London Mozart Players launch ‘At Home with LMP’ online shows during COVID-19 outbreak

The London Mozart Players are launching a new online video feed to keep audiences connected with music during the coronavirus crisis.

London Mozart Players. Oneday Photography
London Mozart Players. Oneday Photography

The UK’s longest established chamber orchestra started the project on Monday, March 23, in the wake of venue closures and concert cancellations across the UK.

The ‘At home with LMP’ web page at www.londonmozartplayers.com/athome features special behind-the-scenes interviews and live performances from LMP musicians and associated artists.

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The Saturday Sessions begin on March 28 with Craig Ogden performing classics from the guitar repertoire during a live broadcast on Facebook (7pm). The recital will be live-streamed from Craig’s home and will include Scarlatti’s Sonata in E major and excerpts from Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.

‘Mozart Mondays’ will be an event where LMP musicians and guest artists unpack and explore a new work by Mozart each week.

A spokesperson said: “London Mozart Players and pianist Howard Shelley were due to perform the last concert of their 2019/20 Piano Explored lunchtime series at St John’s Smith Square on Wednesday, April 1. With the temporary closure of St John’s Smith Square, the concert will no longer take place, so instead LMP will be broadcasting an illuminating introduction from Howard Shelley – filmed from his own home – which will unpack Franz Xaver Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in E flat in his usual charming fashion, with excerpts performed to camera. The broadcast is planned to go live via LMP’s Facebook page at 1.05pm on Wednesday, April 1.”

LMP is also aiming to release family-friendly performances every Friday at 10am to cater for younger audiences who will be spending a lot of time at home with parents. Upcoming highlights include a narrated performance of ‘Ferdinand the Bull’ with principal cellist Sebastian Comberti and LMP leader Ruth Rogers.

Julia Desbruslais, executive director of LMP said: “In this time of great uncertainty, it has never been more important to keep people connected through music. While this is an extremely difficult and worrying time for all, it is vitally important that orchestras keep going; connecting communities, inspiring audiences, giving a platform to musicians and finding ways to support them through a period of financial instability. Moving our work onto a virtual platform allows us to keep making classical music accessible for all members of the community in this time of social distancing. We hope this will offer people an oasis of calm and a breath of fresh air in these surreal times. So, sit back, relax, enjoy the soothing sounds and let LMP bring the concert hall into your living room.”

Other artists involved in this project are Hilary Davan Wetton, Jess Gillam, Michael Collins and LMP’s Young Artist in Residence Laura van der Heijden.

Donations made to the ‘At home with LMP’ campaign will be used to help compensate LMP musicians who now have no income due to concert cancellations.

Highlights from ‘At Home with LMP’ this week

Monday, March 23 – Mozart Mondays. LMP leader Simon Blendis gives an illuminating introduction to the first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No.40 in G minor.

Tuesday, March 24 – Chamber Tuesdays: Bryony Gibson-Cornish introduces the Marmen Quartet and a performance of Schubert’s G Major Quartet (mvt I).

Thursday, March 26 – Thursday Thoughts: ‘How Conductors Practice’ with LMP’s Associate Conductor Hilary Davan-Wetton.

Friday, March 27 – Family Fridays: Musical treats for the kids with co-principal cellist Julia Desbruslais and violist Michael Posner.

Saturday, March 28 – Saturday Sessions: Craig Ogden performs much-loved classics from the guitar repertoire, streamed live via LMP’s Facebook page.

The full schedule of upcoming live-broadcasts and performances can be found via LMP’s website www.londonmozartplayers.com/athome.