The DCMS's choice of Nicholas Hawksmoor's Grade 1 listed St Luke's Church in London's EC1 as one of its pilot venues for indoor socially-distanced concerts by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) is showcasing the Jerwood Hall on a global digital stage and adding to the sector's research and learning about how musicians can perform together safely.
Gathering in the Jerwood Hall on 10th July for the first time in nearly 4 months, the LSO experienced its first socially-distanced rehearsals for a concert conducted by Duncan Ward which should have been performed live as part of the Aix-en-Provence Festival. The brass and wood-wind sections were positioned on the baloncy and as first violinist, Maxine Kwok, observed in her blog, 'every inch of the Jerwood Hall has been utilised.'
Since then as part of the test-pilot, a weekly series of 30 minute recitals on Fridays have taken place and continue throughout August. This chamber concert series, LSO Summer Shorts are recorded and streamed live digitally and have been supported by Yamaha Professional Audio and by the Estate of the late Ms Denise Antenen.
Speaking about the pilot scheme, Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director, LSO, said "The Jerwood Hall at LSO St Luke’s is playing a central role during the period of Covid restrictions, as the pilot venue for live classical music concerts. The LSO is thrilled to be able to offer one of the first series of live concerts since lockdown was lifted, reaching thousands of audience members throughout the world through our online streaming platform - Always Playing."
Photo: LSO in rehearal, Jerwood Hall, LSO St Luke's, July 2020. Photo: David Jackson, LSO.