January 2017 – See below some great reviews of the LSSO from the Evening Standard, Telegraph and Classical Source.
Hailed by Sir Simon Rattle as “an incomparable ambassador for the dynamism and excellence of British youth” the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) has for over sixty years been celebrated as a potent symbol of the talents and achievements of London’s finest young musicians. Managed by London’s Centre for Young Musicians, a division of the Guildhall School, the orchestra aims to give its members a complete experience of the orchestral repertoire, from Bach through to Beethoven, Bartok and beyond. Playing in the LSSO is an opportunity to get to know great music from the inside out; to work with distinguished conductors; to accompany some of the world’s most illustrious soloists; and to form long-lasting friendships through the shared joy and excitement of making music together. Sponsored by the City of London Corporation, and part of the Guildhall School’s Centre for Orchestra Programme, the LSSO presents three Barbican concerts plus a summer tour every year. Courses run during the Christmas, Easter and Summer holidays, comprising intensive rehearsals and coaching by London’s top orchestral musicians. Participation in all courses is encouraged, but not mandatory.In the case of genuine need, financial assistance is available for course and tour fees. Previous guest conductors have included Sir Colin Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Richard Armstrong, Tamás Vásáry, and Leif Segerstam. The summer tour has taken the young talent of London as far as Turkey, Japan, Poland, Argentina, Italy and the USA. Last season, the orchestra was in Sweden. In summer 2018, the orchestra is planning a tour to Transylvania.
The LSSO also has a Facebook page so you can keep up with the latest news, you can access it by clicking or pasting this link into your browser: https://www.facebook.com/londonschoolssymphonyorchestra/
Peter Ash – Artistic Director
Peter Ash’s work as conductor has included world premieres at the Salzburg Festival, Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox for the Los Angeles Opera, and The Minpins, his own arrangement of orchestral music by Sibelius in St. Petersburg. In the UK, he has worked with many orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, various BBC orchestras, London Sinfonietta, City of London Sinfonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. His work in early music includes the first three Haydn productions for Garsington Opera, the opening concert of the 1991 Mozart Bicentenary Festival in Prague with Piotr Anderszewski, and Handel’s Belshazzar in Spain. As a composer, his opera Keepers of the Night, premiered by the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus in July 2007, was lauded by Alan Rich (Variety and LA Weekly) for its “charm, sophistication and deep beauty…a series of ensembles of truly bewitching complex harmonies”. His second opera, The Golden Ticket, based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was premiered by Opera Theatre St Louis in June 2010 to enthusiastic acclaim. The critic of Opera Today praised Ash’s “unique aural palette,” while the Chicago Tribune described the show as “deliciously droll … an artful blend of simplicity and sophistication.” Further performances followed at the Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland and then in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA, where Ash conducted. A live recording based on these performances was described by Gramophone as “enchanting….(an) adroit transformation of Dahl’s book into an uproarious and endearing operatic adventure.” His most recent commission, The Pelicantata, is an unusual dramatic secular cantata designed to appeal to all ages. Based on Roald Dahl’s The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, it received a standing ovation at its premiere with narrator Sir Tony Robinson and The Stroud Choral Society in Bath Abbey on 4th March 2017. Ash resides in London where he conducts the orchestras at the CYM and is Artistic Director of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. He has led the LSSO for over ten years and taken them on tour all over Europe, as well as to Turkey and Japan.