LMTO was founded by Freddie Tapner in June 2015, almost by accident. A Facebook post, seen below, triggered an instant reaction from the musical community, with over 250 replies from musicians in the space of 24 hours. A few weeks later, on Sunday 13th July 2015 the London Musical Theatre Orchestra met for the first time, in the privacy of St Silas Church, Islington. Together with a group of singers, the orchestra ‘played through’ a major musical score just for fun, with no audience present. That event would become known as the first “Play-through”.
The Play-throughs continued to be a hit. Once a month players and singers from all over the UK gathered in London to rehearse a musical for experience and for the love of it. LMTO took up the position of Orchestra-in-Residence at Bishopsgate Institute in January 2016, where the Play-throughs remain to this day.
In June 2016, one year and twelve Play-throughs after its founding, LMTO launched its first public season: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair at Cadogan Hall and Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Mike Ockrent’s A Christmas Carol at the Lyceum Theatre, starring Robert Lindsay.