The London Symphony Orchestra (frequently abbreviated to LSO) is one of the major orchestras of the United Kingdom. Since 1982 it has been based in London's Barbican Centre.
It was founded in 1904 as an independent, self governing organization, the first such orchestra in the UK. It played its first concert on June 9 of that year, with Hans Richter conducting. He remained principal conductor until 1911, when Edward Elgar took over for a year.
More recently, its principal conductors have included Pierre Monteux (1961-64), Istvan Kertesz (1965-68), AndrÃ© Previn (1968-79) and Claudio Abbado (1979-88). In 1988, the American Michael Tilson-Thomas took over, and in 1995, he was replaced by Sir Colin Davis, with Tilson Thomas becoming principal guest conductor. Sir Colin has announced his decision to step down (taking the post of President of the orchestra) and is to be succeeded by Valery Gergiev.
The LSO became the first British orchestra to play overseas when it went to Paris in 1906. The LSO was due to sail on the RMS Titanic for a concert in New York in April 1912 but fortunately had to change the booking at the last minute. It wa...