As Croydon looks forward to its year as London Borough of Culture in 2023-24, London Mozart Players (LMP) reveal their concerts in the 22/23 season at Fairfield Halls, where the orchestra is Resident. Based in the heart of Croydon, LMP’s season is a celebration of the borough’s community, history and artistic presence. LMP – who celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2019 - have also been selected to perform the flagship opening event of the Borough of Culture with the Oratorio of Hope; three concerts at the start of June 2023 which showcase the very best of Croydon’s young talent through music, spoken word, song, dance and visual art.
THE WORLD OF SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR -AN EXPLORATION OF THE WORK OF CROYDON BORN AFRO-BRITISH EDWARDIAN COMPOSER - 9 OCTOBER
MESSIAH 360 -AN INNOVATIVE IMMERSIVE STAGING OF HANDEL’S MASTERPIECE – 17 DECEMBER
A VERY CROYDON CHRISTMAS -A FESTIVE CELEBRATION FEATURING LOCAL PERFRORMERS AND THE GREAT FAIRFIELD PIPE ORGAN – 6 DECEMBER
BUILDING BLOCHS AND BIRKENSTOCKS - CELLIST Sheku-Kanneh Mason RETURNS TO PERFORM WITH LMP – 4 FEBRUARY 23
PIPE DREAMS - ANNA LAPWOOD TAKES HER CAMERA INSIDE THE ORGAN – 22 APRIL 23
ORATORIO OF HOPE -A BRAND NEW COMMISSION FOR THE BOROUGH OF CULTURE – 1, 2, 3 JUNE 23
LITTLE ORPHEUS:THE LIVE GAMING SOUNDTRACK - WORLD PREMIERE OF Jessica Curry’s NOVELLO-nominated soundtrack features an hour-long cut of the Little Orpheus game with live actors – 24 JUNE 23
LMP’s season opens with The World of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (Sunday 9 October 2022). Raised in Croydon, Coleridge-Taylor was regarded, by Elgar no less, as one of the greatest composers of his time and his choral sensation Hiawatha dominated the musical scene in the early 20th century. Despite this, his works are not regularly performed today. Joined by the Royal Choral Society and the Croydon Philharmonic Choir, LMP reimagine Hiawatha for a modern audience as well as exploring Coleridge-Taylor’s Croydon connections and his experience of being a black composer in Edwardian London. This concert is completed with works from Coleridge-Taylor’s contemporaries, including Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.
In the leadup to Christmas, Handel’s Messiahis revamped in Messiah 360 (Saturday 17 December 2022); a brand-new presentation of Handel’s big-hit which will place the audience in a ring around the orchestra in an immersive experience, showcasing the work from all angles.
LMP’s Christmas spirit also shines through in A Very Croydon Christmas (Tuesday 6 December); a festive selection of music with local Croydon residents from Croydon Bach Choir and the Croydon Philharmonic Choir.
Later on in the season, BBC Radio presenter and Associate Artist of the Royal Albert Hall, Anna Lapwood, performs Saint-Saëns’ colossal Symphony no.3 in Pipe Dreams (Saturday 22 April, 2023). Taking a camera, quite literally, inside the organ, Anna will reveal the hidden intricacies of the instrument, turning musical pipes dreams into reality. This concert will also include Britten’sYoung Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, showing how the puzzle pieces of an orchestra come together to make a whole.
Cellist Sheku-Kanneh Mason joins LMP again, after performing Shostakovich’s cello concerto No.2 in February 2022, for Building Blochs and Birkenstocks (Saturday 4 February 2023). Sheku performs Bloch’s Schelomo, an expression of the composer finding and reconciling his Jewish identity through music. LMP complete the concert with a musical postcard from Italy with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.4 and excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The season concludes with Little Orpheus: The Live Gaming Soundtrack (Saturday 24 June 2023). This world-premiere of Jessica Curry’s Novello-nominated soundtrack features an hour-long cut of the Little Orpheus game with live actors, following the fictional cosmonaut Ivan Ivanovich on his journey to the centre of the earth. Released on Apple Arcade in 2020 and recipient of the Apple Arcade Design Award in 2021, Little Orpheus is an adventure platform game developed by the Chinese Platform Room.
LMP returned to Fairfield Halls after its reopening in 2019. Flynn Le Brocq, LMP Chief Executive, comments:
“We are delighted to be re-affirming our partnership with Fairfield Halls in this incredibly exciting Borough of Culture year. Fairfield Halls is a beacon of culture in South London and we are looking forward to presenting one of our most varied musical seasons to date.”
Jonathan Higgins took over as General Manager of Fairfield Halls in February 2022. Commenting on the partnership between Fairfield Halls and LMP, he said: “LMP are part of Fairfield’s DNA and, as our Resident Orchestra, are key to the venue’s development and recovery, following the devastation caused by the Pandemic. Whenever I meet one of the LMP team around the building, conversations start about our next project and how we can collaborate to produce new concerts and experiences, which is both inspiring and exciting”