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"An ensemble of real distinction that plays with passion and enthusiasm"
The Leicester Mercury
"beautifully phrased. The Leicester Symphony Orchestra gave a wonderful performance"
The Leicester Mercury
The Leicester Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1922 by Dr (later Sir) Malcolm Sargent, then a local parish organist and chorus master. The orchestra continues the Sargent tradition of recruiting talented local players and bringing to Leicester soloists of international calibre and fame, to give the people of Leicester symphonic music of the highest possible standard. Each year it performs three concerts at its regular venue, the De Montfort Hall in Leicester, and is available for others.
95th season, 2016/2017
Please see details of our 2016/17 concerts.
Click here to download the brochure for this season (8MB download).
At the end of May 2016 the Orchestra made its 9th overseas tour, based in Reims in France, playing concerts in nearby Charleville-Mézières and Rethel (photo below). A report and other photos are on the Tours page
The last concert, on 21 May 2016, featured Mahler's 6th Symphony - a gigantic work lasting over an hour. Mahler scored it for a large orchestra with many unusual instruments especially in the percussion.
Music is rarely as all-encompassing and visceral as in Mahler's 6th symphony. It took us from from the brutality of the intense opening bars through to the hammer blows in the final movement that are said to represent fate.
Two short pieces started the concert - Humperdinck's Prelude to Hansel and Gretel uses the fairy-tale's inspiration to create a truly beautiful and mystical piece. Liadov also constructs a fairy-tale world in his Enchanted Lake, which creates less a story and more a sense of being.
At the earlier concerts this season the Orchestra conducted an audience survey which included a prize draw. The winners were:
November 2015 concert - Ray Evans (tickets), Howard Fay (book), Irene Hill (mugs)
February 2016 concert - Ian Davies (tickets), Sarah Down (book), Anne Baldwin (mugs)
At the concert on 21 February 2016 there was a retiring collection in aid of CLIC Sargent, the UK's leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. We are pleased to say it raised a total of £1374.
Forthcoming Orchestra CD
The Leicester Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the recording and future publication of three previously unpublished orchestral compositions by their founder Sir Malcolm Sargent. The recording sessions began in July 2015 (see the photos) and will continue. Further details are here. Publication details to be announced later.
Recording at Abbey Road studios
Instrumentalists from the Orchestra recorded a children's anthem at the Abbey Road studios in November 2014.
Support the Orchestra
The LSO is a registered charity and relies solely on income from ticket sales, members' subscriptions, Friends of the LSO, Patrons, and fees from advertisers in the concert programmes, to ensure that the long and fine tradition of music making established by Sir Malcolm Sargent continues. You can assist us this season by buying tickets for our concerts in the De Montfort Hall, by becoming a Friend or Patron, or by advertising in our concert programmes.
A book about the Orchestra
A book describing the first 90 Years of the Orchestra was published in 2013. Find out more about the book and how to buy it.
The Orchestra's history is summarised here, and there are biographies of influential past local musicians G R Tebbs and Arthur Thornley here.
The Orchestra welcomes new members. See the latest vacancies in the orchestra.
The Orchestra also has a vacancy for a Front of House Manager. It is a very self contained job with minimal time needed (and they get 2 free tickets for each concert). Contact Jenny Hand tel: 0116 210 9374.
Hear the Orchestra
The orchestra under the baton of Roland Melia playing part of the Carmen Suite No 1 by Bizet.
Last updated October 16th 2016