The London Sinfonietta has always sought to challenge the musical status quo and champion change. We are proud to commission and perform new music by living composers and have led the way in how composers and musicians can work with the community. We seek to make new music part of contemporary culture – and in our 2020/21 season New Times / New Music, we have curated a season featuring works which engage with the issues that shape the society we live in today.
We have been influenced and affected by such campaigns as #MeToo and the Black Lives Matter movement. They have made us stop and think even harder about our policies, programmes and practices as an organisation and how we can better reflect and respond to society. In wanting actions to speak louder than words, we have already begun to address some of these issues in our commissioning, curating, performance and public engagement programming as part of our 2020/21 season.
- We have already signed up to PRS Foundation’s Key Change campaign and are working towards a 50:50 gender balance in music commissioned by 2022.
- We have begun to represent greater cultural diversity in composers of our future commissions and performance programme. As an example, we celebrate the music of black composers in our Autumn 2020 concert Yet Unheard, curated by George Lewis and Elaine Mitchener.
- We have launched a new digital and regional touring programme specifically to reach audiences in areas where there is less access to new music performances.
- Our schools and community projects already work in areas of great social and cultural diversity both in London and in the regions of England, and we aim to ensure we provide an equality of opportunity in these settings in partnership with Music Hubs and local agencies.
- We are committed to increasing representation of people from under-represented backgrounds to become part of our talent development schemes for emerging composers, conductors and musicians and have changed our recruitment processes so that this is already happening.
- We are working towards evolving the organisation to better represent the society in which we exist. Our Council (Board) is now more representative and will continue to evolve, and we are seeking to create pathways and opportunities for a more diverse workforce to help organise, produce, present and work for the London Sinfonietta administration.
- The conversation about how we progress is becoming an active and regular discipline amongst the staff, players and at Council level. We are working with Tonic Theatre on making change, and the conversation is happening with visiting artists and partner organisations.
Yet this can only be a start - we acknowledge we have a long way to go. We are in a process of defining our further commitments in Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity and will publish exactly what these are in early 2021.
Despite the challenging times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are excited about the equal, diverse and inclusive future of the new music art-form we are passionate about and seek constructive conversations to learn from individuals and organisations in order to make change happen.