The London Sinfonietta is one of the world's elite contemporary music ensembles with a reputation built on the virtuosity of its performances and ambitious programming. It is committed to placing new music at the heart of contemporary culture and pushing boundaries; the ensemble regularly undertakes projects with choreographers, video artists, film-makers and collaborations with electronica artists, jazz and folk musicians.
The creation of new music has been at the core of the London Sinfonietta's work since its foundation in 1968. It has commissioned or premiered over 200 works, ranging from Luciano Berio, Harrison Birtwistle and Steve Reich to the emerging composers involved in its Blue Touch Paper project - including Tansy Davies, Dai Fujikura and Anna Meredith. Its 2007-2008 season will feature world premieres of new pieces by Simon Holt, Karin Rehnqvist and Thomas Adès.
London Sinfonietta concert performances are increasingly being conceived as the centrepiece of a cluster of related projects and events. It was one of the first UK orchestras to explore the creative space where artistic and educational experiences meet and continues to break new ground in this field. The innovation and creativity experienced on the concert platform is reflected in the ensemble's off platform programme, which gives young artists - in sound design, animation and textiles, as well as music - the opportunity to work with the ensemble in a creative environment.
Innovative ways of reaching out to new audiences include collaborations with Warp Records (with performances heard by over 22,000 people across Europe) and Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead. The ensemble's young ambassadors scheme won the 2006 Royal Philharmonic Society Audience Development award for its success in bringing large and diverse audiences to performances of Luigi Nono and Iannis Xenakis among others.
The ensemble regularly works with composer-conductors such as Oliver Knussen (its conductor laureate) and George Benjamin, as well as some of the finest interpreters of 20th and 21st-century repertoire including Diego Masson, Pierre-André Valade and Martyn Brabbins.