From lockdown to live concerts

With over 1 million views online during the last year, a busy schedule of live local concerts await us in June and July. Julia Desbruslais, executive director and Co-Principal Cellist, London Mozart Players tells us more.

It has been a hectic time at London Mozart Players’ HQ, where at last we can write ‘confirmed’ rather than ‘cancelled’ in our concert diary! The pandemic has been a very difficult period, but we have come through with a new zeal, and are thrilled to be back on the concert platform with a brand-new series to delight our audience. ‘Spotlight On…’, featuring Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason, Jess Gillam and Leia Zhu, launches in June, and tickets are going fast: we know you have missed live performance as much as we have!

LMP, formed in 1949, is the longest-established UK chamber orchestra. Based in south London, with residencies at Fairfield Halls and St John’s Upper Norwood, we perform at all the major London venues and across the length and breadth of England, and overseas too. With a new series launching in Putney in July, regular appearances at the Wimbledon Music Festival, a residency in Hastings and performances with choirs spanning the south east, LMP is supercharged and ready to go!

The first UK lockdown saw the cancellation of all live concerts, and we were left with few certainties. We remained determined to keep alive our special relationship with audiences, and throughout 2020 we kept our music playing with an astonishing array of online content. Kicking off on lockdown day one, 23 March, we were the first orchestra to deliver daily content via ‘At home with LMP, while in June, we were the first to present post-lockdown concerts (socially distanced with masks – most odd!) with LMP Live!’, featuring virtuoso violinists Tasmin Little and Jennifer Pike. The online series enjoyed over 1 million views – do catch it on on LMP’s YouTube channel.

Lockdown eased in August 2020, but putting on socially distanced concerts remained financially unviable. So we launched ‘Classical Club’, an exciting eight-concert digital series featuring soloists from YCAT. The Christmas lockdown put the brakes on again, but by mid-February we were back for ‘Piano Explored with Howard Shelley playing sublime piano concertos, delivered via our website. The final concert in this series (26 May at St John’s Smith Square) will have a small audience and a livestream. Catch all four concerts via the LMP website.

With the imminent end of lockdown, and the prospect of performing LIVE, IN PERSON, we are launching a concert series that we hope music lovers of all generations will embrace. ‘Spotlight On…’ showcases four superstar young musicians. In June, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason performs Dvorak’s cello concerto, surely the pinnacle of the repertoire at Fairfield Halls; his sister Isata plays Mendelssohn’s dazzling Piano Concerto No. 1 at Cadogan Hall; and for those who prefer a jazzier sound, saxophone star Jess Gillam joins us as soloist back at Fairfield. These concerts will be socially distanced, with two concerts for each artist (4pm and 7.30pm). In October, violinist Leia Zhu, who has thrilled audiences with her dazzling musical accomplishments since the age of four, will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with us at Fairfield Halls

Not ready to venture back into concert halls? Fear not! All concerts will be filmed for later release on our website.

LMP have always supported young artists, indeed music education lies at the heart of what we do. As part of LMP’s 100k Challenge (to reach 100,000 children and young people through music in 2021), LMP is making the ‘Spotlight On…’ films freely available to schools, with special ‘listening guides’. Do contact us if you know of a school that wants be part of this initiative.

LMP is an orchestra that finds opportunities even in the darkest times and revels in delivering a wealth of varied performances to audiences of all sizes and tastes. We are thrilled to be back in person and can’t wait to connect with our audience, and share the joy of live performance. Do join us, if not for Spotlight On…, then perhaps for our children’s concert and ‘Strictly Tango!’ – part of the Wandsworth Arts Fringe in July. We’ll keep the music playing!

Upcoming concerts

London Mozart Players: concert schedule for SW London. All concerts available to view on the LMP website

Saturday 3 July, 12pm & 2pm

St Mary’s, Putney
Wandsworth Arts Fringe

Family Fun – Little Red Riding Hood & Ferdinand the Bull

Roald Dahl & Paul Patterson: Little Red Riding Hood
Alan Ridout: Ferdinand the Bull

London Mozart Players
Ruth Rogers director
Polly Ives narrator (Little Red Riding Hood)
Ruth Rogers and her son Alexander narrators (Ferdinand the Bull)
Tickets £9 (adults) / £5 (children)

Click here to book

Saturday 3 July, 7pm

St Mary’s, Putney
Wandsworth Arts Fringe:

Strictly Tango! The Music of Astor Piazzolla

Piazzolla Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Piazzolla Oblivion
Piazzolla Libertango
Piazzolla Grand Tango

London Mozart Players
Ruth Rogers violin

Tickets  £18 / £10 (concessions)

Click here to book