Toby Purser conducts the LIO in a programme including Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 in C minor (the Organ Symphony), with Edward Batting (organ) and the traditional Last Night favourites with mezzo-soprano Victoria Simmonds.
The thundering organ theme that has given Saint-Saëns’ 3rd Symphony its nickname and which dominates its brilliant finale is heard in various guises throughout the course of this justly celebrated work.
The LIO, comprising talented amateur and former professional musicians, engages professional conductors and soloists, and has given concerts in many distinguished London locations, raising thousands of pounds for charity.
Toby Purser was a prize-winner in the 2002 Leeds Conducting Competition and has had a wide-ranging conducting career in the UK and abroad. In 2005 he founded the Orion Orchestra (heard twice previously at Proms at St Jude’s), a stepping-stone for the most talented musicians leaving music college. In November 2014 he made his debut at English National Opera, where he was recently awarded the ENO Mackerras Fellowship 2016-18 and has been working on ENO’s new production of Berg’s Lulu and on the world première of Ryan Wigglesworth’s The Winter’s Tale.
Edward Batting, organist and director of music at St Alban’s Holborn, is much in demand as a recitalist and accompanist.
Victoria Simmonds began her professional career as a company principal at ENO. The DVD and CD of her Royal Opera House performances have won more than 17 awards.
‘The superb Victoria Simmonds’ Richard Morrison, The Times