About London Sinfonietta

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 over 350 works, and premiere many hundreds more.

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 47 years, which have been released on numerous prestigious labels as well as its own London Sinfonietta Label. Most recently, a disc of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s music was released on NMC Recordings and topped the classical music chart, while eleven vinyl records were made in collaboration with artist Christian Marclay. 

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 90,000 times worldwide since its launch in late 2015.

2015/16 Events

As Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall undergoes a two-year renovation the London Sinfonietta ventures out to new spaces across South London including The Coronet Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and St John’s Smith Square, as well as playing to thousands of commuters with Art on the Underground.

FELDMAN: FOR SAMUEL BECKETT
Saturday 10 October 2015, St John’s Smith Square

STOCKHAUSEN & BOULEZ
Saturday 5 December 2015, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

THE JOURNEY BETWEEN US
Thursday 11 & Friday 12 February 2016, Southwark Playhouse

VAN DER AA: THE BOOK OF DISQUIET
Wednesday 24 & Thursday 25 February 2016, The Coronet Theatre

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FOR ALL
Friday 4 & Saturday 5 March 2016, Kings Place

POPPE: SPEICHER
Thursday 10 March 2016, The Coronet Theatre

MIX: LONDON SINFONIETTA & ILAN VOLKOV
Sunday 3 April 2016, The Coronet Theatre

ART ON THE UNDERGROUND: UNDERLINE
Spring 2016, Victoria Line

DUETS IN A FRAME
Wednesday 1 June 2016, St John’s Smith Square

MUSICIANS OF TOMORROW
Sunday 10 July 2016

New music

In 2015/16 we perform the UK premieres of major works by Michel van der Aa and Enno Poppe. Commissions include new pieces by two composers showing huge promise for the future: Samantha Fernando and Tom Coult. We also commission Laurence Crane for the first time – a composer whose alternative aesthetic has a dedicated following in the UK and Europe. And we continue our relationship with Harrison Birtwistle whose piece Five Lessons in a Frame has evolved out of a series of duets composed for us over the past decade.

We also experiment with music and other art forms, resulting in Blue Touch Paper events. This season our journeys include working with UK agency Animate to create an animated film version of George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill, a Mobile New Music Festival to explore new music and mobile technology, as well as working with Art on the Underground to express the story of the Victoria line through sound.

Sinfonietta Shorts continue to be written, recorded and released regularly as downloads on NMC Recordings.

Take part

This season our primary and secondary school concerts inspire pupils and teachers will the creativity of composers in the 20th and 21st centuries. Using repertoire on the curriculum and exciting new works, we explore the limitless source of musical ideas from mathematical systems, literature, historical events and personal experiences.

The annual London Sinfonietta Academy continues into its eighth year, giving talented young players the chance to train with Principal Players over an intensive week-long course that culminates in a public performance, led by internationally renowned conductor Thierry Fischer.