Sir Arthur Bliss and the LSSO

During 1970 the orchestra had the great fortune of working with Sir Arthur Bliss for the first time. Indeed the relationship continued well into 1975 with a new production of his ballet The Lady of Shalott being staged at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre utilising the LSSO. This occasion was also featured in a television programme called Girl in a Broken Mirror, a copy of which is kept in the LSSO archives.

The first rehearsals with Sir Arthur were for an appearance at the 1970 Cheltenham Festival where the orchestra performed his piano concerto with Frank Wibaut as soloist. An earlier run through was also staged at Loughborough, again with Sir Arthur Bliss conducting. During the Easter residential course at Oxford, following rehearsals of the concerto, Eric Pinkett played through the Bliss Introduction and Allegro in the presence of the composer. Sir Arthur was sufficiently impressed with the playing and he accepted Eric’s invitation to conduct the piece with the orchestra on a planned Argo record. The recording session took place in July 1970 at Decca’s Hampstead studios and the LP was released in April the following year.

Press articles relating to this recording and other information about Sir Arthur Bliss can be seen in the reviews section of this website.

Sound clip: Introduction and Allegro