The LSO made its first recording in 1913 and went on to become the most recorded orchestra in the world. As well as appearing on many of the most celebrated classical albums, the LSO has also performed on many popular movie soundtracks, notably the Star Wars series.
However, until the launch of LSO Live, almost every recording that featured the LSO was owned and produced by another record company. LSO Live recordings are owned by the Orchestra itself. The players, conductors and soloists are stakeholders in the recordings on which they appear and LSO Live works with some of the world’s leading producers and sound engineers. The musicians not only choose what should be recorded, but are also involved throughout the production process, ensuring only recordings they are happy with get released.
LSO Live was launched in 2000 following a decade in which other record companies had been steadily reducing investment in new recordings. Despite this shift in attention away from classical music, there was no evidence of a decline in demand for new titles by today’s artists. The imminent arrival of digital distribution meant that labels would soon be able to reach larger audiences than was possible simply by selling through CD stores. Attracting new listeners to classical music has always been a priority for LSO Live and it would become the first classical label to make its entire catalogue available for download.
To date LSO Live has released recordings with many of the world’s leading conductors including Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons and the late Sir Colin Davis. The label won its first Grammy Award in 2002 and since collected Classical Brit Awards, Gramophone Awards and numerous other international prizes.