This week we’re running our seventh London Sinfonietta Academy and participants Emma Halnan and Matthew Scott are recounting their experience day-by-day: here is Emma’s account of Day 3.

The course culminates on Saturday 11 July in a public Musicians of Tomorrow performance at LSO St Lukes. Tickets are free but advance booking is essential.


London Sinfonietta Academy Day 3! First thing this morning, the ensemble had their second rehearsal of Deborah Pritchard’s new piece Waves and Waterfalls. This is one of two works I am not playing in; it was therefore fascinating to watch Pierre-André and the players work together to get it performance-ready. The piece is really colourful, imaginative and atmospheric; I’m very excited about hearing the world premiere in the concert on Saturday!Day 3

We then began work on Harrison Birtwistle’s Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum (The Perpetual Song of Mechanical Arcady), which was commissioned in 1977 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the London Sinfonietta. Birtwistle took inspiration from artist Paul Klee, whose work is described as being expressionist, cubist and surrealist. Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum is a very complicated work in many ways, requiring 500% concentration from everybody at all times! But with careful and thorough work, the piece became much more manageable throughout the course of the rehearsal. I’m really looking forward to having another go on Friday.

In the evening, we were treated to another masterclass with the entire London Sinfonietta. Like yesterday, student conductors were given the incredible opportunity to conduct the London Sinfonietta, and receive invaluable advice both from Pierre-André and the instrumentalists. Today, the repertoire was Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum. As an Academy participant, it was fascinating to watch the tutors rehearse the same music that we had worked on in the afternoon. It was also very useful to follow our scores, getting to know the music more intimately in advance of Friday’s rehearsal.

I’m really looking forward to returning to Greenwich in the morning to continue our rehearsals. Saturday’s concert is shaping up to be a really exciting event; not to be missed!


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