The London Sinfonietta Emerging Artist Programme is a unique opportunity for the next generation of exceptional musicians to get involved in the working life of the world’s leading new music ensemble.

Generously supported by the Mercers’ Company and the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the scheme constitutes a series of professional experiences performing contemporary classical music: including a guarantee of two on-stage engagements as part of the London Sinfonietta’s season and working alongside the ensemble’s Principal Players.

Josh BattyOver the next few months, we’ll be talking to our Emerging Artists, to find out a little more about them and their experiences as part of the programme. First up is flautist Joshua Batty:

What do you regard as your greatest artistic achievement so far?
Being fortunate to meet, work and learn from such diverse people across the world and getting to travel to places I might have never got the chance to see all the while doing a job that I enjoy (mostly!)

Which piece of music or theatre has had the biggest effect on you as a musician?
I played Debussy’s Syrinx at a family funeral a couple of years ago; the piece has had quite a profound effect on me ever since. Also performing Gorecki’s Symphony No.3 in Katowice with the London Sinfonietta just 40 miles from Auschwitz and seeing the haunting and historic effect the music had on the audience – their appreciation was immense. 

What’s the most unusual performance you’ve been a part of?
Performing with the comedy duo Igudesman and Joo and having to run off the stage “crying” during a parody of Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto!

What’s currently on your coffee table at home?
My feet, a box of matches, orchestral music, and a thin layer of dust!

Describe yourself in three words.
Determined, Boisterous, Self-critical.

If you could have any other profession, what would it be?
In another life, I would like to be a translator and interpreter. 

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My family and in particular my grandparents. They have all been so supportive and taken total interest in anything I’ve decided to pursue. 

What has been your most valuable experience during your time with London Sinfonietta on the Emerging Artist Programme?
Working with such experienced musicians on new contemporary music and seeing their attention to detail and level of commitment and concentration during the rehearsals and performances. 

What advice would you give to musicians starting their careers now?
Be yourself, support others and go for everything you can; if something doesn’t go your way, move on to the next experience and learn from it all.

Tell us your best musical joke.
So many apologies:
Q: Why was the former conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic always the first off the plane?
A: Because he only had Karajan luggage.

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