The London Festival Orchestra (= LFO) was established in the 1950’s as the 'house orchestra' for Decca Records. In 1980 it was incorporated as an independent performing orchestra under Ross Pople.
The LFO stages a summer festival of music in cathedrals, under the title Cathedral Classics, sponsored by American Express and British Gas. In 1994 Ross Pople's vision of artistic independence inspired the creation of The Warehouse making LFO the first British orchestra to own a permanent, independent home. The Warehouse, situated in the heart of the South Bank, is a state of the art rehearsal, recording and concert venue and a significant focal point for UK and international artists and orchestras where they rehearse, perform and record. This is also where the LFO musicians are showcased in various collaborations as The Warehouse Ensemble with innovative, often cutting-edge, in-house performances.
The LFO came to wider public notice after an episode of Grand Designs was aired in which the orchestra objected to the renovation of the adjacent Violin Factory.
BMG's new classical music label Arte Nova contracted LFO to record the bulk of its new classical music label in the late 90’s. The LFO's enviable discography also includes recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Hyperion and ASV.
Additional to the LFO’s London concert seasons at the Southbank Centre and the Barbican Centre, and more recently the Cadogan Hall, the Orchestra has a long history of touring in the Far East, the Middle East and the Americas; at the Seoul Olympics; as cultural ambassadors to Argentina at the resolution of the Falkland Conflict; with annual tours to Germany, France and the Netherlands.
The London Festival Orchestra is featured on The Moody Blues' LP “Days of Future Passed” (1967 Deram Records).