LSO and Valery Gergiev give a free concert in Trafalgar Square on May 12.

London Symphony Orchestra

London. The London Symphony Orchestra and BMW announce today a new long-term partnership, BMW LSO OPEN AIR CLASSICS which will bring outstanding music performed in the open air – free for everyone in an informal atmosphere. The first in a groundbreaking series of annual concerts will be conducted in Trafalgar Square by Principal Conductor of the LSO, Valery Gergiev, on Saturday 12 May at 6.30 pm. Large screens will be mounted on either side of the stage to allow the audience to witness the concert close up.

The programme will feature works by Igor Stravinsky including the highly popular “Firebird Suite” and “The Rite of Spring”. 100 young musicians from LSO Discovery, the Orchestra’s award-winning music education and community programme, will play alongside the LSO players and perform “The Lite of Spring”, an interpretation of Stravinsky’s work by Gareth Glyn. LSO animateur Paul Rissman will present the concert and guide the audience through the repertoire.

Valery Gergiev celebrates this new project:  “I congratulate the LSO and BMW on this initiative. I believe it is so important to take music beyond the concert hall.  I hope that performing these great pieces in such an impressive outdoor space will encourage many new people to experience the very special sound and experience of a truly great orchestra.”

London Symphony Orchestra and BMW

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This fantastic partnership will give Londoners the chance to enjoy the delight of a live orchestra for free, as well as help promote our city’s vibrant and diverse music scene to new audiences. The LSO concert is just one example of a series of feel-good, outdoor events taking place in the run up to the Olympics, creating a summer like no other.”

Dr. Ian Robertson (HonDSc), Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG: “We are very proud of this new cooperation between the London Symphony Orchestra and BMW. With such an outstanding orchestra, we look forward to thrilling and passionate live concerts. Our thanks to the LSO’s innovative Managing Director Kathryn McDowell and the charismatic Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev for their enthusiasm and commitment in bringing this partnership to life.

London Symphony Orchestra and BMW 2012

“The free to the public “BMW LSO Open Air Classics” concert series on Trafalgar Square is the first international location of similar partnerships in Munich and Berlin. For BMW Group’s international cultural engagement, this cooperation is an important milestone towards the future of corporate citizenship. This is the start of a long-term partnership between the LSO and BMW — a partnership which we hope will be enjoyed by Londoners for years to come.”

Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the LSO, states: “The LSO is delighted to have found such an original and creative partner in BMW to bring outstanding music to everyone in London for free! We hope that this open air concert will appeal to first time concert goers as well as classical music enthusiasts. Trafalgar Square is an iconic London location and represents the perfect venue to launch this initiative.”