The London Gala Orchestra was originally formed to accompany ballet companies visiting London such as the Bolshoi, Australian, Canadian, Stuttgart, Moscow, Berlin and the Japanese Takarazuka Dance Theatre. It played with them at London’s Coliseum and Sadler’s Wells as well as on their tours of Britain.
The L.G.O. soon became recognised as part of London’s musical scene and was invited by major choral societies (Royal Choral, London Welsh and the Malcolm Sargent) to accompany them at London’s Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls. It was also a regular guest at the E.R.M.A. childrens’ concerts on the South Bank and the Arthur Davison family concerts at the Fairfield Halls Croydon – an association which still continues today. More recently it has been engaged to perform gala concerts at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and has performed in the presence of her Majesty the Queen and Prince Edward. The L.G.O. is proud to have worked with many artists including Josephine Barstow, Leland Chen, Sarah Chang, Robert Cohen, John Lill, Willard White, Chloe Hanslip, Benjamin Grosvenor and the world famous Placido Domingo.
The orchestra has become heavily involved in popular concerts which appeal to a wide cross-section of the public. In this context it has worked with performers such as the musical comedian Rainer Hersch, the broadcaster Trevor MacDonald, the Drambuie Pipe Band, the folk group Szaparo and the Munich based Music Productions Germany. Every year it performs at the Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain’s annual dinner. It has also provided music for the BAFTA nominated short film Red Peppers.
For many years the L.G.O. has presented its own series of New Year concerts across the country as well as candle-lit concerts in period buildings. Recently the orchestra has been increasingly busy with open air concerts in the grounds of some of the England’s great houses.
During the 2008 summer season Steve Bell conducted the orchestra for nineteen concerts in stately homes and cathedral across the country which included performances with Paul Potts, Hayley Westenra, All Angels, Teatro and Alfie Boe.