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Our mission



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The London Sinfonietta’s mission is to place the best contemporary classical music at the heart of today’s culture; engaging and challenging the public through inspiring performances of the highest standard, and taking risks to develop new work and talent. Founded in 1968, the ensemble's commitment to new music has seen it commission nearly 400 works, and premiere many hundreds more.

If I were the British Government, I'd declare the London Sinfonietta a national treasure...long may they continue to make new music. Steve Reich

Resident at Southbank Centre and Artistic Associates at Kings Place, with a busy touring schedule across the UK and abroad, its core is 18 Principal Players, representing some of the best solo and ensemble musicians in the world. The group also works with talented Emerging Artists, to ensure the unique expertise of its Principals is passed on to the next generation of performers. 

Having held a world-leading position in education and participation work for many years, the London Sinfonietta continues this with a belief that arts participation is transformational to individuals and communities, and new music is relevant to people’s lives.

The ensemble has an extensive back catalogue of recordings made over 50 years, which have been released on numerous prestigious labels as well as its own London Sinfonietta Label. Recent recordings include George Benjamin's opera Into the Little Hill (Nimbus; 2017), a collaboration with Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset on Snowmelt (ACT; 2016), a limited edition run of LPs in collaboration with Christian Marclay (2015) and a disc of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s music (NMC; 2015) which topped the classical music chart. 

The London Sinfonietta has also broken new ground by creating Steve Reich’s Clapping Music app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, a participatory rhythm game that has been downloaded over 200,000 times worldwide since its launch in late 2015.


The London Sinfonietta's 50th anniversary season will be a very special time for the ensemble. It's hugely fitting that we are today still Resident at Southbank Centre, with whom the group has created and performed so many landmark moments, and now also proud Artistic Associates at Kings Place. Our 2017/18 season will be a story of past and future. We are featuring just some of the ensemble’s important commissions in our autumn concerts, while the rest of the season will represent future directions – including new work from Charlotte Bray, Tansy Davies and Philip Venables, UK and world premieres, collaborations and site-specific events. Our anniversary concert on the 24th January is a chance to celebrate the musicians, our partners and the extraordinary achievement of David Atherton and Nicholas Snowman who brought this group into being.

Read our full 2017/18 season brochure below, or visit our what's on page