About PLG

Registered as an Educational Charity No. 252213

About PLG – Track Record

Given the offer of the free use of Park Lane House, 45 Park Lane, London W1, the PLG was founded in 1956 in order to:

  • Provide a prominent platform for outstanding young musicians
  • Organise notable and imaginative musical occasions
  • Celebrate the lives and work of great musicians

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 62 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 for very many years. 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, all with excellent results. A small and inevitably limited choice is below. The excellent career developments of each of the artists listed below are detailed on the web.                             

Most details of the very many events 1956-2017 are available from the PLG archives at: at arts@parklanegroup.co.uk 

In the 2021-22 Season and due to the pandemic, auditions will be held by video only and in late October 2021.

Thomas AdèsTim HughJohn McCabe
John OgdonDame Josephine BarstowArditti String Quartet
Rebecca GilliverAnthony Rolfe JohnsonDame Imogen Cooper
Sir Thomas AllenStephanie GonleyElizabeth Atherton
William HowardClare HammondSteven Isserlis
Anthony MarwoodDame Gwyneth JonesAlison Balsom
Paul BarrittDoric String QuartetMary King
Coull String QuartetDavid Lloyd-JonesStephen Kovacevich
Emily BeynonTamsin Waley-CohenHarriet Mackenzie
Simon LepperJonathan KellyMedici String Quartet
Belcea String QuartetDaniel PailthorpeNicholas Cleobury
Nicolas HodgesMoray WelshClio Gould
Nash EnsembleJohn WallaceAlissa Firsova
Sioned WilliamsPaul WatkinsColin Graham
Barry WordsworthCatherine Wyn-RogersGildas String Quartet
David Owen NorrisTippett String QuartetRoger Vignoles
Lawrence PowerLyn Fletcher Sarah Walker
Rachel BellingerMeriel DickinsonRichard Hosford
David CampbellRichard LesterO Duo
Claire BoothRobert CarsenNoelle Barker
Philippa DaviesJane ManningAnthony Pay
Michael CoxBella TrombaMalcolm Martineau
James CrabbIan MitchellAndrew Ball
Maxwell String QuartetMark van de WielElizabeth Layton
Rachel GoughSarah LeonardAlan Hacker
Barnaby RobsonSusan TomesHuw Watkins
Piatti String QuartetDavid Wilson-JohnsonIan Hardwick
John BradburyJanet KellyJohn Harle

The success of these and many other fine artists, a very large number of who hold principal positions in many of the UK’s leading orchestras and ensembles as well as in some of the great 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.                                                                          

PLG Wigmore Hall Young Artists Concerts in Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room

have been a vital part of PLG seasons since 1964, presenting PLG Young Artists with further opportunities in one of the world’s great concert halls. 

The Purcell Room has been the home of very many PLG Young Artists Concerts and other PLG events from 1967 to 2019 when the pandemic caused a large number of planned PLG events to be cancelled.

Many other significant PLG events have been presented either in the Royal Festival Hall (eg: PLG’s 100th Concert in 1964) or the Queen Elizabeth Hall (eg: PLG’s 25th Anniversary Concert with 16 Steinway Grand Pianos and 40 PLG solo pianists). The list is considerable.

PLG Concerts in other venues also have played a vital role in PLG seasons

An average of 25 PLG Lunchtime Concerts have happened in three Central London churches:
St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square
St James’s, Piccadilly
St Margaret’s Westminster, next to Westminster Abbey
Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand
Kings Place, York Way, N1, usually in association with the London Chamber Music Society
22 Mansfield Street, W1
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
St John’s Smith Square

In earlier seasons

The Great Drawing Room of 4 St James’s Square, SW1
The Rafael Cartoon Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum
The London Planetarium

PLG Anniversary Series

PLG Young Artists have frequently taken part in the continuing PLG Anniversary Series, which pays to tribute to distinguished artists and composers.

The PLG 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, Princess Alexandra Hall of the Royal Over-Seas League, Cadogan Square Gardens SW3, 49 Queen’s Gate Terrace SW7 and 22 Mansfield Street W1.

101st Birthday
Hugues Cuenod

Sidonie Goossens in her presence , William Alwyn, Fred Astaire, Samuel Barber, Sir Lennox Berkeley, Irving Berlin, Hector Berlioz, Lord Berners, Leonard Bernstein, Eubie Blake, Frank Bridge, TS Eliot, Charles Ives, Charles Koechlin, 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

Alban Berg                                                    

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

Memorial Concerts

Sir Lennox Berkeley
Roberto Gerhard
John McCabe
Lord Menuhin
Sir Andrezj Panufnik

Links with Foreign Embassies and Institutes

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 (six concerts), the Canadian Music Week, the Orchestre de Bretagne regional tour, Boulez in Birmingham, and in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Karlheinz Stockhausen and two performances of the complete Instrumental Sequenzas of Luciano Berio, the second in the presence of the composer.

PLG Outside London

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 Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (a special day Boulez in Birmingham, in the presence of the composer), Cheltenham Festival, Sounds New Festival Canterbury, Cheltenham Ladies’ College and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

Another major development recently was the Future Classics tour presented by Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust and the PLG with concerts in Harrogate, Edinburgh, Bristol, Guildford and ending in Wigmore Hall, the last broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

The organising of performances outside London is a major area and it is intended to add a wide range of festivals and schools following developments after recovery from the pandemic.

Park Lane Opera

During the period to 1981 (when opera funding provided 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:
Bizet: Doctor Miracle* (in Park Lane House)
Berlioz: Beatrice and Benedict
Britten: The Rape of Lucretia (concert performance)
Delius: Fennimore and Gerda (two productions)
Delius: Margot la Rouge*
Haydn: La fedeltà premiata
Hindemith: Hin und Zurück
Lecoq: Doctor Miracle*
Maconchy: The Sofa*
Menotti: The Old Maid and the Thief (concert performance.)
Menotti: Maria Golovin* (production directed by Gian Carlo Menotti)
Milhaud: Le pauvre matelôt* (in Park Lane House)
Mozart: La finta giardiniera*
Mozart: La finta semplice*
Thea Musgrave: The Abbot of Drimock* (concert perf.) (World Premiere) (Park Lane House)
Poulenc: La Voix Humaine
Poulenc: Les mamélles de Tirésias
Rimsky-Korsakov: Mozart and Salieri
Schubert: Fidelio (concert performance)
Smetana: The Secret*
Stravinsky: Mavra
Tchaikovsky: Iolanta*
Vaughan Williams: Riders to the Sea