75th anniversary sees Mozart orchestra celebrate Fair Field

The London Mozart Players will be celebrating their 75th anniversary through the 2023-2024 concert season, with performances by the Croydon-based ensemble at the Fairfield Halls, in Upper Norwood and in Sussex to celebrate their history and development.

LMP’s season opens with Story of the Fair Field on Saturday October 7 at Fairfield Halls, featuring Matilda Lloyd as the soloist for Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E flat. The music in this concert, which includes Malcolm Arnold’s inaugural composition for the opening of Fairfield Halls in 1962, The Fair Field, traces Fairfield’s history as a bustling medieval fair and LMP’s history as an orchestra set up to play Haydn and Mozart.

LMP presents A Very Croydon Christmas in partnership with Fairfield Halls on Friday  December 8, featuring a festive selection of music with local choirs and performers.

Mozart: The Mixtape (Saturday February 10, 2024, at the Fairfield Halls) celebrates LMP’s birthday with a recreation of the Mozart “playlist” concert from 1783. Pianists Imogen Cooper and Martin James Bartlett and soprano Anna Prohaska join LMP for this concert, which will also include a selection of short videos which reflect on LMP’s legacy and their future.

“As we celebrate 75 years of music-making, we’re using this season to look back on our past and particularly on our historic connection with Croydon,” said Flynn Le Brocq, the London Mozart PLayers’ chief executive.

“We’re looking forward to another year of adventurous and exciting programmes.”

Fairfield Halls’ associate director Jonathan Higgins said, “We have a shared mission with our resident orchestra and mutual commitment to grow and develop together.

“Both the venue and LMP teams work collaboratively to deliver an excellent programme of concerts and events, and we are committed to ensuring the communities we serve can enjoy an excellent classical programme. I’m particularly looking forward to our festive collaboration in December, which we hope will become a cornerstone of Croydon’s Christmas celebrations.”

LMP’s community residencies in Upper Norwood and on the south coast continue. The winning composer of LMP’s new award, the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Prize, will have their work performed as part of Music Through the Ages (Saturday January 27, 2024, at St John’s, Upper Norwood). The prize, which is part of LMP’s Equal Play campaign, has been created to support young composers from underrepresented backgrounds.

Birthday celebrations: the London Mozart Players have an extensive programme for 2023-2024 at the Fairfield Halls, St John’s Upper Norwood and in Bexhill

Other concerts in LMP’s Upper Norwood series include a children’s concert, The Musical Adventures of Stan the Dog & Mabel the Cat (Saturday June 8, 2024), and Eleanor Alberga’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Musical Revolting Rhyme (Saturday April 6, 2024).

LMP and Create Music, the lead partner of the Music Education Hub in Sussex, work together to deliver education projects. Students from Create Music perform alongside LMP in Christmas Crackers with LMP (Thursday December 14 at the noted Bexhill venue, the De La Warr Pavilion), while Marvellous Maestros includes a selection GCSE set-works to help pupils prepare for their exams (Friday March 22, 2024).

The LMP performances in the Fairfield Halls’ acclaimed 1,800-seater Concert Hall are in addition to its International Orchestral Concert Series, which has performances coming up from Concerto Budapest (September 12), the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (October 19), and the Symphony Orchestra of India (December 5), with further concerts arranged all the way through to May 2024.

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