By | June 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm | 4 comments | Archives

Yesterday on 9 June 2014 the LSO celebrated 110 years since its first concert on 9 June 1904, and we marked the occasion with a series of tweets of interesting facts about the LSO dug out of the less explored corners of our archive.

We have been thinking a lot about our archives recently, because we increasingly feel that it’s important for our present and future to know where the Orchestra has come from and why the company is like it is. The LSO was born from a rebellion and a desire to create an orchestra that was run by the musicians for the musicians – not unlike the model that was already in place in the centres of European orchestral excellence in Berlin and Vienna. The founders held a desire that the LSO would be formed from the elite members of the profession in London, that it would attract the best soloists and conductors, and be “second to none in Europe”. These values are still very much in place today, with the governance structure still largely as it was 110 years ago, and certainly with the desire to be among the best in the world.

Here for your interest are the complete set of tweeted facts and pictures with which we celebrated 110 years of musical excellence:

























If indeed you do like this sort of thing – are interested in our archives in any way, please let us know. Would you like to see more in this way? Would you like to be able to see some of the actual documents themselves? Would you like to be able to explore the stories and people of the LSO’s past and present online? Do you think our archives and stories could be of use within an educational setting for students to learn more about orchestras and classical music?

Within the coming year or so we hope to be able to open up our archives for people to enjoy, to learn from and to get involved with,  but to do that we need to know that people out there are interested! If that’s you, please fill in this short survey or email us at comment@lso.co.uk.


  1. Paul Davies (10 months ago)

    Dear LSO (and Jo)
    Firstly – many happy returns on your 110th birthday (not yours Jo :-( ) – I’m sorry that I missed the celebrations on Monday but I hope to see you all on Thursday.

    Secondly – I was intrigued to read in the tweets above about Miss Miriam Timothy and her remaining the only female member until Evelyn Rothwell joined in 1934. What about the 2nd Harpist, Miss G Mason who featured in concerts and was recorded in programmes from 1905 until 1920?

    (PS: As you know this inside knowledge comes from assisting (?) Libby with the archives on a part time basis – something that I find incredibly stimulating and interesting; and if it’s of value to the LSO and the wider community – then so much the better.)

    Kindest regards – and yes, I’ll fill in the questionnaire!

    • Jo Johnson (10 months ago)

      Hi Paul
      Ahhhhh I knew I’d get something wrong! Thank you for spotting that, and apologies to Miss G Mason (although was she a Member? Or just a ‘casual’?). Miss Rothwell was the first non-harpist to become a female member (I think?) and was closely followed by another oboist Natalie Caine. Evelyn Rothwell of course left the LSO on her marriage to Sir John Barbirolli in 1939. Fascinating stuff.
      V best wishes

  2. Paul Davies (10 months ago)

    Thanks for the response Jo . . . .

    I’m not sure but I’m almost positive that Miss G Mason was a member . . . it looks as if the early “Players on stage” lists in the programmes are in fact lists of the members as the lists rarely change from concert to concert.

    Remember that poor Wallace Sutcliffe who died on the 1912 North American tour (26-Apr-1912) is still recorded as playing in concerts up to 17-Jun-1912. . . . . and poor Sidney Moxon (killed in Action, Ypres, 25-Oct-1916) was still recorded in the list of players up until 19-Mar-1917.

    There appear to have been a few more lady harpists including a Miss Sidonie Goosens who played with the LSO before joining the BBC SO in 1930! Now, whether or not they were members I can’t say.

    Kindest regards PD

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