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 16 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.
New Music – Now | 2018/19 Season
The London Sinfonietta is fresh from a triumphant 50th Anniversary Season, which saw an acclaimed new piece of music theatre at Printworks London; large scale concerts in St John’s Smith Square and Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall; a return to Southbank Centre’s newly re-opened Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery; a landmark BBC Proms project in collaboration with 14-18 NOW; 34 London Sinfonietta commissions and 6 more world premieres from a diverse range of composers; an education project reaching over 2,500 school children and the 10th edition of its London Sinfonietta Academy.
The ensemble has now embraced its 2018/19 season New Music – Now, which features a broad range of commissions and premieres, collaborations and special projects that help develop the worlds of new music, theatre and dance, plus the ensemble continues to support young talent, public participants and school children both in London and around the UK. Featuring 13 new commissions from leading and emerging composers, 11 world premiere performances and three UK premieres, collaborations take centre stage with a major UK tour of Pascal Dusapin’s dance-opera Passion with Music Theatre Wales and National Dance Company Wales and a co-production of Stockhausen’s opera Donnerstag aus Licht with Southbank Centre and the Royal Academy of Music’s Manson Ensemble.
The ensemble continue to champion iconic music by Harrison Birtwistle, Steve Reich, Morton Feldman, Iannis Xenakis, and Karlheinz Stockhausen in London and around the UK, whilst our second major Sound Out education project builds on its work across secondary schools in the London boroughs of Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forest.