An orchestra forms on a London grassy knoll

An orchestra forms on a London grassy knoll


norman lebrecht

July 12, 2020

Walking the dog, our readers stumbled across a ‘pop up’ orchestra on a beautiful Friday evening in Greenwich.

They spoke to a few of the players afterwards and seems that they’re all professionals and freelancers in the London orchestras and West End, all currently out of work. It was completely ad hoc with no rehearsal, just a meeting place and a start time.

Video: Andy Hall



  • Wlizabeth Owen says:

    Brilliant I do hope that there was a collection afterwards.
    Hopefully nobody came round asking for their licence to perform in the park!

    • Allen says:

      “Hopefully nobody came round asking for their licence to perform in the park!”

      Man with lanyard, half-uniform and bad attitude? I really wish I could say that wouldn’t happen, but………

  • R S violin says:

    It was a pleasure to be a part of this. A really special moment in time on a beautiful sunny evening. Organised by the fantastic oboe player Ben Marshall One of those performances that will be cherished forever.

  • Erich says:

    A new world indeed. Very touching.

  • Arthur says:

    A wonderful initiative. Good music helps us get through these strange days we live in today.

  • Micaela Bonetti says:

    Enchanting !

  • SVM says:

    An apt choice of work, the “New World” Symphony. And in the circumstances (distanced, outdoors, no rehearsal), a fine performance.

    But why did the players not dress up for the occasion? Concert dress would have given greater focus to the performance, and served as an important admonishment to the audience that these musicians are professionals who deserve to be paid for their work (arguably, the self-employment income support scheme is serving that function for the time being).

  • Marianne says:

    This made me cry. As an amateur singer as well as an organiser of amateur choral events, I am completely bereft at the moment of the music which keeps me sane. Every time I hear live music at the moment there is a lump in my throat.

  • JoshW says:

    Steven Joyce is one of the most talented (and too often overlooked) British conductors around. That should be a big career.

  • Henry williams says:

    Great place greenwich. When i lived in london i used to go to a pub which had every Friday lunchtime. traditional jazz music. Nothing like london.

  • Nancy Marchbank says:

    what a magical moment