Britten Sinfonia is one of the world’s most celebrated and pioneering ensembles. 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. Acclaimed for its virtuoso musicians, and trail-blazing projects, Britten Sinfonia breaks the mould by not having a principal conductor or director, instead focusing upon its stellar musicians via collaborations with some 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 London’s Barbican and became Resident Orchestra at Saffron Hall in 2016. The orchestra also has residencies across the east of England in Norwich and Cambridge (where it is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the University) and performs a chamber music series at Wigmore Hall. The orchestra appears at major international venues and festivals including London’s BBC Proms, Lincoln Center New York, the Paris Philharmonie, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the NCPA Beijing.
Central to Britten Sinfonia’s artistic programmes is a wide range of Creative Learning projects within both schools and the community. These include the talented youth ensemble, Britten Sinfonia Academy and annual composition competition, OPUS, for unpublished composers of all ages and backgrounds. Britten Sinfonia is a BBC Radio 3 broadcast partner and regularly records for Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion.
Highlights for Britten Sinfonia’s 2018–19 season include a continuation of its critically acclaimed Beethoven and Brahms Symphony cycles conducted by Thomas Adès and Sir Mark Elder respectively; collaborations with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, American choreographer Pam Tanowitz and singers Sophie Bevan, Allan Clayton, Mark Padmore and Roderick Williams, with world premieres from composers Colin Matthews, Edmund Finnis, Nico Muhly, Joby Talbot, Josephine Stephenson and Luke Styles.
Its many awards include a second Royal Philharmonic Society Ensemble Award in 2013, the RPS Chamber Music Award and Olivier and Grammy nominations. Recordings have received Gramophone, ECHO/Klassik and BBC Music Magazine Awards and most recently in 2017 the prestigious Diapason d’Or, for James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater with The Sixteen, also streamed live to a worldwide audience from Rome’s iconic Sistine Chapel.