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This week it’s our eighth London Sinfonietta Academy – an intensive week of workshops, masterclasses and rehearsals with brilliant young musicians, coached by our London Sinfonietta Principal Players.

At the end of the week the students present the fruits of their labour: a captivating performance of the best contemporary music led by internationally renowned conductor Thierry Fischer. Book your free ticket here.

Participant and Bassoonist Stanley Kaye-Smith shares his experience of day one on the course:

“I have just finished rehearsals for day one of the London Sinfonietta Academy 2016, and I am already having lots of fun making music with the other students and London Sinfonietta players. As each section of the ensemble forms together for the progressing rehearsals, everyone’s playing and musicianship is proving to be fantastic. The repertoire this year is adventurous, varied and challenging, including works by the american minimalist-inspired John Adams, Mark-Anthony Turnage, the iconic Pierre Boulez (who sadly passed away earlier this year) and spectralist pioneer Tristan Murail.

Sadly Maestro Thierry Fischer was taken ill last night, otherwise we would have very much been looking forward to meeting him today for the first time in our first tutti rehearsals. Looking forward to meeting Diego Masson who will now be our conductor for Saturday. Meanwhile the schedule for today changed and we took a first glance at On All Fours by Mark-Anthony Turnage and then proceeded to a detailed rehearsal on the Adams Chamber Symphony, which we also did in the first tutti rehearsal of the course after lunch.

Me and co-Bassoonist Angharad IMG_2757were pleased to have the London Sinfonietta’s principal Bassoonist John Orford conducting this rehearsal, who of course after years of experience playing that Bassoon part, is going to stick up for us when we need him to! John did a brilliant job at leading, conducting and passing on great wisdom and advice to us and the same goes for all the other members of the London Sinfonietta who have coached us in these rehearsals, including Dávur Juul Magnussen, Joely Koos, David Hockings, Michael Thompson and Helen Tunstall.

As I write I can hear the sectional rehearsals going on for the brand new work by Benjamin Oliver entitled Beasts bounding through time, which has been commissioned for the academy this year. This is the work being rehearsed in both pictures. You can also see the venue here from the audience’s perspective which people can look forward to in the concert this coming Saturday. I have been rather impressed by the Platform Theatre, and the fact that its acoustic is capable of showing a listener everything that is going on in an ensemble.

IMG_2758London Sinfonietta Academy has been a superb experience so far, and I’m glad it’s only day one and that I still have a lot left to look forward to!”



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