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London Sinfonietta awarded grant by Cockayne Grants for the Arts

Composer with ensemble

London Sinfonietta awarded £100,000 grant by Cockayne Grants for the Arts to continue its vital commissioning of new music. 
The Cockayne Grants for the Arts Programme in London celebrates ten years of grant giving with a special grant to London Sinfonietta in support of the creation of new works for the 2025/26 and 2026/27 seasons. 

  • Following a successful application to the Cockayne for the Arts Programme: a donor advised fund held at The London Community Foundation, London Sinfonietta has received one of only ten exceptional anniversary awards of £100,000.
  • The award is a welcome support to the London Sinfonietta, following their decrease in funding from the Arts Council in November 2022, and will be used to further its tradition of commissioning impactful and inspiring works by pioneering artists. 
  • London Sinfonietta is proud to announce that this grant will fund a series of eight significant commissions of the London Sinfonietta, which will be built into its future programmes, and enter the repertoire of other ensembles around the world too. The choice of composers will be representative and inclusive, celebrating the diversity of London where the ensemble is based. 
  • Over its 56 year history, the ensemble has commissioned over 470 new works, many of which are regarded as central to the UK's new music scene at home and abroad. 
  • Speaking about the grant and what it means for London Sinfonietta's future, Andrew Burke, CEO and Artistic Director expressed:
    This award confirms the faith that other funders, and audiences, have in us - and particularly in contemporary classical music - which, by exploring contemporary sound worlds and amplifying themes in society, can be as relevant to schools, young people and communities as any other art form. The compositions that we have commissioned over the years have since influenced other music creators and artists from across contemporary society and inspired ever increasing audiences who discover and are moved by these innovative approaches to sound. We are pleased and proud - with Cockayne's extraordinary support - to be able to plan a longer-term future for this tradition. 
  • Jo Hedley, Executive Director of Cockayne comments, 
    "For over 50 years London Sinfonietta has championed the music of the avant-garde. Their back catalogue of commissions and collaborators reads like a who's who of modern and contemporary classical music in the second half of the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries. Staying at the cutting edge of musical creation and performance in this manner takes courage and demands resources, especially in the current economic and funding climate. At a moment when art is needed all the more to comment on and make sense of the rapidly changing world around us, Cockayne is delighted in this, its 10th anniversary year, to support London Sinfonietta forge into the future with a special £100,000 Anniversary Commissioning Grant aimed at providing opportunities for a new generation of composers, performers and audiences." 
  • The ensemble will also utilise this funding support to encourage a larger number of individuals to further help fund commissions, building the community of advocates for new music which the London Sinfonietta, and the composers that rely on these commissions, will need for their future. 
  • The grant reflects a wave of support from individuals and trusts who are responding to the organisation's projects and vision at a time of reducing public subsidy, with the London Sinfonietta having also received generous financial input from Jerwood Arts for its Writing the Future programme, and the Foyle Foundation for its Composition Challenges programme and staffing.
  • London Sinfonietta enters a period of evolution over the coming two years supported by Arts Council England's 'Transform' programme, which seeks to help organisations whose funding was reduced to make changes to their business model, which will amount to around 75% of the grant that was lost in 2022. Read the full statement here. 
  • At a time of challenge and change for the Arts, the London Sinfonietta is still making great music both around the UK and abroad, and supporting communities, schools and young talented composers and artists. 

Published: 12 Feb 2024