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BMW takes art patronage outside via public concert

April 6, 2017

BMW LSO Open Air Classics concert


German automaker BMW is bringing music to the masses through an outdoor concert in London.

BMW has an established partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, which was founded six years ago in the core belief that music should be accessible to everyone. As part of the BMW LSO Open Air classics series, the automaker will present a free concert at London’s Trafalgar Square on May 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Music for all
The programming for the outdoor event is centered on works by Sergei Rachmaninov, including the composer’s Second Symphony, with conductor Valery Gergiev. Up-and-coming pianist Behzod Abduraimov will be making his London Symphony Orchestra premiere at the concert, performing Rachmaninov’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.”

Along with Mr. Abduraimnov’s debut, the London Symphony Orchestra is also shining a light on even younger talent. Forty students between the ages of 11 and 18 who study at East London schools will perform Rachmaninov’s “Symphonic Dances.”

“There are few places on earth that can rival our city for its arts, culture and music, and tourists flock here in their millions every year to get a taste of our cultural riches,” said Sadiq Kahn, the Mayor of London. “I’m delighted to see the LSO bringing another incredible concert to Trafalgar Square.

“As well as giving rising young stars from a variety of backgrounds the opportunity to play alongside world-class musicians, this top showcase of talent will entertain thousands of Londoners who may have never had the chance to experience this caliber of classical music before,” he said. “It is these types of events that show London at its outward-looking, open and creative best.”

BMW LSO Open Air Classics in 2016

During the concert, large screens and audio devices allow the entire crowd to have a close-up experience of the performance.

Last year’s concert drew a relatively young crowd, with close to seven in every 10 people under the age of 35. It also drew a new audience that was largely unfamiliar with the orchestra, with 86 percent seeing the group perform for the first time.

“In the sixth year of our partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra we are looking forward to welcoming around 10,000 listeners from all over the world, whether they are new to classical music or seasoned enthusiasts,” said Dr. Ian Robertson, member of the board of management of BMW AG, in a statement. “For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group’s cultural engagement program has focused on making the arts more accessible to everyone (see story).

“We are honored to be a patron of collaborations with some of the world’s leading cultural institutions and we’re extremely proud of this concert series with the London Symphony Orchestra.”