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Our Mission

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 160,000 times worldwide since its launch in late 2015.


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

Cue the New: How to Listen to the 21st Century

The 21st century is now 16 years old and has produced some astounding music: works of beauty, complexity and drama that deserve to be listened to, not just heard. In 2016/17, the London Sinfonietta presents a season of opportunities, performing commissions and premieres that speak for the best musical invention of our time. Blue Touch Paper events showcase our experiments with music and other art forms, whilst Mix nights combine different musical genres.

To understand the present we also need to reference the past, and our new series at Kings Place – Turning Points – is a chance to hear, interact with and question the ideas of 20th century composers who have influenced the music being made today.

View the full 2016/17 season here, or read our season brochure below.