The LSO was founded in 1904, when a part of the Queen's Hall Orchestra musicians got a disagreement with their conductor Henry Wood, who wanted to make an end to sending replacement musicians for rehearsals and performances. The Orchestra has been independent from the start, which is unique in that time. On 9 June 1904 the Orchestra gave the first performance under the direction of Hans Richter. He remained Chief conductor until 1911 when Edward Elgar took over the function for a year (he led a total of six concerts). The LSO is the first British Orchestra to mainland Europe and played in Paris in 1906. The Orchestra was also on the point to cruise on the Titanic to a performance in New York City in april 1912; Fortunately, the booking for that concert moved. Still, the orchestra played in 1912 as first British Orchestra in the United States; in 1973 it was the first British Orchestra that gave performances at the Salzburg Festival (1973). Still the Orchestra travels the whole world around.
The Orchestra is known as unusual and independent; one, for example, has long sustained no female musicians to the Orchestra sound, since female musicians would affect negatively (in it was not alone; the Vienna Philharmonic also found that). To the level of the Orchestra to keep as high as possible, pulled one as soloists internationally renowned musicians to, what is again ensured that other famous soloists with the Orchestra wanted to play. In addition, the Orchestra has a huge name recognition, bringing all kinds of famous conductors like to lead the Orchestra; and that since the creation of the Orchestra. After a period of financial and fiscal problems has a former cellist Clive Gillinson as manager the Orchestra back on track; He resigned in 2005.
In 1966, in addition to the Orchestra the London Symphony Chorus (LSC) was established, which now consists of 200 amateur singers; the choir is now independent of the Orchestra but of course a strong bond with the Orchestra.
In addition to recordings for various record labels the Orchestra has also own a record label, live/recordings is issued (LSO Live).
- 2007- Valeri Gergiev
- 1995-2006 Colin Davis (General Manager from 2007)
- 1987-1995 Michael Tilson Thomas
- 1979-1987 Claudio Abbado
- 1968-1979 André Previn (Honorary guest conductor of the Orchestra)
- 1965-1968 István Kertész
- 1960-1964 Pierre Monteux
- 1951-1954 Josef Krips
- 1947-1950 Eduard van Beinum
- 1932-1935 Hamilton Harty
- 1930-1931 Willem mengelberg
- 1919-1922 Albert Coates
- 1915-1917 Thomas Beecham
- 1912-1914 Arthur Nikisch
- 1911-1912 Edward Elgar
- 1904-1911 Hans Richter