchestra, Varujian Kojian 2
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 "New World" / Carnival Overture Dvořák; London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Tuckwell 2
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 1 & 2 / Carmen-Suite 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 Overtures Rossini; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 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, John Georgiadis 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 Concerto no. 2 / Etudes-Tableaux Sergei Rachmaninoff; London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev, Evgeny Kissin 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 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 Le Sacre du printemps / Pulcinella Suite Stravinsky; London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein 1
1988 Lulu-Suite / Altenberg-Lieder / 3 Orchesterstücke Alban Berg; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado, Margaret Price 3
1988 Misty London Symphony Orchestra & John Dankworth 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 3
1988 Symphony no. 2 in E minor Сергей Васильевич Рахманинов; London Symphony Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky 1
1988 Symphony no. 2, "Resurrection" Gustav Mahler; Sheila Armstrong, Janet Baker, Edinburgh Festival Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein 1
1988 Symphony no. 3 / Rückert-Lieder Mahler; London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas, Dame Janet Baker 1
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 Beethoven; London Symphony Orchestra, Wyn Morris 3 3
1988 The Planets: Suite for Orchestra Gustav Holst; London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox 2
1988 The Rossini Tenor Rockwell Blake, London Symphony Orchestra, John McCarthy,The Ambrosian Choir 1
1988 Violin Concertos nos. 1 & 2 Prokofiev; Dmitry Sitkovetsky, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1

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