With the aim of expanding opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the arts, “Discovery for 2020” in Japan with the LSO will produce a programme that engages with diverse members of the community through a collaboration between musicians of the LSO and musicians in Japan. The project aspires to present artistic excellence achieved through diversity in Tokyo as it heads towards 2020.

The LSO started its pioneering music education and community programme “Discovery” in 1990, aiming to engage and involve people of all ages and backgrounds in orchestral music and to open doors to the inspirational world of the LSO. Discovery is a vital component of the LSO’s overall development. In 2008, as an extension of Discovery, “LSO On Track” was launched, focusing specifically on the ten East London boroughs including the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games host boroughs, which enabled young musicians to access inspirational music making opportunities alongside LSO players and culminated in the performance at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In the first stage of this project, which took place in August 2018, Rachel Leach, LSO workshop leader and composer, trained a group of professional musicians in Japan to develop the skills and confidence necessary to lead a creative music making workshop for a diverse audience. Following the training, the Japanese musicians, joined by two LSO musicians and Rachel Leach, lead a series of workshops and engaged with diverse groups (a mixed group of children of different ages and levels of musical experience; disabled children at a day care facility; and older people, including those living with dementia, at a care facility) to collaboratively create a piece of music. On 29 September, coinciding with the LSO's Japan tour, they performed a newly composed piece in front of an audience.

We will continue to collaborate with the LSO and build partnerships to expand the project in Japan in the run-up to 2020, aiming to engage diverse members of the community in the creation of music, and to see an increased number of Japanese musicians acting as leaders of creative education programmes in Japan.