Sir Simon and London Symphony Orchestra players tell a rehearsal audience of one what this week’s first live concert in a year means to them

The musicians arrange themselves – distanced, mostly masked – on the stage the London Symphony Orchestra has called home for 40 years, but from which it hasn’t played for 14 pandemic months. After all this time without live music, just the sound of tuning up sends a shiver down the spine.

This is the LSO’s rehearsal for the last of many concerts streamed around the world during Covid, before welcoming its first live audience on Tuesday. “And now, here we are,” says principal conductor Sir Simon Rattle, “the LSO returning to the Barbican, and our public. And we all keep saying: ‘Oh my God, how we have missed this.’”

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