London Lawyers’ Music (‘LLM’) consists of the London Lawyers’ Symphony Orchestra and the London Lawyers’ Chorus. We put on five major concerts each year (three joint choir with orchestra concerts, and two where just the orchestra play), with concert venues typically in the City or West End of London e.g. St James’s Piccadilly, St Paul’s Knightsbridge, St Lawrence Jewry, Temple Church, LSO St Luke’s and St Andrew’s Holborn. Other recent venues have included St John’s, Smith Square and Southwark Cathedral.
You can read more about our history here.
Is membership only open to lawyers?
Although our membership has historically come from lawyers at all stages of their careers (law students, trainees, pupils, solicitors, barristers, partners and judges), you don’t need to have a direct connection with the legal sector to become a member – many of our members have only very tenuous links with the legal profession, or none at all!
Common to us all, however, is a love of music and a wish to achieve the highest performance standards possible, whilst not forgetting the importance of a strong social element. Members frequently comment on the how valuable they find being able to switch off from their usual busy professional lives, and how music plays a role in this. Read the article: “Lawyers’ Music: Knowing the Score” >>
The majority of our members are current or past performers in the orchestra or choir. LLM is partly funded by members’ subscriptions and ticket sales, but we are also very fortunate in having financial support from generous private individuals, major law firms and other companies who wish to contribute to London’s musical life. This financial stability enables the society to tackle large scale repertoire.
We like to encourage talent from within, so vocal and instrumental soloists are often chosen from the membership itself, although we regularly engage professionals where appropriate. Among the conductors we’ve worked with are Rebecca Miller, Jonathan Tilbrook, Paul Hoskins and Ben Pope. The choir is led by our Choral Director, Chris Oakley, and we always work with a professional conductor for the orchestra.
We’re able to offer a broad range of musical opportunities for members and audiences, whether for choir and orchestra as separate entities in chamber, a capella, instrumental and symphonic form, or as combined forces in major choral works. There is an occasional chamber choir and members also have the opportunity to form a variety of ad hoc ensembles for performance or pleasure. Concerto soloists are almost invariably chosen from the membership.
Our History: Making music for over 35 years
Founded in 1980 by a group of law students, LLM gave its first public concert in London in February 1983. We have staged an unbroken series of concerts every year since then.
Highlights of the first decade included performances of Beethoven’s and Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony and Brahms’s 2nd Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana and the Mozart and Verdi Requiem.
For our 10th anniversary we commissioned a new work by Judith Bingham, The Uttermost, and gave its premiere at Westminster Central Hall together with a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
To celebrate our 25th Anniversary, LLM held a Gala Concert at Christ Church, Spitalfields and awarded two bursaries to Royal Academy of Music students. We continue to support their development in these crucial early stages of their careers through an active involvement with our concert programme.
The last few years have seen the orchestra performing works as diverse as Elgar’s Enigma variations, the Sibelius and Shostakovich 5th Symphony, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and Gershwin’s An American in Paris. Choral repertoire has ranged from Monteverdi to Tippett, performed both a cappella and with the orchestra.
In 1999, the combined forces gave a 125th anniversary performance of the Verdi Requiem and in 2001 we were joined by soloists from English National Opera for a programme including the Rossini Stabat Mater.
Our 30th Anniversary Gala Concert, which included Wagner (Overture from The Flying Dutchman), Britten (Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from Peter Grimes) and Mozart (Great Mass in C minor), took place at St John’s, Smith Square and was a great success.
The concert was repeating at St Saviour’s Church, St Albans, as part of St Albans International Organ Festival 2013.