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London Schools Symphony Orchestra
The London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) is one of the most potent symbols of the talents and achievements of London’s youth. Under the artistic guidance of Peter Ash, the orchestra is going from strength to strength, attracting generous tributes and ecstatic reviews. Now in its 54th season, it continues to offer young people the opportunity to study and perform major symphonic repertoire under the guidance of some of the finest professional musicians in the world. Many of its players have gone on to distinguished musical careers all over the world.

LSSO at the UK premiere of The Minpins with Robbie Coltrane, Kana Kawashima and Peter Ash

The LSSO presents three Barbican concerts every year in January, April and September. These are preceded by intensive rehearsals during the school holidays. In 2003-4, the orchestra worked with conductors Thomas Sanderling, Nicholas Kraemer, Cem Mansur, Tamás Vásáry and Peter Ash. Its repertoire included major works by Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Britten, Elgar, Kodály, Liszt, Mozart, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Shostakovich and Sibelius, as well as two world premieres: Vladimir Tarnopolski’s Cinderella and Jonathan Dove’s Run to the edge, a Royal Philharmonic Society commission. In 2003, the orchestra attended the 9th International Youth Musicale in Shizuoka, Japan and in 2004, presented the French and UK premieres of The Minpins, an arrangement by Peter Ash and Donald Sturrock of the Roald Dahl story with music by Sibelius. Robbie Coltrane narrated both the Barbican concert and an ambitious double CD recording that the LSSO made of the piece.

The LSSO's commitment to new music has led to collaboration with many of the most important composers of our time, including George Benjamin, Witold Lutoslawski, Sir John Tavener and Sir Michael Tippett. It has also worked with some of the world’s most distinguished conductors including Sir Colin Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Simon Rattle. Recent soloists at LSSO concerts have included Julian Bream, Ivry Gitlis, Tamás Vásáry, Janice Watson and Alexander Markov. In September 2002, the orchestra celebrated the pianist György Sándor’s 90th birthday with a performance of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3, which he premiered
in 1946.

In addition to appearing at the Barbican Centre, Royal Festival Hall and other leading concert venues, the orchestra is also a significant ambassador for Britain abroad. It tours regularly throughout Europe, and in recent seasons has also visited Japan and Argentina.

Peter Ash – Artistic Director
Recently appointed Artistic Director of the LSSO, the American conductor/composer Peter Ash has held positions with Kammer-philharmonie Berlin and St. Petersburg Camerata.
In the UK, he has worked with many orchestras including
the RPO, BBC NOW, London Sinfonietta and SCO.

Ash is committed to broadening the boundaries of orchestral
music for young people. He conducts the Centre for Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra and is Music Advisor to the Roald Dahl Foundation, for whom he has conducted many important
stage premieres including Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr. Fox (1998)
- at the LA Opera.

As composer/arranger, Ash has written for television and theatre.
He has also composed an opera, The Golden Ticket based on Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He is currently working on
a new opera, Keepers of the Night, to be premiered in Los Angeles
in 2006.

Please see the Diary page for all Course Dates