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What We Do

New Futures

The London Sinfonietta always seeks to extend its reach to more people with the inspiring sound of new music. Our 23-24 season celebrates both composers from its past tradition and those writing music today for its future. We will work in concert halls, schools and communities, in performances and projects that will connect with audiences, young people and the wider public.  Our season is presented by an ever more inclusive group of composers, conductors, artists and musicians.  

The space is astounding – a soaring cathedral nave deep inside the womb of a decommissioned printworks The Telegraph on Cave by Tansy Davies and Nick Drake
Extremely enjoyable evening hearing pieces I would not have heard otherwise Audience member, Southampton

The London Sinfonietta is one of the world’s leading contemporary music ensembles. Formed in 1968, our commitment to making new music has seen us commission over 450 works and premiere many hundreds more. A Resident Orchestra at the Southbank Centre and Artistic Associate at Kings Place, with a busy touring schedule across the UK and abroad, the London Sinfonietta’s Principal Players are some of the finest musicians in the world.

Our ethos is to experiment constantly with the art form, working with the world’s best composers, performers and artists, collaborating with young people, communities and the public to produce music projects often involving film, theatre, dance and art. We are committed to challenging audience perceptions by commissioning work which addresses issues in today’s society, including work that has tackled climate change, violence towards women and racial inequality. We also work closely with the audience as creators, performers and curators of the events we stage. We work with schools and communities across the UK supporting and encouraging their musical creativity, while our annual London Sinfonietta Academy is an unparalleled opportunity for young performers and conductors to train for their future in the profession with our Principal Players.

The London Sinfonietta has also broken new ground by launching its own new digital Channel, featuring video programmes and podcasts about new music. We created Steve Reich’s Clapping Music App for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, a participatory rhythm game that has been downloaded over 600,000 times worldwide. The back catalogue of recordings of the Ensemble over 50 years has helped to cement its world-wide reputation. More recent recordings include George Benjamin’s opera Into the Little Hill (Nimbus), Benet Casablancas’ The Art of Ensemble (Sony Classical), David Lang’s Writing on Water(Cantaloupe Music) Philip Venables’ debut album Below the Belt (NMC) and Marius Neset’s Viaduct (ACT).


Music in Schools and the Community

The London Sinfonietta was the first ensemble in the UK to launch a music education programme. This pioneering spirit has continued and flourished ever since, expanding to include regular performances and workshops with members of the public.

Sound Out is a hugely successful schools programme encompassing creative projects and culminating annually in a concert attended by students from across London and the South East of England.  During the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, we developed the programme to work online with a new set of video Composition Challenges which is now being rolled out across the UK.  Schools from around the UK have taken part, extending our reach to 12,000 young people. We are sustaining on-going partnerships with the boroughs of Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forest, with whom we build a positive environment for creative music-making in the classroom and with instrumental groups, while adding new relationships in Gloucester, Southampton and Isle of Wight schools.

In Town will see the ensemble resident at St Ignatius School in Enfield, opening up the Ensemble to work with young people on composing, playing, conducting and digital capture of live performance.  The project is the start of more work in the communities of Enfield in the 23/24 season.


It helped me realise anyone can be a composer – even a pupil! Pupil response to Sound Out 2019
I loved the concept of creating a living, breathing work of art unique to that space and time, and to be part of that collaboration was truly a joy Public participant, March 2019
I didn't like it, I loved it! Pupil response to Sound Out 2018


Developing Talent

The London Sinfonietta supports emerging talent with its year-round programmes for composers, conductors and performers, giving early-career artists the opportunity to develop new skills and contacts as they establish themselves in the professional arena.

I hugely value this relationship that has led me to direct such varied projects. Geoffrey Paterson, conductor (Academy participant in 2010)
It’s been very stimulating and I’ve got so much out of it.
It’s a privilege to play next to London Sinfonietta players. Academy Participant July 2019

The fourth edition of the composer development programme Writing the Future was launched in the 2019/20 season and culminated now (after a delay for the pandemic) with three new pieces in the 2021/22 season. A fourth by music creator Nwando Ebizie will be produced in the 2023/24 season, exploring how an event can be equally accessible to both hearing and non-hearing audiences. A diverse group of early-career composers have been given them the chance to write for London Sinfonietta concerts across the season. The research and development project Blue Touch Paper also enters a new phase, with composers asked to create engaging digital works of art for online audiences in a project that is a partnership with the Royal Northern College of Music, Trinity Laban and The Drake Music Project. 

The London Sinfonietta Academy provides workshops, coaching and performance opportunities for young musicians and conductors. Its annual summer course is especially popular, encouraging young players from around the UK to hone their new music performance skills by working directly alongside London Sinfonietta professionals.