In 109 years of history, one of the most important developments for the LSO has been the opening of LSO St Luke’s, the UBS and LSO Music Education Centre on Old Street, EC1. From a neglected and derelict church, structurally unsafe, without a roof and with vegetation growing through the floor, St Luke’s Church has been transformed into a thriving venue, community hub and music education centre.
On 27 March 2003, LSO St Luke’s opened its doors. It became a home for the LSO’s award-winning education programme LSO Discovery, enabling the local community to come in and make music, as well as a base to nurture the next generations of young musical talent. It provided the Orchestra with a place to rehearse and to build stronger relationships with its soloists and conductors. It became a thriving venue for concerts across the musical spectrum – pop, world, folk and classical; and supporting it all, it became popular as a venue to hire for conferences, wedding receptions, TV recordings and award ceremonies.
Ten years on, we’re celebrating its success with a 12-day Festival, from 21 March to 1 April 2013 – a snapshot of the kind of activities that make LSO St Luke’s the buzzing hub that it is today. Our community groups – the Community Choir, Digital Tech Group and Community Gamelan Group – will all be performing, alongside guest artists such as Oud player Dhafer Youssef and our Associate Orchestra, the Aurora Orchestra. There’ll be daily BBC Radio 3 lunchtime chamber concerts, broadcast live, performances by some of the talented young musicians from the LSO On Track programme, and LSO musicians performing chamber works. And not to mention opportunities for everyone to join in – the Not(e) Perfect Orchestra, a Family open day and an LSO Discovery Day focusing on Brahms.
We’d love as many people as possible to join us to create a celebration to remember. To help with the atmosphere, the newly-refurbished LSO St Luke’s Café downstairs is offering champagne at £19.95 per bottle rather than £39.95, as well as its usual lunchtime meal deals. And if you’re planning on attending a couple of the lunchtime concerts, have a look at our Lunchtime Concert Festival Pass – all six of the BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts for £25 (a saving of at least £29), plus guaranteed entry to the LSO Discovery lunchtime concert on Monday 25 March. Buy the pass online on the LSO website.
But if you can’t join us in person, then please join us online. Over the course of the Festival, journalist Toby Deller will be writing a live blog about the events he’s attending, shining a light on some of the stories and people involved with LSO St Luke’s. You can follow the blog here, and via #lsostlukes10 on Twitter.