The latest news about our concerts, recordings, concert streams and Education & Community programme.



Shakespeare400: A brief history of music inspired by Shakespeare

Shakespeare quote

The London Philharmonic Orchestra is taking part in 2016’s Shakespeare400 celebrations, featuring music inspired by the Bard in its concert programmes in Spring 2016. Listen to a pre-concert talk given on Wednesday 3 February, in which Professor Russ McDonald explores the inspiration that composers have found in Shakespeare, looking at Dvorak's Othello overture in particular.

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Shakespeare400: Power in the orchestra

Shakespeare400 power

Power and hierarchies are a vital dramatic tool in many of Shakespeare's plays, and an orchestra is undoubtedly an ensemble in which power structures play a crucial role to keep things running smoothly. Listen to this interview with Stewart McIlwham, Principal Piccolo and LPO President and Gareth Newman, Principal Bassoon and Board Member as they explain how the orchestra is organised, how they decide who joins, and what it feels like to perform in such a powerful ensemble ...

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Shakespeare400: Shakespeare in Ballet Playlist

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s work has inspired some of the greatest composers and choreographers to adapt his plays for ballet. From Tchaikovsky's invention of Romeo and Juliet’s endearing love theme, to Prokofiev's ground-shaking ‘Montagues and Capulets’ used in BBC’s The Apprentice, we have put together a short playlist of some of the best known moments in the ballets that have been inspired by the words of the Bard.

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Shakespeare400: Lady Macbeth - the Ultimate Femme Fatale


On Friday 26 February, as part of our Shakspeare400 festival, we will perform Strauss’s symphonic poem based on Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy, Macbeth. In preparation, we have had a look at Strauss’s music and in particular, explored the influence of the infamous femme fatale herself, Lady Macbeth, to understand how she is characterized by, and dominates Strauss’s musical score.

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Shakespeare400: Comedy in the Orchestra


Comedy plays a vital role in the life of the Orchestra, particularly helping to keep up morale during the long working hours both in our home city of London and abroad. As we look forward to performing music inspired by Shakespeare's comedies as part of our Shakespeare400 celebrations, we caught up with the brass section of the Orchestra to talk about wordplay, comic characters and touring stories ...

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Shakespeare400: The Tempest and Incidental Music

The Tempest

On Wednesday 10 February, and as part of our Shakspeare400 festival, we will perform excerpts from Sibelius’s incidental music for The Tempest. In preparation, we have had a look at Sibelius’s music and explored the musical concept of incidental music to find out how composers can effectively evoke their chosen texts, using only music. 

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Shakespeare 400: Nature in Dvořák's Othello

Shakespeare's Othello - Willow Song

On Wednesday 3 February, the London Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing Dvořák’s Othello Overture. In preparation, we explored the work’s context in order to determine what might have drawn Dvořák to create a musical adaption of Shakespeare’s play, and to understand just how the music depicts the tragic plot.

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