About Us

There are few more thrilling things in British music than Britten Sinfonia on top form.
Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph

Britten Sinfonia is one of the world’s most celebrated and pioneering ensembles. The orchestra is acclaimed for its virtuoso musicianship, an inspired approach to concert programming which makes bold, intelligent connections across 400 years of repertoire, and a versatility that is second to none. Britten Sinfonia breaks the mould by not having a principal conductor or director, instead choosing to collaborate with a range of the finest international guest artists from across the musical spectrum, resulting in performances of rare insight and energy.

Britten Sinfonia is an Associate Ensemble at the Barbican in London, and has residencies across the east of England in Norwich and Cambridge (where it is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Cambridge). The orchestra also performs a chamber music series at Wigmore Hall and appears regularly at major UK festivals including Aldeburgh and the BBC Proms. The orchestra’s growing international profile includes regular touring to Mexico, South America and Europe. In February 2012, Britten Sinfonia made its North American debut at Lincoln Centre, New York. 

Founded in 1992, the orchestra is inspired by the ethos of Benjamin Britten through world class performances, illuminating and distinctive programmes where old meets new, and a deep commitment to bringing outstanding music to both the world’s finest concert halls and the local community. Britten Sinfonia is a BBC Radio 3 broadcast partner and regularly records for Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion.

In 2013-14, Britten Sinfonia collaborates with artists including Paul Lewis, Ian Bostridge, Netia Jones, Mark Padmore, Pekka Kuusisto, Iestyn Davies, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the Richard Alston Dance Company with premières from composers including Sally Beamish, Roderick Williams, Mark Simpson, Brett Dean and Philip Cashian. Following UK performances, many of these collaborations will tour internationally with performances in some of the world’s finest concert halls.

Central to Britten Sinfonia’s artistic programmes are a wide range of creative learning projects both within schools and the community. In the 2013-14 season Britten Sinfonia Academy, our talented youth ensemble will perform its own At Lunch concert and we hold our second composition competition, OPUS2014, offering unpublished composers the chance to receive a professional commission,

In 2013 Britten Sinfonia was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Ensemble having previously won the Chamber Music Award in 2009 and the Ensemble Award in 2007. Britten Sinfonia recordings have been Grammy nominated, received a Gramophone Award and an ECHO/Klassik Recording Award.

Calendar

May 2016

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Benjamin Grosvenor directs

Milton Court Concert Hall (Barbican), London
01 May 2016 7:30pm

Benjamin Grosvenor makes his Britten Sinfonia debut, directing from the keyboard Mozart’s last Piano Concerto No.27 K595.

Tour of China - Britten's Phaedra

Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai
06 May 2016 7:30pm

The first concert in our tour of China featuring Allison Cook and Mahan Esfahani

Tour of China - Serenade for tenor, horn and strings

Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai
07 May 2016 7:30pm

The second concert in our tour of China featuring Britten's Serenada for tenor, horn and strings.

Tour of China - Les illuminations

Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai
08 May 2016 7:30pm

the third programme in our tour of China featuring Britten's Les Illuminations

Tour of China - Britten's Phaedra

Wuhan Qintai Concert Hall, Wuhan
10 May 2016 7:30pm

The first concert in our tour of China featuring Allison Cook and Mahan Esfahani

The Dark Mirror: Zender's Winterreise

Barbican Theatre, London
12 May 2016 7:45pm

Ian Bostridge stars in a gripping theatrical version of Schubert's Winterreise in which composer Hans Zender’s iconoclastic orchestral re-imagining of the original is staged by acclaimed opera director and video artist Netia Jones.

The Dark Mirror: Zender's Winterreise

Barbican Theatre, London
13 May 2016 7:45pm

Ian Bostridge stars in a gripping theatrical version of Schubert's Winterreise in which composer Hans Zender’s iconoclastic orchestral re-imagining of the original is staged by acclaimed opera director and video artist Netia Jones.

The Dark Mirror: Zender's Winterreise

Barbican Theatre, London
14 May 2016 7:45pm

Ian Bostridge stars in a gripping theatrical version of Schubert's Winterreise in which composer Hans Zender’s iconoclastic orchestral re-imagining of the original is staged by acclaimed opera director and video artist Netia Jones.

Ruby Hughes & Mahan Esfahani

Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden
15 May 2016 3:00pm

Mezzo soprano Ruby Hughes joins Britten Sinfonia for a performance of Britten's last great masterpiece, Phaedra.

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