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Sir Simon Rattle conducts BMW CLASSICS 2022. Free summer open-air concert in Trafalgar Square featuring the London Symphony Orchestra and guest cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra with cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason perform live in Trafalgar Square on Saturday June 11, 2022 at 5.00pm. This free summer concert highlights the continued partnership between BMW and the London Symphony Orchestra.

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Munich/London. Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra with cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason perform live in Trafalgar Square on Saturday June 11, 2022 at 5.00pm. This free summer concert highlights the continued partnership between BMW and the London Symphony Orchestra, which for the last eleven years has brought superlative live music to audiences in one of the world’s most iconic public spaces and to thousands more watching the live stream on YouTube.

The 2022 BMW CLASSICS concert program opens with George Gershwin’s evocative sunny ‘Cuban Overture’. For the central section of the concert, in contrasting mood, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason marks his debut live performance with the LSO, playing two sublime masterpieces for cello and orchestra, Bruch’s ‘Kol Nidrei’ and Bloch’s ‘Prayer from Jewish Life’. This is followed by the world premiere of ‘FAIYA!’ a specially commissioned work by Ayanna Witter-Johnson. This dance inspired piece written for a mixed-ability orchestra brings together LSO musicians with 55 young musicians from east London as part of the LSO On Track partnership, and 18 students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. For the final work the upbeat tempo returns with a second Gershwin classic, ‘An American in Paris’.

Commenting today, Sir Simon Rattle said, “We’re back in the earlier summer slot of mid-June for 2022 so it seems only fit and proper to play some sunshine infused music this year, so Gershwin’s joyous music opens and closes the concert. I am delighted that young musicians from the LSO On Track partnership are joining us on stage to play the wonderful Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s new piece ‘FAIYA!’. And of course, for the LSO to be reunited with the talent that is Sheku Kanneh-Mason. We had a great time together recording Elgar’s Cello concerto in 2019 so it’s terrific to be re-united to play to a live audience this time. On behalf of the LSO and our audiences in Trafalgar Square and online a big thank you to BMW and the Mayor for London for making this possible.”

Dr. Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG: “I am very delighted that our successful partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra continues. BMW’s commitment to great music is an integral part of our worldwide cultural engagement that has been going on for over 50 years now. I am very much looking forward to experiencing the open-air concert again and seeing Sir Simon Rattle, Sheku Kanneh-Mason as well as the whole LSO and young musicians on stage.”

“I’m excited to hear that Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra will be joined by young musicians from London to perform Ayanna Witter-Johnson’s new work in the spectacular surroundings of Trafalgar Square. This free outdoor concert will be a great way to enjoy wonderful music and bring it to an even wider audience. I encourage Londoners and visitors to come along and enjoy this evening of world class music,” said the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Composer, Ayanna Witter-Johnson: “Last year we had the best time working and playing my piece ‘DreamCity’ for this event so it’s super exciting to be bringing ‘FAIYA!’ to life. The piece is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Red Shoes’, to which I bring in rhythms from my Jamaican heritage via traditional Nyabinghi rhythms as well as more modern Dancehall rhythmical influences. Originally commissioned for 2020, and postponed because of the pandemic it finally comes to fruition in June with so many great young musicians making it happen.”

London Symphony Orchestra
Saturday June 11, 2022 at 5.00pm
Trafalgar Square, London

For the audiences around the world, the concert will be available to watch on the YouTube channel of the London Symphony Orchestra.

For further information please refer to the website For press material, please visit


If you have any questions, please contact:
Doris Fleischer
BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs
Cultural Engagement
Telephone: +49 89 328 27806


Christopher Millard
London Symphony Orchestra
Head of Press & External Relations
Telephone: +44 20 7382 2550 


About the London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) was established in 1904 and has a unique ethos. As a musical collective, it is built on artistic ownership and partnership. With an inimitable signature sound, the LSO’s mission is to bring the greatest music to the greatest number of people. The LSO has been the only Resident Orchestra at the Barbican Centre in the City of London since it opened in 1982, giving 70 symphonic concerts there every year. The Orchestra works with a family of artists that includes some of the world’s greatest conductors – Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director, Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth as Principal Guest Conductors, and Michael Tilson Thomas as Conductor Laureate.  In March 2021 the LSO announced that Sir Antonio Pappano will take up the role of Chief Conductor from September 2024.

Through LSO Discovery, it is a pioneer of music education, offering musical experiences to 60,000 people every year and over 100 live events at its music education centre LSO St Luke’s on Old Street. With the formation of its own record label LSO Live in 1999 the LSO pioneered a revolution in recording live orchestral music. The LSO strives to embrace new digital technologies – having successfully moved into digital film, Blu-Ray Audio, downloads, streaming and virtual reality – and it continues to innovate with platforms such as LSO Play, a web-based video player that allows people to observe the Orchestra from different angles. The LSO is also a highly successful creative enterprise, with 80% of all funding self-generated.


About Sheku Kanneh-Mason
The winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, Sheku Kanneh-Mason is already in great demand from major orchestras and concert halls worldwide. He became a household name worldwide in May 2018 after performing at the Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle. His performance was greeted with universal excitement after being watched by nearly two billion people globally. In June 2018, Sheku received the Male Artist of the Year and the Critics’ Choice awards at the re-launched Classic BRIT Awards, and in July 2018 became the first artist to receive the new BRIT Certified Breakthrough Award, having sold over 30,000 copies of his debut album in the UK and surpassing 100,000 album sales worldwide. In January 2020, Sheku released his second album, Elgar, featuring the Cello Concerto, which he recorded at Abbey Road Studios with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra.  On its release, it reached No. 8 in the UK Official Album Chart, making Sheku the youngest classical instrumentalist and the first cellist in history to reach the UK Top 10. Sheku has made debuts with orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra at the Concertgebouw, the Atlanta Symphony, Japan Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony orchestras. Forthcoming highlights include performances with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Toronto Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, and Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras.

Recent recital performances include Wigmore Hall, Zurich Tonhalle, Lucerne Festival, Festival de Saint-Denis, Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris, Teatro della Pergola Florence, and a critically acclaimed tour of North America that took in Los Angeles, Berkeley, St Paul, Vancouver, Ann Arbor, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Sheku’s recital debut at Carnegie Hall New York. Upcoming recital debuts include London’s Barbican Hall, L’Auditori Barcelona, Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional, and the chamber hall of the Berlin Philharmonie.


About LSO On Track
LSO On Track is a partnership between the LSO and ten east London Music Services, in collaboration with the Barbican and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. This partnership puts the LSO at the heart of the Music Education Hubs in east London, in the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest. Find out how you can get involved in projects – as a young person taking part in music making projects, a school coming to see the LSO perform at the Barbican or LSO St Luke's, or as a teacher through our Music in the Classroom programme for teachers. This year the London Symphony Orchestra will welcome 15,000 young people to amazing concerts at the Barbican and LSO St Luke’s. In addition, over 2,000 young east Londoners will get together with musicians from the LSO to showcase their incredible musical talent. Since the launch of LSO On Track in 2008 students and practitioners have accessed LSO musician visits to schools, creative workshops, coaching on written music, schools concerts dedicated to east London schools, opportunities to perform in world-class venues.

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