Founded by Harry Blech in 1949 as the UK’s first chamber orchestra, the London Mozart Players (LMP) is regarded as one of the UK’s finest ensembles. Under the leadership of Music Director Gérard Korsten, the orchestra is internationally renowned for its outstanding live performances and CD recordings, and is particularly known for its definitive performances of the core Classical repertoire. The LMP also plays an active part in contemporary music, giving many world premières and commissioning new works, especially of British composers. In recent years, the LMP has premièred new works by composers including Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Tarik O’Regan, Sally Beamish, Cecilia McDowall, Lynne Plowman, and Fraser Trainer. In March 2011 the LMP appointed Roxanna Panufnik as Associate Composer.
Since 1989, the LMP’s home has been Fairfield Halls, Croydon, thanks to generous funding from the London Borough of Croydon. This residency includes a series of subscription concerts at the hall and numerous education and community activities throughout the borough. Touring is a major part of the orchestra’s schedule, with regular appearances at festivals and concert series throughout the UK and abroad. It has strong relationships with other major UK venues, including Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton, and is the Orchestra in Residence for Grayshott Concerts. Overseas, the LMP has recently visited Spain, Belgium and France and Germany.
The 2012/13 season marks the third year of conductor Gérard Korsten’s term as the LMP’s fifth Music Director, continuing the strong Classical tradition developed by Andrew Parrott, Matthias Bamert and Jane Glover. The season sees the orchestra continuing to work with established artists including Howard Shelley and Anthony Marwood, whilst building new relationships with bright new stars including Nicola Benedetti and Leonard Elschenbroich. Acclaimed young violinist Chloë Hanslip performed with LMP in the celebrations of Fairfield Halls’ fiftieth anniversary, and we welcome back exciting young conductor Nicholas Collon in April 2013. The LMP’s association with Korsten also continues the introduction of some of the best European soloists to our Fairfield season, including pianist Nicolai Demidenko.
The LMP has developed an extensive and highly regarded education, community and audience development programme, LMP Interactive, and is particularly committed to developing new audiences in outer London boroughs as well as rural areas across the nation. Its association with the South Holland district in Lincolnshire brings the orchestra into the heart of the Fenland communities. Working with educational institutions also brings inspiring and valued relationships, providing a professional grounding for young musicians, and the LMP is associated with Royal Holloway University of London, Wellington College, Wimbledon College, Portsmouth Grammar School and the Whitgift Foundation Schools in Croydon. Recent projects include ‘Side-by-side in Shepshed’ that saw composer and animateur Fraser Trainer and seven schools in Leicestershire build a new youth orchestra for the area and perform alongside the LMP in a family concert. In Croydon, a START project includes children from primary and special needs schools working together to perform at the LMP’s annual Schools’ Concert in Fairfield Halls. Other ongoing ventures include visiting care homes and concert demonstrations in primary and secondary schools.
The LMP receives project funding from Arts Council England, Orchestras Live and South Holland District Council. In addition, the LMP receives grants from trusts, foundations and many individuals, particularly the Friends of the LMP in Croydon.
Recording has played a major part in the orchestra’s life for many years. Its acclaimed Contemporaries of Mozart series with Matthias Bamert for Chandos numbers over 20 CDs to date, with the latest release of Boccherini proving a success with the critics. A recording with Canadian pianist Alain Lefèvre of works by Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Mathieu for Analekta was awarded a Canadian Juno Award.