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Home > London Sinfonietta

London Sinfonietta

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The London Sinfonietta is one of the world’s elite contemporary music ensembles with a reputation built on the virtuosity of its performances and ambitious programming. It is committed to placing new music at the heart of contemporary culture and pushing boundaries; the ensemble regularly undertakes projects with choreographers, video artists, film-makers and collaborations with electronica artists, jazz and folk musicians.

The creation of new music has been at the core of the London Sinfonietta’s work since its foundation in 1968 by Nicholas Snowman and David Atherton. It has commissioned or premiered over 200 works, ranging from Luciano Berio, Harrison Birtwistle and Steve Reich to the emerging composers involved in its Blue Touch Paper project – including Tansy Davies, Larry Goves and Anna Meredith – an innovative initiative which gives the opportunity to take risks and develop ideas without the pressure of a public performance.

The London Sinfonietta also supports the development of young musicians. The very first London Sinfonietta Academy, a three day intensive course in which 15 talented young musicians selected from across the UK open auditions had the opportunity to gain experience and receive training in core contemporary repertoire, was held in July 2009. Conductor Elgar Howarth and Sinfonietta Principal Players provided the students with expert tuition and advice, as well as a very rare opportunity to rehearse and perform challenging pieces such as Harrison Birtwistle’s Silbury Air as part of an ensemble.

London Sinfonietta concert performances are increasingly being conceived as the centrepiece of a cluster of related projects and events. It was one of the first UK orchestras to explore the creative space where artistic and educational experiences meet and continues to break new ground in this field. The innovation and creativity experienced on the concert platform is reflected in the ensemble’s participation and interaction programme, which gives young artists – in sound design, animation and textiles, as well as music – the opportunity to work with the ensemble in a creative environment.

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