WHO WE ARE
For 30 years Britten Sinfonia has been pushing the boundaries of what a chamber orchestra can do. It is rooted in the East of England, where it is the only professional orchestra working throughout the region, while it also has a national and international reputation as one of the best ensembles playing today.
We're known for our adventurous programming and stunningly high-quality performances, but also for our acclaimed nurturing of new talent and work with schools, hospital patients and communities across its home region.
The orchestra is defined not by the traditional figurehead of a principal conductor, but by the dynamic meeting of outstanding individual players and the broad range of their collaborators – from Steve Reich, Thomas Adès and Alison Balsom to Pagrav Dance Company, Father John Misty, Rufus Wainwright, and Anoushka Shankar.
Beyond the concert hall, Britten Sinfonia musicians work on creative and therapeutic projects with pre-school children, teenagers, young carers, people living with dementia, life-time prisoners and older people at risk of isolation.
The orchestra has new music in its DNA and has commissioned almost 250 works to date from some of the world’s most famous figures and from composers whose successful careers it has helped launch. Britten Sinfonia runs two talent development schemes for composers: Opus 1 for those aspiring to become professionals, and Magnum Opus for composers who have achieved some success and are looking for more support to take the next step in their careers.
Today Britten Sinfonia is heralded as one of the world’s leading ensembles and its philosophy of adventure and reinvention has inspired a new movement of emerging chamber groups. It is an Associate Ensemble at London’s Barbican, Resident Orchestra at Saffron Hall in Essex and has residencies in Norwich and Cambridge. It performs an annual chamber music series at London’s Wigmore Hall and appears regularly at major UK festivals including the Aldeburgh, Brighton, Norfolk & Norwich Festivals and the BBC Proms. The orchestra has performed a live broadcast to more than a million people worldwide from the Sistine Chapel, and toured to the US, Asia and much of Europe. It is a BBC Radio 3 Broadcast Partner and has award-winning recordings on the Hyperion and Harmonia Mundi labels.