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London Symphony Orchestra
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  • The London Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1904, is the oldest of London's symphony orchestras

 London Symphony Orchestra facts

  • It was set up by a group of players who left Henry Wood's Queen's Hall Orchestra because of a new rule requiring players to give the orchestra their exclusive services
  • The LSO itself later introduced a similar rule for its members
  • From the outset, the LSO was organised on co-operative lines, with all players sharing the profits at the end of each season
  • This practice continued for the orchestra's first four decades
  • The LSO underwent periods of eclipse in the 1930s and 1950s when it was regarded as inferior in quality to new London orchestras, to which it lost players and bookings: the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic in the 1930s and the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic after the Second World War
  • The profit-sharing principle was abandoned in the post-war era as a condition of receiving public subsidy for the first time
  • In the 1950s the orchestra debated whether to concentrate on film work at the expense of symphony concerts; many senior players left when the majority of players rejected the idea
  • By the 1960s the LSO had recovered its leading position, which it has retained subsequently
  • In 1966, to perform alongside it in choral works, the orchestra established the LSO Chorus, originally a mix of professional and amateur singers, later a wholly amateur ensemble
  • As a self-governing body, the orchestra selects the conductors with whom it works

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