So which London Philharmonic is playing tonight?

So which London Philharmonic is playing tonight?


norman lebrecht

January 24, 2012

The LPO has joined the disreputable list of UK orchestras that manage, somehow, to play in two venues at once. According to the Telegraph, the LPO have been chosen to serenade HM the Queen for her diamond jubilee on Sunday, June 3, under music director Vladimir Jurowski.

That same afternoon, they are supposed to be playing Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen at Glyndebourne. Two into one won’t go? Oh, yes it will.

Maybe there’s a devilish plan afoot to recruit the banned LPO-4 to play the opera as a string quartet. All clarifications cheerfully welcomed.


  • NIgel SImeone says:

    Intriguing – not only one orchestra apparently in two places, but one conductors as well, since Jurowski is listed as conducting Vixen as well. I wonder if the royal pageant might be a late evening thing on the Thames (in which case it might be just about possible to do both)?

  • Emil Archambault says:

    You don’t need a full orchestra to accompany an opera, and you don’t play Handel with 80 musicians. Divide the orchestra…

    • NIgel SImeone says:

      Maybe, but how do you divide one conductor?

      What’s more, you do need a pretty full orchestra for Cunning Little Vixen as it’s scored for 4fl (2pic), 2ob, CA, 3cl (Bcl), 3bn (Cbn), 4hn, 3tpt, 3trbn, tuba, timp, perc (2 players), celesta, harp and strings.

    • Luciano says:

      Given the LPO has a relatively small number of core players, I think it’s a relevant question.

  • Neil Thompson says:

    In fact splitting into two is very common for the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival.

    Many years ago I remember one evening when it was one part of the VPO with Bohm for Ariadne at the Kleines and another part for the Marriage of Figaro at the Grosses with Karajan.

    If you can’t ride two horses at once you shouldn’t be in the circus.

    Even in Brisbane the local QSO splits into two on some nights.

  • Emil Archambault says:

    My question, on a relevant but not directly connected topic: is it the same Metropolitan Opera orchestra which plays on the Saturday matinees and the Saturday evening performances?

  • LPO says:

    Just to clear up the confusion, David Parry will conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance on the river (not Vladimir Jurowski). The Telegraph article was issued in advance of the official press launch for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and as such was speculative and incorrect.

  • Peter says:

    OK, so now we have two conductors, where is the second orchestra coming from?