LSO St Luke’s

Working with long-term partner Yamaha, the London Symphony Orchestra brought its digital outreach programme to the fore in recent months, enabling its members to perform together again and for audiences worldwide to enjoy live classical performance.

Known for its soundtrack music for the Star Wars and Harry Potter series among others, the LSO turned to online archive performances as lockdown took hold. But the orchestra is now taking live performances to a global audience, bringing musicians and music fans closer together in challenging times.

A number of the LSO players are official Yamaha Artists and the manufacturer’s flagship CFX Concert Grand Piano is installed at LSO St Luke’s, the orchestra’s rehearsal and performance space in Islington, London. With 30 years of digital sound mixing innovation, Yamaha is now helping to mix and broadcast the live lunchtime recitals of LSO’s summer programme online using the Rivage PM10 digital mixing system installed at LSO St Luke’s.

London Symphony: Always Playing with Yamaha‘At Yamaha, we connect technology, art and audiences at the highest level,’ says Alex Warren of Yamaha Music Europe. ‘In partnership with the LSO, we are working towards bringing live music to as wide an audience as possible, at a time when the entire entertainment industry is facing unprecedented challenges.

‘We are very pleased to contribute to the orchestra’s exciting outreach initiative, helping musicians, music fans and communities alike to be inspired, uplifted and connected through music.’

During lockdown, the LSO’s online archive performances were enhanced by orchestra members playing and speaking from their homes, but the socially-distanced Always Playing programme from LSO St Luke’s has allowed the musicians to come together and perform once again, bringing the full dynamic experience of a live classical show to online audiences – whether it’s an intimate ensemble, an educational masterclass or the full orchestra.

‘Streaming the archive concerts is a great way to engage with audiences, but I am really excited to be making music with other people again,’ says Maxine Kwok, the LSO’s first violinist. ‘Although the audience is online, knowing people are watching through the live feed is so special.’

‘LSO St Luke’s has been open for 17 years and we needed to upgrade. Having this fantastic equipment from Yamaha sets us up for the next phase,’ says Kathryn McDowell, the orchestra’s MD. ‘There’s immense scope for what we can do and working with Yamaha enables us to take our digital projects forward, in a way we previously couldn’t have dreamed of, in a remarkably short space of time.’

The orchestra’s next Always Playing Summer Shorts performance takes place on Friday 14 August at 1pm, featuring a string and piano trio playing pieces by Rachmaninoff, Judith Lang Zaimont and Hannah Kendall. This is followed by a performance by the LSO Percussion Ensemble and pianist Gwilym Simcock on Friday 21 August, led by the orchestra’s Principal of Percussion and Yamaha Artist Neil Percy. All of the freeAlways Playing performances can be watched on the LSO YouTube channel.

More: www.yamahaproaudio.com

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