London Philharmonic Orchestra celebrating 60 years in Eastbourne

London Philharmonic Orchestra (c) Mark Allan
London Philharmonic Orchestra (c) Mark Allan

Spokeswoman Ruth Haines said: “The first concert was on September 23 1934, just two years after the Orchestra was established, and founder Sir Thomas Beecham conducted a programme of Rossini, Handel, Beethoven, Wagner and Borodin. Since then, the Orchestra has played over 350 concerts, including during the Second World War, performing much loved repertoire with many conductors, soloists and conductors. To mark this milestone, the LPO is performing this season with major artists including Chloë Hanslip, Randall Goosby and Gemma New, as well as putting the people of Eastbourne at the centre by expanding its community and education work in the area through partnering with the local music education hub and schools.

"The 2023-24 season opens with Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage before Chloë Hanslip performs the composer’s Violin Concerto. The concert ends with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 4, conducted by Alessandro Crudele (September 24). A month later, one of the inaugural LPO fellow conductors Charlotte Politi leads the Orchestra in Weber’s Overture to Der Freischütz, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Samson Tsoy and Brahms’s Symphony No 3 (October 22). The fellow conductors scheme exists to promote diversity and inclusivity by developing two outstanding early-career conductors from backgrounds under-represented in the profession.

“The LPO’s principal clarinet Benjamin Mellefont is the soloist in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, the central work in a concert bookended by Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio and Beethoven’s Symphony No 4, conducted by Bertie Baigent (November 26). Edward Elgar found inspiration for his Cello Concerto in the Sussex Downs, here performed by winner of the 2012 BBC Young Musician competition Laura van der Heijden. Conductor Gabriella Teychenné opens her concert with Smetana’s Overture to his opera The Bartered Bride and closes it with Dvořák’s Symphony No 7 (January 14).

“Kahchun Wong conducts the Orchestra and Francesca Dego in Brahms’s Violin Concerto, followed by Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (February 11). The season closes with two pieces by Mozart – Ballet Music from Idomeneo and his Violin Concerto No 3, performed by soloist Randall Goosby. Conductor Gemma New rounds off the performance with excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (March 24).”

Ruth added: “The LPO is excited to bring its BrightSparks schools’ concerts to Eastbourne for the first time. These performances are an opportunity for Key Stage 2 children to experience the thrill of hearing a full orchestra, possibly for the first time (May 9). The concert includes free resources and a prior workshop for teachers, as well as a longer creative project with two primary schools in the area. The Orchestra is also launching LPO Music Makers with two Eastbourne schools, a new project for Key Stage 2 children and teachers inspired by LPO music and musicians.”