70 Years of the London Mozart Players – In Pictures

The London Mozart Players performing the score of Chaplin’s Gold Rush at the Rooftop Cinema in Peckham, London (2017).

70 Years of the London Mozart Players – In Pictures

Celebrating 70 years, the London Mozart Players are in concert next week at the National Concert Hall with conductor Howard Shelley. Here, the Journal of Music presents a selection of archive photographs from the orchestra's history.

The London Mozart Players was founded in 1949 by violinist and conductor Harry Blech and is now the longest established chamber orchestra in the UK. With a repertoire that focuses largely on a core collection of music from the classical era, the orchestra has been based at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, since 1989. Principal conductors throughout its 70 years have been Harry Blech (1949–1984), Jane Glover (1984–1992), Matthias Bamert (1992–2000), Andrew Parrott (2000–2006), Gérard Korsten (2010–2014) and Howard Shelley (2015–present). Since 2014, the orchestra has been self-directed, making it the only professional orchestra in the UK to be managed both operationally and artistically by its players. Shelley is the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate, an honorary position reflecting his forty five year connection with the London Mozart Players, both as a musician and conductor. 

British pianist and conductor Shelley, who is also celebrating his 70th year, has made over 160 recordings throughout his career and performed with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas and with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pierre Boulez and Sir Adrian Boult. In 1994 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Music.

To celebrate seventy years of the London Mozart Players and Shelley’s seventieth birthday, the orchestra is in concert with Shelley at the National Concert Hall on 16 October. The concert is part of the International Concert Series and will feature Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, the ‘Classical’, followed by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 featuring Shelley as piano soloist, On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring by Delius, and Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, the ‘London’.

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70 years of the London Mozart Players – In Pictures
To celebrate 70 years of the London Mozart Players, the Journal of Music presents a range of images courtesy of the London Mozart Players, giving an insight into the orchestra’s history.

Recording session with founder Harry Blech (1950s). 

Live broadcast from the Royal Festival Hall (1956).

Harry Blech (1950s). 

With Artistic Director Jane Glover – the first female conductor of any UK orchestra (1980s). 

Against the Croydon skyline (2017).

LMP Performing the score of Chaplin’s Gold Rush at the Rooftop Cinema in Peckham, London (2017).

With cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason at the church of St John the Evangelist, London (2017).

At St John’s Smith Square, London, with Nicola Benedetti performing Brahms’s Violin Concerto with Leonard Elschenbroich conducting (2018). 

Listen to recordings by the London Mozart Players below. For information on upcoming concerts, visit http://londonmozartplayers.com/


Published on 9 October 2019

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