Fans of classical music staying in luxury London hotels this bank holiday weekend are in for a treat, with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) returning to Trafalgar Square to play a completely free open-air concert.
The inaugural BMW LSO Open Air Classics event took place in 2012 and was a resounding success, with the press reporting attendance figures of around 10,000. A similar number are expected to turn up for this year’s follow-up.
Concert-goers are urged to arrive as early as possible to get a decent vantage point, but those who fail to secure a front-row seat are reassured that two large screens will be erected on either side of the stage – giving even the most distant audience members an opportunity to see these world-leading musicians up close.
Visitors can expect an informal, relaxed atmosphere, but don’t expect the LSO to rest on its laurels – sponsor BMW says the ensemble will “deliver classical music to the highest professional level with the utmost integrity and intellectual rigour”.
That said, there’s a real spirit of inclusivity to the proceedings, with the orchestra welcoming members of its award-winning education and community programme onto the stage to participate in a few numbers.
Under the baton of principal conductor Valery Gergiev, the LSO will be performing a selection of works drawn entirely from the oeuvre of French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz. These include the famous Symphonie Fantastique, presented here in full, and the Le Corsaire overture.
Those unfamiliar with the background and intricacies of Berlioz’s work can look forward to being guided through the programme by Rachel Leach, the orchestra’s animateur and composer.
Home to Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square is one of London’s most iconic public places and is visited by an endless stream of tourists all year round. It is served by the Charing Cross Underground station.
The concert takes place at 6:30pm on Spring Bank Holiday Monday (May 27th).