The London Philharmonic Orchestra is commemorating its 60th year as the resident orchestra at The Congress Theatre in Eastbourne during this season. The season's opening night is scheduled for September 24. According to spokesperson Ruth Haines, the orchestra's first performance at the venue took place on September 23, 1934, just two years after the orchestra was established. Founder Sir Thomas Beecham conducted a program featuring works by Rossini, Handel, Beethoven, Wagner, and Borodin. Since then, the orchestra has presented more than 350 concerts, even during the Second World War, featuring beloved pieces and collaborating with various conductors and soloists.
To celebrate this significant milestone, the LPO is planning a season that includes performances with renowned artists such as Chloë Hanslip, Randall Goosby, and Gemma New. Additionally, the orchestra aims to involve the Eastbourne community by expanding its community and educational initiatives through partnerships with local music education hubs and schools.
The 2023-24 season will kick off with Mendelssohn's "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage," followed by Chloë Hanslip's rendition of the composer's Violin Concerto. The evening will conclude with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, conducted by Alessandro Crudele on September 24. In a month's time, one of the inaugural LPO fellow conductors, Charlotte Politi, will lead the orchestra in Weber's "Overture to Der Freischütz," Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring soloist Samson Tsoy, and Brahms's Symphony No. 3 on October 22. The fellow conductors program aims to promote diversity and inclusivity by nurturing two promising early-career conductors from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the profession.
Principal clarinetist Benjamin Mellefont of the LPO will be the soloist in Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, the centerpiece of a concert that opens with Beethoven's "Overture to Fidelio" and closes with Beethoven's Symphony No. 4, conducted by Bertie Baigent on November 26. Edward Elgar drew inspiration from the Sussex Downs for his Cello Concerto, which will be performed by Laura van der Heijden, the winner of the 2012 BBC Young Musician competition. Conductor Gabriella Teychenné will commence her concert with Smetana's "Overture to The Bartered Bride" and conclude with Dvořák's Symphony No. 7 on January 14.