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June 30 - July 30, 2005

London Symphony Orchestra at the SMP
Florida International Festival, Daytona Beach, FL

“Music is the shorthand of emotion.
–Leo Tolstoy


This exhibition was originally presented at the Southeast Museum of Photography in conjunction with the 2005 Florida International Festival and the 2005 Residency Season of the London Symphony Orchestra in Daytona Beach. All the images are drawn from the archives of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO).

The year 2005 marked the 100th birthday of the London Symphony Orchestra and Daytona Beach was their final stop in a yearlong celebratory tour. The LSO's summer residency had been the highlight of the Festival for more than 35 years, giving Daytona Beach the proud distinction of being the "Official American Summer Home" of the London Symphony Orchestra. The LSO is London's oldest self-governing orchestra and is the world's most recorded and broadcast symphony orchestra. The LSO is player-owned and has become a model for orchestras worldwide.

The LSO in Daytona Beach

The Florida International Festival was the brainchild of local newspaper publisher Tippen Davidson, who spent most of his life forging friendships with musicians from across the globe. In the mid-1960’s, Davidson and other area leaders met and decided the area needed a new event -- one that focused on music and culture. A committee was organized and letters were written to orchestras around the world. Each orchestra was invited to visit Daytona Beach -- to play a little music and enjoy sand and surf. The London Symphony Orchestra responded enthusiastically. In only eight days, the Daytona Beach community raised enough money to bring the orchestra and its leaders from London.
    London Symphony Orchestra at the SMP
Brass players, Leeds Triennial Festival 1922

"This Festival began modestly in the 1960’s after a few like-minded individuals got together and agreed this community wanted and deserved a high-caliber cultural event. Music breaks down barriers. Music invokes feelings and emotions that people can relate to and discuss - even if they have nothing else in common.

Finally, the cultural arts must remain a basic part of our children's education. They need to learn the classics, to hear and see all types of musicians, artists and performers and to experience the joy of a live orchestral performance. This is what the Florida International Festival helps to provide and I'm proud to live in a community that so generously supports this vision
." –Tippen Davidson

LSO History

Founded in 1904, the London Symphony Orchestra was Britain’s first independent, self-governing orchestra. It soon became a limited company, owned and managed by the players. Hans Richter was the first in a long line of distinguished conductors to be associated with the LSO, and the Orchestra also formed connections with many of the country's foremost composers, including a close and enduring relationship with Sir Edward Elgar.
    London Symphony Orchestra at the SMP

Other Principal Conductors include Sir Thomas Beecham, Pierre Monteux and Claudio Abbado. The current incumbent is Sir Colin Davis, who was appointed Principal Conductor in 1995. The LSO has always attracted players of top quality. In recent years the introduction of the 'joint Principal' scheme has encouraged musicians of the highest calibre to bring their skills to the Orchestra whilst giving them the flexibility to maintain their own careers. The Orchestra's pioneering spirit was strong even in the early years - it was the first British orchestra to travel abroad when it visited Paris in 1906 and later became the first to visit America (1912), Israel (1960) and Japan (1963). In 1966, the Orchestra was invited to take up a biennial residency at the Florida International Festival and seven years later it was the first British orchestra to be invited to appear at the prestigious Salzburg Festival. In 1982 the LSO took up residency in the new Barbican Centre where it was privileged to have at last found a home base in London.

Today the LSO tours around the globe with regular visits to Europe, Japan and the USA. It is the only British orchestra to hold an annual residency at the Lincoln Center, New York, where every year it presents one of its major artistic events, first performed in London. After nearly 90 years of making recordings, the LSO launched its own CD label, LSO Live, in 2000. The label's releases include critically acclaimed performances with Sir Colin Davis and André Previn. Berlioz's Les Troyens, released in Summer 2001, has become one of the fastest-selling opera recordings ever in the UK, and won two Grammy Awards (Best Opera; Best Classical Recording) in February 2002. Other releases include Elgar's symphonies conducted by Sir Colin Davis and jazz legend Dave Brubeck's 80th birthday concert with the LSO.

In March 2003, the LSO opened LSO St Luke’s, the UBS and the LSO Music Education Centre. Housed in the converted 18th-century Hawksmoor church of St Luke in Old Street, London, the centre provides a home for the LSO's award-winning education and community programme, LSO Discovery, as well as a rehearsal space for the Orchestra and a venue for functions and conferences.

To find out more about the LSO, visit their webpage at
Click here for press about the exhibition...

Generous support and assistance in the production of this exhibition was received from many individuals and organizations. Thanks to Libby Rice, LSO Archivist and Historian for sourcing the original images and for contributing background research.

London Symphony Orchestra at the SMP London Symphony Orchestra at the SMP
London Symphony Orchestra at the SMP
André Previn rehearsing with the LSO at the Florida International Festival in 1969 Josef Krips, Principal Conductor 1951-54, records
Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in 1960
Leonard Bernstein, LSO President, 1987-1990

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The Southeast Museum of Photography is a service of Daytona State College
1200 W. International Speedway Blvd. (Building 1200) Daytona Beach, FL, 32114, (386) 506-4475
Free Admission & Parking

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Exhibitions and programs at the Southeast Museum of Photography are supported in part by Daytona State College, Volusia ECHO and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on the Arts.

Daytona State College prohibits discrimination and assures equal opportunity in employment and education services to all individuals without regard to age, ancestry, belief, color, disability, ethnicity, genetic information, gender, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, and veteran status. For more details, read our Equal Opportunity Statement or contact: Lonnie Thompson, Chair of the Equity Committee at 386-506-3403 or 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, Fl. 32114.