The London Mozart Players, the UK’s longest established chamber orchestra, celebrated its 70th birthday in February 2019. Founded in 1949 by Harry Blech to delight audiences with the works of Mozart and Haydn, the orchestra is known for its unmistakable British roots. Over the last seventy years, the LMP has developed an outstanding reputation for adventurous, ambitious programming from Baroque through to genre-crossing contemporary music, and continues to build on its long history of association with many of the world’s finest artists including Sir James Galway, Dame Felicity Lott, Jane Glover, Howard Shelley, Nicola Benedetti, John Suchet and Simon Callow. The orchestra enjoys an international reputation, touring extensively throughout Europe and the Far East, most recently Dubai and Hong Kong, and records frequently for Naxos, Convivium, Chandos and Hyperion Records.
The London Mozart Players regularly performs on London’s premier concert platforms, including the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St John’s Smith Square and Cadogan Hall, as well as cathedrals and other concert venues across the UK. LMP is the resident orchestra at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls and celebrated this venue’s reopening after refurbishment in September 2019 with a gala concert that also celebrated the orchestra’s 70th birthday.
As resident orchestra of Croydon for nearly 30 years, the ensemble demonstrates a vigorous commitment to the borough’s cultural life. In 2016, LMP relocated its office from Fairfield Halls to St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood, undertaking a rich programme of initiatives within the local community. The orchestra has brought classical music stars Nicola Benedetti, Michael Collins and Sheku Kanneh-Mason to Upper Norwood in world-class performances, and has implemented a tailored calendar of events including specialist family concerts and inclusive collaborations with local community groups and schools.
As one of the original pioneers of orchestral outreach work, LMP has enjoyed a host of relationships with schools and music hubs across the UK (and recently in Dubai and Hong Kong), working with many teachers and heads of music to inspire the next generation of musicians and music lovers. As well as working with schools, LMP continues its 70-year tradition of promoting young up-and-coming musicians. Nicola Benedetti, Jacqueline du Pré and Jan Pascal Tortelier are just three of many young musical virtuosi championed early in their careers by the orchestra.
The orchestra’s award-winning three-year series #LMPOnTheMove saw the ensemble pushing the perceived boundaries of classical music performance in Croydon, welcoming new audiences and partnerships. Including a live film score played on top of a shopping mall car park and a house music set at Boxpark with young DJ/producer Shift K3Y, #LMPOnTheMove was commended for its innovative outlook and success in reaching the diverse communities of the borough.
The LMP enjoys a special relationship with its audience and has thriving Friends and Sponsors programmes. The orchestra always tries to break down the ‘fourth’ wall between musicians and audience, and this is achieved in part as the orchestra is self-directed. Many concerts, such as it’s acclaimed ‘Piano Explored’ series, involves a ‘deconstruction’ of the works performed, allowing greater understanding and engagement with the music and with the musicians themselves.
LMP is the only professional orchestra in the UK to be managed both operationally and artistically by the players. The orchestra has enjoyed the patronage of HRH The Earl of Wessex since 1988.