Another typically bold season, 2015-16 saw Britten Sinfonia collaborating with internationally-esteemed soloists including programmes directed by tenor Ian Bostridge and pianists Jeremy Denk and Benjamin Grosvenor. The orchestra’s TAKE TWO double-bill artist portraits included focuses on two of contemporary music’s towering figures: composers Oliver Knussen and Louis Andriessen, the latter focus in collaboration with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and part of the Barbican’s series M is for Man, Music & Mystery. Other performances included an appearance as part of the 2015 EFG London Jazz Festival with legendary bassist Eddie Gomez and pianist Steven Osborne; and The Dark Mirror, a new staging of Hans Zender’s take on Schubert’s Winterreise in collaboration with director Netia Jones and tenor Ian Bostridge.
Britten Sinfonia Voices featured in a Christmas tour of Handel’s Messiah with soloists Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies, Allan Clayton and Robert Davies; Easter performances of James MacMillan’s dramatic Seven Last Words from the Cross; and a live broadcast on BBC Radio 3 of Steve Reich’s remarkable The Desert Music. The orchestra also made its debut tour to China with a three-concert residency in Shanghai, as well as performances in Beijing and Wuhan.
Britten Sinfonia’s At Lunch series celebrated ten years in style with new commissions from OPUS2015 winner Edward Nesbit, Anna Clyne, Daníel Bjarnason, Bryce Dessner and Kenneth Hesketh – taking the number of At Lunch commissioned works to a grand total of 48. Jacqueline Shave also celebrated a tenth anniversary of her own; as Britten Sinfonia’s Leader.
Britten Sinfonia Academy, now in its fourth year, performed alongside esteemed violinist Nicola Benedetti on the Barbican Hall stage as part of Sound Unbound – a weekend-long classical music festival hosted by the Barbican.
Britten Sinfonia announced the start of a new partnership and will be Resident Orchestra at Saffron Hall from October 2016. The orchestra also began its three-year association with Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton as Artists-in-Residence.