Given the free use of Park Lane House, 45 Park Lane, London W1, the PLG was founded in 1956 in order to:
Many concerts, concert series, opera productions (often first UK performances), masterclasses, talks, workshops and pilot tours have been organised, as well as festival performances for PLG Young Artists. The information below shows how the PLG’s work has flourished for 60 consecutive seasons.
The PLG has never had any capital resources, so Funding (see below) has always had to be created and sought from a great variety of sources.
Rigorous young artists’ auditions have been held each Spring. As a result, well over 1,600 highly talented young artists have been presented in the New Year Series and other Park Lane Group performances and opera productions with excellent results. A small and inevitably random choice:
|Sir Thomas Allen||Richard Hosford||Thomas Adès|
|Doric String Quartet||John Ogdon||Claire Booth|
|Dame Josephine Barstow||Susan Tomes||Michael Cox|
|Imogen Cooper||Dame Gwyneth Jones||Tim Hugh|
|Belcea String Quartet||Elizabeth Layton||Paul Watkins|
|Clio Gould||Andrew Ball||Anthony Rolfe Johnson|
|Lyn Fletcher||Robert Carsen||Alison Balsom|
|Stephanie Gonley||Barry Wordsworth||Lawrence Power|
|Roger Vignoles||Steven Isserlis||Jane Manning|
|Catherine Wyn-Rogers||Anthony Marwood||Barnaby Robson|
|Jonathan Kelly||Emily Beynon||David Campbell|
|Daniel Pailthorpe||Medici String Quartet||Mary King|
|Sarah Walker||Richard Lester||Tippett String Quartet|
|John McCabe||John Wallace||Sarah Leonard|
|Stephen Kovacevich||Moray Welsh||Elizabeth Atherton|
|Paul Barritt||Sioned Williams||Antony Pay|
|Mark van de Wiel||Malcolm Martineau||Rachel Gough|
|John Bradbury||Rachel Bellinger||Nicolas Hodges|
|Rachel Gough||Alissa Firsova||Piatti String Quartet|
|David Wilson-Johnson||Coull String Quartet||Huw Watkins|
|Jonathan Kelly||William Howard||Malcolm Martineau|
|Clare Hammond||Arditti String Quartet||Janet Kelly|
|John Harle||James Crabb||O Duo|
|Ian Hardwick||Philippa Davies||Nash Ensemble|
|Noelle Barker||Meriel Dickinson||Colin Graham|
|Rebecca Gilliver||David Owen Norris||Alan Hacker|
The success of these and many other fine artists, a very large number of whom hold principal positions in many of the UK’s leading orchestras and ensembles as well as in major orchestras abroad (eg Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw), plus the PLG's adventurous and imaginative programming, as well as perceptive reviewing from the national and musical press, has established the PLG as a leading platform for young performers of outstanding talent.
have been a vital part of PLG seasons since 1981, presenting PLG Young Artists with further opportunities in one of the world’s great concert halls.
PLG Young Artists have frequently taken part in the continuing PLG Anniversary Series, which pays to tribute to distinguished artists and composers.
The Anniversary Series began in 1962 with a 75th Birthday Concert for Dame Edith Sitwell. This was given in the sold-out Royal Festival Hall with Sir William Walton conducting, Sir Peter Pears singing and Stephen Kovacevich (then Bishop) replacing the unwell Benjamin Britten). Since then, there have been many notable celebratory events, held in the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, Fishmongers’ Hall, St John’s Smith Square
|Sidonie Goossens in her presence||William Alwyn||Fred Astaire|
|Samuel Barber||Sir Lennox Berkeley||Hector Berlioz|
|Lord Berners||Eubie Blake||Frank Bridge|
|TS Eliot||Charles Ives||Charles Koechlin|
|Dame Elizabeth Maconchy||Constant Lambert||Carl Nielsen|
|Alan Rawsthorne||Albert Roussel||Adolphe Sax|
|Jean Sibelius||Sir Michael Tippett|
|Dame Ninette de Valois||Henri Dutilleux|
|Henri Dutilleux||Sir Michael Tippett|
|Larry Adler||Peter Dickinson||Sir John Manduell|
|Sir Peter Maxwell Davies||Hugh Wood|
|Sir Lennox Berkeley||Kenneth Leighton||Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau|
|Dame Elizabeth Maconchy||Priaulx Rainier||Dame Edith Sitwell|
|Jon Vickers||Sir William Walton|
|John Amis||Roberto Gerhard||Elisabeth Lutyens|
|Anthony Payne||Stan Tracey||Dame Joan Sutherland|
|Sir Malcolm Arnold||John Wallace|
|Peter Dickinson||Alan Hacker||Nicola LeFanu|
|John Ogdon||RVW Trust||Giles Swayne|
The PLG has a long history of organising events in conjunction with the American Embassy, Canadian High Commission, French Embassy, Goethe Institut, Italian Institute. These have led to important performances, for example, the Charles Ives Centenary, the Canadian Music Week, the Orchestre de Bretagne, Boulez in Birmingham, Karlheinz Stockhausen and two performances of the complete Instrumental Sequenzas of Luciano Berio.
There have been close relationships with organisations outside London which have resulted in PLG Young Artists performing in a number of festivals and music organisations. Among these have been the Birmingham Conservatoire (a special day Boulez in Birmingham), Cheltenham Festival, Sounds New Festival, Canterbury, Cheltenham Ladies’ College and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
Another major new development recently was the Future Classics tour presented by Foreign & Colinial Investment Trust and the PLG with concerts in Harrogate, Edinburgh, Bristol, Guildford and ending in Wigmore Hall, the last broadcast live on BBC Radio3.
The organising of performances outside London is a major area and it is intended to add a wide range of festivals and schools.
During the period to 1981 (when opera funding for PLG ended), Park Lane Opera organised and presented many opera performances, a large proportion in the Camden Festival, several being first productions in the UK*, including:
The PLG has no capital funding and relies totally on grants, awards, ticket sales, donations, programme advertising and fund-raising events.
The PLG acknowledges with deep gratitude varied help and support over many seasons from the Bernarr Rainbow Trust, Berners Trust, Bliss Trust, Britten Foundation, Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust, Holst Foundation, John S Cohen Foundation, Delius Trust, Help Musicians UK (formerly the Musicians Benevolent Fund), PRS Foundation, RVW Trust Fund, Tim Brandt Trust, William Alwyn Trust, Zochonis Charitable Trust, other trust funds, individuals and The PLG Friends.