An evening with the London Symphony Orchestra
On Thursday 7 May, the Sermelo team had the delight of an invitation to take a trip to London’s Barbican to listen to the London Symphony Orchestra’s recital of Brahms and Tchaikovsky taking place in correspondence with the International Violin Festival. Some of us are seasoned classical music fans and some are most certainly not, but despite our varying degrees of classical music appreciation, we were all enraptured by the performance.
The LSO has long been pioneers in making classical music accessible to all. This is certainly highlighted by its annual outdoor summer concert that takes place in Trafalgar Square and is free for all to attend. It has also recently launched its online ‘Find me a concert’ tool which allows visitors to roll a virtual dice to help them decide on which upcoming LSO concert would be best for them to see – regardless of their experience in attending classical music concerts or it is their first time.
The performance we attended showcased the critically acclaimed Isabelle Faust alongside the LSO, playing Brahms’ Great Concerto on a violin made in 1704, named ‘Sleeping Beauty’. The instrument came by its nickname, having been stored, and un-played for around 150 years, locked away in the cupboard of a German aristocrat and then reappearing in a Swiss safe. Faust heard of this very intriguing violin, and set herself the mission of finding it and becoming its owner – a mission that proved successful, and something that we, as an audience, could feel a part of.
What was particularly powerful about the performance was the harmony in which the orchestra played together along with Isabelle and the history of the ‘Sleeping Beauty’.
It was an evening of quiet and peaceful contemplation, in stark contrast to the political drama of election night unfolding outside.
British American Business | London Insight Series | Emerging Markets Outlook
Much has been made of the BRIC economies, but for some time now, they have not been the economies to watch. Instead, investors are more concerned with the next generation of emerging markets, and this was explored at a recent breakfast briefing session.
Bloomberg News’ Gavin Serkin has visited the top frontier markets as identified by ten fund managers, and, in his new book – Frontier – outlines his findings as experienced first-hand, supported with data. He shared an excerpt with us, and took us through his account of being in Egypt around the time of the revolution, and being detained by security forces, which was gripping.
Simon Jenkins, Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa at HSBC, also spoke about his views on the emerging economies that we should be keeping an eye on. He articulated the importance of being prepared to invest for the long-term, and also of managing the very specific challenges facing these countries – infrastructure, culture, political environment and so on.
Nigeria, Vietnam and Argentina were identified by both as three leading investment destinations. Many investors are excited about navigating these challenges during the early stages of investment, and seeing these evolve and yield results over the coming five, 10 and 20 years – and beyond. We too will be keeping a close eye on them.