LSO Discovery in Japan

We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra to deliver “Discovery for 2020” – a project set to involve and engage people across the community in Japan.

“Discovery for 2020” in Japan will bring the community together through collaboration between members of the LSO and local musicians. In the first stage of the project, Rachel Leach, LSO workshop leader and composer, will train a group of professional musicians in Japan to develop the skills and confidence they need to lead creative music-making workshops for a range of audiences. To put their training into practice, the Japanese musicians, together with the LSO, will host a workshop for members of the public with the aim of creating a piece of music together which the group will perform live in September.

Rachel will be joined by LSO Discovery colleagues Paul Milner and Joost Bosdijk and their training will cover various topics: how to create the right environment for group work through effective warm-up exercises; how to use rhythm in activities; how to use a variety of stimuli to encourage participants to create abstract compositions; how to break down repertoire and use key musical ingredients with a mixed ability group; how to create lyrics and songs; how to sing confidently; and finally, how to approach specific issues when working with groups with special needs.


LSO Discovery

The LSO started its pioneering music education and community programme “Discovery” in 1990, opening its doors to people of all ages and backgrounds and inviting them into the world of orchestral music. For many, it was their first taste of classical music making. The programme reaches 60,000 people each year through a wide range of outreach work: workshops with the under-5s, family concerts, a music technology club, LSO Create for adults with learning disabilities, free lunchtime concerts, a hospital programme for terminally ill patients, and support for emerging instrumentalists and composers.

Discovery is a vital component of the LSO’s overall development. In 2008, as an extension of Discovery, “LSO On Track” was launched, in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, focusing specifically on the ten boroughs that make up East London where the games were held. Young musicians were able to access inspirational music making opportunities alongside LSO players and this culminated in a special performance at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Tokyo Cultural Olympiad, 2020

In the run-up to the Tokyo Cultural Olympiad in 2020, there is demand for the Japanese arts sector to provide more opportunities for the public to take part in cultural activities across the community. While Japanese orchestras and concert halls have delivered outreach and music education activities for many years, these tend to take a more traditional approach, giving participants a more passive experience compared to the LSO’s more hands-on style. Since 2014, the British Council in Japan has delivered a music education programme to provide fresh ideas, inviting leading British orchestras and musicians to share their skills and expertise.


LSO in Japan

The LSO will perform in Japan, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, on 24, 25 and 29 September. Find more information about the LSO performances in Japan here.

The LSO was actually the first British orchestra to perform in Japan, back in 1963. Since then, they have returned over 25 times to establish a warm friendship with the people, musicians and concert halls of Japan and they continue to enjoy special ties with local communities and music organisations through projects like Discovery 2020. Japanese musicians who regularly perform with the LSO include pianists Mitsuko Uchida and Alice-Sara Ott, violinists Midori and Akiko Suwanai, and conductors Kent Nagano and Seiji Ozawa.