London Symphony Orchestra presents Summer Nights

4 June – 30 July 2009

Highlights include:
4 June Roby Lakatos Ensemble and the LSO
7 June British Film Composer George Fenton and the LSO
11 June Yan Pascal Tortelier, Susan Graham and the LSO
17 June Sir Colin Davis conducts pianist Paul Lewis in Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5
21 June Sir Colin Davis 50th Anniversary conducting the LSO concert
25 June Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Yuja Wang in Ravel Piano Concerto in G
30 June Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Yuja Wang in Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 3
2 July James MacMillan conducts Nicola Benedetti in UBS Soundscapes: Eclectica, ‘From Ayrshire’
5 July Daniel Harding conducts Frank Peter Zimmermann in Sibelius Violin Concerto
9 July Valery Gergiev conducts the LSO in Bruckner’s Symphony No 9

The London Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Nights series features an eclectic mix of inspiring, enjoyable, momentous and moving concerts at the Barbican, LSO St Luke’s and St Paul’s Cathedral. This eight-week long series has something for every taste and offers some welcome musical treats during the long summer nights including music performed by the world’s greatest artists and our own community groups showcasing their talents.

On 4 June, virtuoso Gypsy violinist Roby Lakatos and his fantastic Ensemble are welcomed back to the Barbican to perform their unique and dazzling mix of classical, jazz and their own Hungarian folk music together with the LSO. The fiery programme will include Monti’s Csárdás, Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 and many other favourites to show off the talent of these truly astounding musicians.

On 7 June British film and television composer George Fenton joins the LSO for the first time to conduct and present music from his myriad of scores. Fenton has written music for over 70 feature films, collaborating with some of the most influential directors of the late 20th century. The programme includes a world concert premiere of music from the BBC TV series Planet Earth, Cry Freedom and the unforgettable music from his award-winning score The Blue Planet.

Yan Pascal Tortelier, who conducts the LSO for the concert on 11 June, has worked with some of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Here he joins one of today's foremost opera stars, Susan Graham in an exciting programme of Ravel and Debussy.

The LSO’s President Sir Colin Davis will be conducting two very special concerts as part of the series. On 17 June the pianist Paul Lewis, one of the most sought-after artists of his generation, will join him in a concert featuring Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 5 and Brahms’ Symphony No 3. On 21 June Sir Colin will conduct his LSO 50th Anniversary Concert, which will feature Mozart’s Symphony No 40 in G minor and Piano Concerto No 2 by Brahms played by Grammy-award-winning pianist Nelson Freire. 50 years ago, on 21 June 1959, Sir Colin conducted his first concert with the LSO, a performance of Vaughan Williams’ Concerto for Bass Tuba and Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements. There began a relationship that has grown and thrives to this day. Sir Colin was Principal Conductor from 1995 to 2006, the longest-serving in the Orchestra’s history.

The 22 year-old Chinese pianist Yuja Wang makes her debut performance with the LSO on the 25 and 30 June 2009. Recently signed to Deutsche Grammophon, she is widely recognised for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. Principal Guest Conductor of the LSO, Michael Tilson Thomas conducts both concerts.

On 5 July Principal Guest Conductor Daniel Harding will conduct an interesting programme of Schumman’s Overture: Manfred, Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and Brahms’ Symphony No 2. The prodigious violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann is the soloist for this concert.

Valery Gergiev will conduct the LSO on 9 July at St Paul’s Cathedral, as part of the City of London Festival. The concert will feature Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten and Bruckner’s Symphony No 9, which is his last and greatest work - an image in sound of the soul’s epic journey towards God. This is music composed on a scale that is mirrored in the great surrounding spaces of St Paul’s itself.

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